|Opened||1931, re-opened 1977|
|Grand Prix Circuit|
|Length||4.020 km (2.498 mi)|
|Race lap record||1:18.029 (|
|Length||3.149 km (1.957 mi)|
|Race lap record||57.221 (|
Donington Park is a
Originally part of the
Under Wheatcroft's ownership, the venue underwent significant work, with the track restored to use in 2010, before major upgrades in the following five years. At the end of 2010, it was announced that Donington would become home to an annual historic motorsport event, the Donington Historic Festival, with new events constantly being added. Since 2010, significant investment across the venue has seen major improvements made to its infrastructure, while the circuit has become a regular fixture for top class motorcycling in the form of the
In January 2017, the circuit business and a long term lease on the estate was purchased by
Fred Craner was a former
The original track was 2 mile 327 yd (3,518 m) in length, and based on normal width unsealed estate roads. The first motor cycle race took place on
In 1935 the first 300-mile (480 km)
In 1971 the circuit was bought by business man and car collector
The motor racing circuit re-opened for cars on 28 May 1977, as per the original pre-war opening, the first post-war meeting was for motorcycles. The first postwar car race meeting was organised by the Nottingham Sports Car Club, sponsored by local Lotus dealers, J A Else of Codnor. That first car meeting nearly didn't happen, as the local
The Melbourne Loop was built in 1985 to increase the lap distance to 2.5 miles (4.02 km) and allow the track to host Grand Prix motorcycle races – at 1.957 miles (3.149 km) without the loop, the circuit was deemed too short. This shorter layout remains as the National circuit, which is used for most non-Grand Prix events.
Other events taking place at the track include a 1000 km
In July 2008, it was announced that DVLL had won the rights to the British Grand Prix for 17 years from July 2010, with
it soon became clear that DVLL, led by Simon Gillett, was in serious financial difficulty. Chris Sylt, a respected journalist specialising in the financial side of Formula One, questioned Simon Gillett’s Track record, citing an earlier failure of his company Innovation Motorsport, owing £200,000, and his apparent lack of experience.
In April 2009, Wheatcroft & Son Ltd took legal action against DVLL in Derby County Court, seeking £2.47m in rent arrears, as well as forfeiture of the lease. The legal action put the future of the British Grand Prix in doubt, with
On 5 June 2009, it was announced that an out of court settlement had been reached between Wheatcroft & Son Ltd and DVLL.
On 24 October 2009, media sources reported that Donington had failed to raise the £135 million needed to stage a British Grand Prix. The BBC commented in its coverage that: "Donington's bid looks over, and that Ecclestone has offered the race to
On 18 November 2009, the company went into
On 7 December 2009, Formula One Management announced that Silverstone had been awarded a 17-year contract to hold the British Grand Prix from 2010 until 2026.
On 11 December 2009, it was announced that DVLL had lost the rights to hold the
On 24 December 2009 it was announced that a buyer for Donington Ventures Leisure had not been found, which thus meant that the 150-year lease given by Wheatcroft & Son Ltd to Donington Ventures Leisure was terminated. The ownership immediately reverted to Wheatcroft & Son Ltd, now led by
On 26 May 2010 Wheatcroft announced that the lease for Donington Park had been sold (Subject To Contract) to
The Wheatcroft-owned company Donington Park Racing took control of the circuit in late 2010, gaining events from both World Touring Cars and the World Superbikes, plus the inaugural Donington Historic Festival.
60 race days are held each year, including events from the British Touring Car Championship, British Superbikes, World Superbikes, British GT, rallying and historic festivals for both cars and motorcycles. Racing takes place on most weekends between March and October, with visits from most British racing clubs. Donington has also been host to the annual Season Launch for the BTCC since 2013, while the British Superbike Championship also holds major test days at the circuit.
Wheatcroft has also invested heavily to restore the circuit infrastructure to its former glories. The infield which was excavated during the late 2000s has been completely restored and raised even higher in some areas, while pit and paddock facilities have also been improved. Outside the circuit boundaries, an all terrain course has been constructed, as well as improvements to hospitality buildings and conferencing suites.
In January 2017, the circuit business was taken over by
Additions over the winter period of 2017-18 included a full resurface of paddock areas and access roads, the addition of the Garage 39 Restaurant, cafe and bar , and a large new grandstand at Hollywood corner. Several old toilet blocks were also demolished to make way for more modern units. while detail changes were carried out around the venue.
For 2019, work has commenced on a new main entrance area near the existing paddock entrance.