A Brief History of the Track itself.

Donington Park Circuit, often referred to simply as Donington, is the oldest motorsport circuit in the UK still in operation and boasts a fascinating history that spans over a century and includes numerous milestones in motorsport.

The circuit's story began in 1931 when local landowner, Alderman John Gillies Shields, converted the estate's parkland into a racing circuit. Fred Craner was a former motorcycle rider who had taken part in seven Isle of Man TT races and was by 1931 a Derby garage owner and secretary of the Derby & District Motor Club. He approached Shields to use its roads for racing. Donington Park held its first race in 1933, featuring both motorcycle and car racing. It quickly gained popularity for its challenging layout and picturesque surroundings. The track was widened in 1933, made permanent and became a venue for Grand Prix car racing.

In the years leading up to World War II, Donington Park became a prominent venue for motorsport events, hosting prestigious races such as the Donington Grand Prix in 1935. However, the outbreak of the war halted racing activities, and the circuit was requisitioned by the military to be used as a military vehicle depot.

After the war, Donington Park fell into disrepair until it was purchased by Tom Wheatcroft in the 1971. Wheatcroft embarked on an ambitious restoration project, transforming the circuit into a modern racing facility and established the famous Grand Prix Collection at the site. In 1977, Donington Park reopened its gates to racing enthusiasts, marking the beginning of a new chapter in its history.

Over the ensuing decades, Donington Park became renowned for hosting a diverse range of motorsport events, including Formula One races, motorcycle grands prix, touring car championships, and endurance races. One of its most notable achievements was hosting the European Grand Prix in 1993, which saw Ayrton Senna secure a memorable victory. With the addition of the Melbourne Loop section in 1985 came Grand Prix motorcycle racing with the first World Championship Grand Prix event in 1987. Eventually becoming known as MotoGP, Donington was the host venue for 23 years, and was also the location for the debut round of World Superbikes in 1988, an event still held at the circuit today.

In recent years (1991), Donington Park has undergone further developments and upgrades to enhance its facilities and improve the overall racing experience. One of the most famous events at the restored circuit was the 1993 European Formula One Grand Prix, which was dominated by Ayrton Senna and featured the legendary opening lap, still described by many as the best in F1's history.

Under new ownership, 2002 the circuit is leased to Donington Ventures Leisure Ltd (DVLL) for a long-term periodambitious plans to host the Formula One British Grand Prix from 2010 onwards were left unrealised, and with the circuit in a state of disrepair, racing ceased once more at the end of 2009.

History repeated itself in 2010 DVLL goes into administration, leading to uncertainty about the circuit's future. Kevin Wheatcroft, son of Tom, rescued the circuit and rebuilt the areas left heavily damaged by the previous leaseholders. Motorsport returned to the circuit once more in the Autumn of 2010, and the circuit is again held in the highest regard by competitors, spectators and officials.

In 2018, Jonathon Palmer's MotorSport Vision (MSV) purchases Donington Park and the surrounding Donington Park Estate and the surrounding Donington Park Estate is currently under lease by MotorSport Vision until 2038 bringing stability and renewed investment to the circuit.

The FIA Formula E Championship and its teams had also constructed its headquarters at the main entrance to the circuit. All teams competing in the electric series were based at the venue, until moving to Valencia.

Today, the circuit continues to attract motorsport enthusiasts from around the world, hosting a variety of national and international events throughout the year. With its rich history, challenging layout, and scenic surroundings, Donington Park remains a beloved fixture in the world of motorsport, offering thrills and excitement to drivers and fans alike.

Further Information
Historic Circuits
Racing Circuit Info

Events, Maps, Posters and Picture Galleries


Links to various campsites associated with the track.

Event Pictures

Events Pictures. Blancpain Sprint Series 2016

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How to get there.

The track is located in central England, near to Castle Donington in Leciestershire. Access the circuit by car is along the A453, a short distance from both the M1 and A42/M42 motorways.

From the North - Leave the M1 at junction 24, then at the roundabout take the 4th exit onto the A453 (signposted Tamworth, Birmingham). At roundabout take the 2nd exit onto the A453 (signposted East Midlands Airport, Diseworth, Donington Park).

Go past the Donington Park Service Area (MOTO). At roundabout take the 1st exit onto the A453. At the next roundabout take the 1st exit onto the A453, go past the Airport, then straight on at the traffic lights (signposted for Donington Park Paddock Entrance), take the first right onto Melbourne Lane and then the Donington Park entrance is half a mile on your right.

From the South - Leave the M1 at junction 23a, then merge onto the A42 (signposted Stoke A50). At roundabout take the 2nd exit onto the A453 (signposted East Midlands Airport, Diseworth, Donington Park).Go past Donington Park Service Area (MOTO). At roundabout take the 1st exit onto the A453.

At next roundabout take the 1st exit onto the A453. At next roundabout take the 1st exit onto the A453, go past the Airport, then straight on at the traffic lights (signposted for Donington Park Paddock Entrance), take the first right onto Melbourne Lane and then the Donington Park entrance is half a mile on your right.

For those arriving via the A42, follow signs onto the A453 at Tongue.

The nearest train station to Donington Park is East Midlands Parkway, offering connections to London and the north.

The nearest airport in East Midlands Airport, which is adjacent to the eastern end of the circuit and a short drive away. It offers flights to a range of International and European destinations.

Information Links.
East Midlands Parkway »
East Midlands Parkway »
KinchBus »
East Midlands Airport »
Bus DP2 East Midlands Parkway »
Skylink Leicester »
Skylink Notingham »

Other Links.

Elite Cars. 01332 581 581 »
Airport Cars 01332 812009 »
Arrow A2B East Midlands Airport 01332 814000 »

Hotel Search.

Visitor Information.

  • General Information
  • Courtesy: Donington Park

    Disabled Access Information.

    Carers of our disabled guests may be entitled to free admission at MSV’s race events, however this must be arranged prior to the event. Anyone turning up on the day will not be able to obtain a free carer ticket.

    To apply for a free carer ticket we shall require one of the following documents as proof:

  • A copy of your most recent DLA letter for care and/or mobility.
  • Receipt of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) showing your current entitlement.
  • A copy of your Attendance Allowance.
  • To apply for a carer ticket you can either send in a copy by post to the address below, contact our call centre on 0343 453 9000 or email carer@msv.com at least one week prior to the meeting you wish to attend.

    Please note that anyone under the age of 13 will be admitted free of charge and will not be eligible for a free carer ticket.

    If you have any queries please contact our call centre on 0343 453 9000 for further information.

    Brands Hatch circuit
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