Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Full grid of pre-war Grand Prix racers for Donington Festival

Pre War Racing Cars racing at Donington Park
The Pre War racing cars may be old enough to be museum pieces, but they are still raced properly!
(Note, no seat belts, no roll over protection!?)

The Historic Grand Prix Association (HGPCA) is to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the first car race at Donington Park in 1933 by bringing a pre-War Grand Prix grid to the 2013 Donington Historic Festival (May 3rd, 4th, 5th), ensuring even more on-track excitement and in-paddock appeal for this ever-popular international event, and giving yet another reason why Festival tickets are the ideal Christmas gift for historic motorsport fans.

The races now confirmed for the event (with news of yet more due early in 2013) are guaranteed to provide spectacular entertainment for visitors:

  • HGPCA pre-War Grand Prix cars
  • Group C sportscars
  • JD Classics Challenge for 66 to 85 Touring Cars
  • HSCC Historic F2
  • ‘1000km’ challenge for pre-72 sports-racing cars
  • U2TC pre-66 under two-litre Touring Cars
  • Masters pre-66 GT Gentlemen Drivers
  • Masters pre-66 Top Hat Touring Cars
  • Pre-63 GT
  • Stirling Moss Trophy for pre-61 sportscars
  • Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy for pre-56 sportscars

As well as the racing, there’s a host of other activities to keep spectators busy, from historic rally car live action and classic car club displays to the trade village and the open paddock.

Grand Prix glory
The early days of Grand Prix racing hold a very special, almost mythical, place in motor racing history. Thoughts of legendary marques such as Alfa Romeo, Alta, Bugatti, Delage, Delahaye, ERA, Frazer-Nash, Maserati, MG and Talbot-Lago – all of which are likely to appear at the Festival – and of drivers such as Nuvolari, Seaman, Lang, Bira, Rosemeyer, Chiron, Varzi and Caracciola still send shivers down the spines of racing enthusiasts to this day.

From the 1920s to the late 1930s, works teams and private entrants would compete against each other on the race circuits of Europe. Racing was fast and furious and careers – and lives – all too frequently short-lived. And, as the world headed towards war, it was Germany that would dominate the final days of Grand Prix racing in that era, with the unbeatable Auto Union and Mercedes-Benz cars, the Silver Arrows.

Donington Park saw its own share of this excitement, including the Alfa Romeo P3 of Richard ‘Mad Jack’ Shuttleworth, taking victory there in 1935, followed by Richard Seaman and Hans Ruesch’s Alfa 8C in 1936. The 1937 and 1938 Donington Grand Prix races would be two of the biggest motor racing events ever staged in Britain, with the Silver Arrows of Bernd Rosemeyer and Tazio Nuvolari simply obliterating the competition. The HGPCA plans to award a Tazio Nuvolari Trophy to the winner of the Festival’s Sunday pre-War Grand Prix finale race.

Now Donington Park is set to relive those legendary days over the weekend of May 3rd, 4th and 5th 2013, as the types of racing machines that the Silver Arrows came to dominate take to the track once more.

And visitors can indulge their love of historic GP cars even more over the weekend; Festival ticket holders are entitled to two-for-one entry to the Donington Grand Prix Collection – the largest showcase of Grand Prix racing cars in the world.

Tickets on sale in time for Christmas
Advance ticket prices start at £12 for the Friday, £20 for Saturday or Sunday and just £36 for a three-day weekend ticket. On-the-gate prices will be £15 for Friday, £25 for Saturday or Sunday and £45 for the three-day weekend. Children aged under 16 are admitted for free. There are also special discounts for members of car clubs that have registered with the Festival (so please contact your car club official to make sure they’ve registered…).

Tickets can be bought via www.doningtonhistoric.com and through the 24-hour ticket hotline 0844 873 7355.

To learn more about the Donington Historic Festival, please visit www.doningtonhistoric.com.