Donington Park Practice 1
Donington Park Racing Circuit – [National]
Donington Park is a motorsport circuit located near Castle Donington in Leicestershire, England. The circuit business is now owned by Jonathan Palmer‘s MotorSport Vision organisation, and the surrounding Donington Park Estate, still owned by the Wheatcroft family, is currently under lease by MotorSport Vision until 2038.
Originally part of the Donington Hall estate, it was created as a racing circuit during the period between the First and Second World Wars when the German Silver Arrows were battling for the European Championship. Used as a military vehicle storage depot during the Second World War, it fell into disrepair until bought by local construction entrepreneur Tom Wheatcroft. Revived under his ownership in the 1970s, it hosted a single Formula One race, but became the favoured home of the British round of the MotoGP motorcycling championship.
Leased by Donington Ventures Leisure Ltd in 2007 the hope that Formula One racing could return to the track, the incomplete venture failed to raise sufficient financial backing during the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis. DVLL consequently lost the rights to the British rounds of both Formula 1 and MotoGP, and in its bankruptcy returned the track to the Wheatcroft family in December 2009.
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 Superbike World Championship.
In January 2017, the circuit business and a long term lease on the estate was purchased by MotorSport Vision, with the purchase cleared by authorities in August of the same year. Significant investment has seen facilities at the venue brought up to modern standards, with a new restaurant, toilet blocks, large new grandstand and new circuit offices, as well as other detail changes. As well as improving the infrastructure, MSV has made additions to the race calendar, with additional major events planned for 2019 including extra rounds of the British Superbike Championship and British GT.