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Featured Donington Historic Festival Recap

Discussion in 'Motorsports' started by Paul Jeffrey, May 2, 2016.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    Sim Racing News Editor Staff Premium Member

    Donington Historic Festival - Pre War Mad Jack.jpg
    RaceDepartment.com spent a couple of days at the iconic Donington Park Circuit over the bank holiday weekend, to take in the sights and smells of one of the UK's most impressive celebration's of historic motor racing.

    With typical bank holiday winds and showers doing nothing to dampen the spirits of the hardy spectators and competitors alike, 2016's edition of the Historic Festival will go down in the record books as a highly successful event. Featuring hundreds of historically significant racing vehicles - ranging from spectacular examples of a Ford RS2000 and ex Carlos Sainz Ford Focus WRC gracing the newly relocated Historic Rally Register stage behind Redgate corner - to modern day Formula One machinery in the shape of the 2002 vintage Jordan Honda EJ12 of Takuma Sato, the Donington Historic Festival had a little something for everyone in 2016.

    Attendance across the 3 days of racing looks to be slightly down on previous years, no doubt due to the predicted poor weather over the bank holiday weekend. Those hardy souls who did venture over to the self proclaimed Heart of British Motorsport, would be rewarded with some exceptional races over the course of the long weekend. Standout performance was from double BTCC Champion Colin Turkington on Sunday evening as he wrestled his 1990 vintage BMW E30 gamely onto the podium against stiff competition from former BTCC racer Patrick Watts in his Pegeout 406 and the ex Matt Neal Nissan Primera Team Dynamics car that took victory here at Donington back in 1999.

    Other BTCC regulars competing over the weekend include Andrew Jordan with his father Mike driving their 1958 Austin A40 and fan favourite double BTCC champion John Cleland, at the wheel of the slightly older '54 edition A30. Cleland swapped his usual ex works Vectra from the 1998 season to try his hand at something slightly more sideways and in his usual style providing huge entertainment for the fans trackside. Drivers with the fan power of John Cleland come around rarely and despite advancing years, the "flying scotsman" shows he has lost none of his flair for speed and entertainment since hanging up his helmet at the end of the 90's SuperTouring heyday.

    British female motoring presenter and racing driver Amanda Stretton enjoyed seat time in the BMW 1800ti performing strongly in a car far outclassed by some of its main rivals around the 1.979 mile Donington Park track. Stretton again cemented her reputation as a fast and clean driver with a near fault free weekend in the little BMW.

    Other big name personalities involved in the weekends festivities included none other than rock legend and Highway to Hell signer Chris Rea driving his original Police liveried race converted Morris Minor. Rea continued to impress the crowds swapping his signature Fender guitar for the exquisite Morris in a selection of races throughout the event.

    Donington Historic Festival - Jaguar.jpg

    One of the stars of Saturday and Sunday came not in the form of competitive on track action, but in fact demonstrations over the lunch break hour here at Donington. With the track famous for its substantial Formula One car collection in the Grand Prix Museum, some of its exhibit pieces joined a selection of driver/owner vehicles to perform a number of high speed laps thrilling the fans trackside. Representing 4 decades of Grand Prix racing the youngest cars were the 2002 Jordan EJ12, 1992 Benetton B192 and the thrilling 1990 Camel Lotus Lamborghini as driven by British trio Derek Warwick/Martin Brundle and Johnny Herbert. The previous two decades were represented by the ex-Rupert Keegan 1977 Hesketh 308E, the 1983 Williams FW08 of Keke Rosberg, the ex-Jean Pierre Jarier Osella FA1-D and 1985 Toleman TG-185 of Teo Fabi fame.

    Alongside the on track spectacle ran a number of car clubs located around the circuit perimeter, bringing enthusiasts closer to some very interesting and well presented road going machinery from a number of Marques. Notable mentions should be given to the Ford Capri brigade who presented a wide variety of exceptionally well prepared vehicles in a number of interesting and unusual configurations and having some of the friendliest and proud owners who always proved to be generous with their time when members of the public wished to discuss the cars in detail between the races.

    Donington Historic Festival - U2TC.jpg

    Of course, no historic event is complete without a obligatory Royal Airforce flypast and this year fans were treated to a great display of low flying grace and control, as the spectacular Hawker Hurricane took to the skies above Donington on Sunday afternoon to wow the crowds across the midlands venue. Sadly inclement weather forced the cancellation of Mondays aerial display but the boys and girls over at RAF Coningsby continue to organise their wonderful vintage flypasts on a near daily basis. You can find out more info on where in the UK you can expect to see these fabulous planes in action via twitter #RAFBBMF - well worth a look to see if one of these wonders of the sky are due to come near your location (sorry, UK only).

    Donington Historic Festival - HRDC Coys Trophy.jpg

    With 17 races held over the course of the 3 day weekend amidst a variety of typical British weather the 2016 running of the Donington Historic Festival once again reassured its place as one of the key dates in the British Motoracing diary.

    If you want to find out more about the events on offer at Donington throughout the remained of 201,6 please visit the Donington Park official website. Images and reports from the Donington Historic Festival can be found on the official Donington Historic website alongside a number of high quality images from each running of the event dating back to 2011.

    I've always known motorsport as an outstanding industry full of wonderful cars and an illustrious history but it just takes an event like this to remind oneself that motoracing really is the best sport in the world.

    Roll on 2017...

    Image Credits: Image 1,2,4 Jakob Ebrey. Image 3 Matt Sayle

    Full results from the 2016 Donington Historic Festival can be downloaded in PDF format here.
    Last edited: May 6, 2016
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  2. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    Sim Racing News Editor Staff Premium Member

    Old cars are cool... :)

    Don't forget to check out the RD twitter account for some tweets sent during the day... (my first ever Twitter use... hurray :D )
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  3. Andrew Harper

    Andrew Harper
    Premium Member

    Great article @Paul Jeffrey , shame about the weather but looks like a great event :thumbsup:
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  4. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    Sim Racing News Editor Staff Premium Member

    Thanks man,

    Yeah the weather was typical midlands in May, warm and (reasonably) sunny one minute the totally teeming it down the next! Still, as all good racing fan will tell you a bit of the wet stuff goes a long way to adding some spice to the on track action!
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  5. Thanks a lot for the recap. It's a pity that there is no solid video coverage of the event. The organizers of Goodwood Revival put a video of pretty much every race on Youtube. Guys from Donington Historic Festival could do the same...
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  6. Is that GT Legends on those last two photos? :p
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  7. I lived only 1 hr away from the classic UK track . still think its the best track in the UK from me anyhow.
    Enjoyed several Vintage events there before the tracks was closed after the evil emperor of F1 double crossed them in the early part of the last decade .

    I have visited the F1 collection to many times over the year.
    I am glad its back up & running now in the mean time I have moved to Germany but Donington is one place I miss so much History for motor sport there.

    Love driving it in AC had some fun races there.
  8. 4 8 15 16 23 42 108

    4 8 15 16 23 42 108
    Only the 5th-most famous race driver from Kerpen

    @Paul Jeffrey May I kindly ask you to write a review about the "Spa Classic" this weekend? I would provide pictures for your article.:)
  9. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    Sim Racing News Editor Staff Premium Member

    Hey Andreas,

    I would love to :)

    Please send me a PM with any details / entry lists / pictures and other useful bits and pieces and lets see what we can do :)

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