|Donington Park Circuit|
|Location||North West Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom|
|Events||Formula One, British Touring Car Championship, British F3, British Superbikes, MotoGP|
|Record time||1'18.029 min. 185.608 km/h.|
|Record driver||Ayrton Senna|
Donington Park is a site near Castle Donington in North West Leicestershire, England, owned by millionaire motoring enthusiast Tom Wheatcroft. It is used as a Grand Prix track, and for music festivals.
The original Donington track was opened in 1931, and initially used for motorcycle races. In 1937 and 1938, it was already used to stage Grands Prix; the race winners were respectively Bernd Rosemeyer and Tazio Nuvolari, both in Auto Union 'Silver Arrows'.
In recent times it has held meetings of the British Touring Car Championship, British Superbikes and MotoGP as well as, most famously, the 1993 European Grand Prix. This race was won by the late Ayrton Senna, and was described by AtlasF1 as the 'Drive of the Decade' . There is a memorial to Senna in the grounds of the racetrack, outside a shop selling motorsports memorabilia.
The track is also the location of a museum, the Donington Grand Prix Collection. This opened in 1973, and is the largest collection of Grand Prix cars anywhere in the world.
Donington Park has a great pedigree of holding rock concerts and festivals, having played host to the Monsters of Rock concerts from the early 80s to mid 90s, when groups such as AC/DC, Metallica and Iron Maiden - who have each headlined three times - performed there. More recently, it has played host to Stereophonics' A Day At The Races event in 2001, Ozzfest in 2002 and Download Festival in 2003, headlined by Iron Maiden and Audioslave, who were late replacements for Limp Bizkit, who pulled out of the festival. Download was held again in 2004, when Metallica returned to Donington, accompanied by a star-studded lineup including Slipknot, KoЯn, Linkin Park, Slayer and a number of other high profile rock bands. The 2005 Download festival was held in June, featuring Black Sabbath as well as System of a Down, Feeder and Velvet Revolver. In 2006, Tool, Metallica and Guns N' Roses headlined the event.
The current Google Maps satellite image was taken in the days preceding one of these festivals.
The facility is also host to a regular market.
- The Donington Park track has been simulated and can be 'driven' in several pc racing simulations, like Spirit of Speed 1937 (the 1937 version of the track is featured, as the name suggests), Sports Car GT, Le Mans 24 Hours, Grand Prix Legends, ToCA Touring Cars, ToCA 2 Touring Cars, ToCA Race Driver, ToCA Race Driver 2 and F1 Challenge 99-02.
- The loop at the base of the circuit was added so that the track was eligible to host the MotoGP race - without the loop it was simply too short. The loop is a constant source of criticism as many claim it takes out some of the "flowing" nature of the track.
- The hill approaching craner curves (beginning just after the first corner) is steeper than it appears and it is possible to reach speeds in excess of 40 mph using only a bicycle.
|ALMS (American Le Mans Series) circuits|
Official Test Track: