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Donnington Park Motor Racing Circuit

Donington Park is one of Britain’s most popular racing circuits and home of many exciting and prestigious events, including the British Motorcycle Grand Prix, The British Touring Car Championships and World Superbikes.

Donnington Sunday Market

Come to Donington Park, home of the 2010 Grand Prix for the Midlands biggest and best Sunday Market!

With a huge variety of over 300 different stalls to browse there are always some amazing bargains to be found.

Parking is FREE and entrance costs only 50p for adults and 25p for OAP’s. Children under 16 go free making Donington Sunday Market the perfect day out for all the family!

Only 2 minutes drive from J23a of the M1,…follow the signposts to Donington Park.

Open from 8.00am EVERY Sunday all year round


History of Donnington Park

Opened in 1931, Donington Park is one of Britain’s most popular racing circuits. It is the home of the British Motorcycle Grand Prix (MotoGP) and also plays host to rounds of the British Touring Car Championship, British Formula 3 Championship, British GT Championship, Le Mans Series, and British Superbike Championship.

The circuit uses tracks and paths in the parkland at the front of Donington Hall. Initially, it was used only for motorcycle racing. It wasn’t long, however, before Fred Craner, a local garage owner and secretary of the Derby and District Motor Club, had persuaded the Sheilds family, who owned Donington Hall, to also allow car racing. To make this possible, the circuit was resurfaced and extended by 1933.

The Silver Arrows

Two years later, the first Donington Grand Prix was held. (Because Craner had been in dispute with the sport’s governing body, the RAC, the races could not be called British Grand Prix.) The first two events offered rich returns but failed to attract the top drivers. This changed, however, when former Donington GP winner Richard Seaman, then a works Mercedes driver, persuaded the works Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union "Silver Arrows" teams to race in 1937 and 1938.

These races attracted large crowds, but with the advent of the Second World War the circuit closed and became a major military vehicle depot. The land remained in military hands for some years after hostilities had ended.

Several attempts to reopen the park fell through until Leicester builder and businessman Tom Wheatcroft bought Donington Park as a site for his world famous collection of Grand Prix cars and returned it to racing.

Rebuilding Donington

The circuit was rebuilt following the lines of the pre-war course, but omitting the Melbourne hairpin and the hill top (over which the high-powered cars were momentarily airborne) as that would have taken the track into Derbyshire as well as Leicestershire and would have meant a second planning inquiry. The revised Donington Park circuit opened with a 1.957 mile national circuit in 1977.

Donington’s two circuits

A new Melbourne loop was subsequently added in 1985, giving a choice of two courses, the National and the Grand Prix circuit, which is 2.5 miles long.

By now Donington Park was hosting top motor racing events, including major motorcycle internationals featuring the top grand prix riders, along with full international car races for F3, Touring Cars, F3000 and Sportscars.

In 1987, the British Motorcycle Grand Prix was staged for the first time at Donington Park. The MotoGP is contracted to remain at Donington Park until at least 2009.

Formula 1 visits Donington Park

One of the most famous events in Donington’s history came in 1993 when the track staged the European Formula One Grand Prix, which was memorably won by Ayrton Senna in rain-swept conditions.

Circuit operations managed by Two Four Sports Limited

At this point, circuit operations were being managed by Two Four Sports Limited, a part of the Midland Concert Promotions Group, which staged the incredibly popular "Monsters of Rock" concerts in Donington’s parkland setting.

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