2013 Donington Historic Festival

Filed under: Classic News |
Ayrton Senna's Lotus F1 CarUp until the tragic events of the afternoon of Sunday 5th May, this year’s Donington Historic Festival had been a fiercely competitive and joyful start to the historic racing year for the many race organisers, drivers, and spectators who attended. Then, frequent historic competitor Christian Devereux of Chiswick, London, driving his 1965 Mini Cooper S, was involved in a collision with another car and later succumbed to the injuries he sustained in the race for historic Touring Cars. “This was the third Donington Historic Festival, and the first to be held over three days,” said organiser Duncan Wiltshire. “By the Sunday morning we were very pleased with the attendance numbers, the quality of racing and of the various displays, as well as the friendly atmosphere that continues to make this event so special. But, of course, all that pales into insignificance in the light of that afternoon’s tragedy. Now the thoughts of the Donington Historic Festival team are very much with the family and friends of Christian Devereux, and everybody affected by the accident.” Over 20,000 people attended this year’s Festival, which featured 18 races for 13 grids spanning seven decades of racing history. Memorable moments included the HGPCA Nuvolari Trophy for pre-1940 Grand Prix cars, the HMRN Pre-63 GT race, the Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy for pre-56 sportscars, HSCC Historic F2 and the Formula Junior race. The Festival paid tribute to Ayrton Senna, with seven cars once driven by the triple World Champion on display. Four of these were demonstrated on the circuit, including the JPS Lotus 97T in which Senna had his first-ever GP win, at Estoril in 1985. Few will forget the sight and sound of the distinctive black and gold F1 car taking to the track. Other attractions included some 1,000 cars owned by members of a wide range of the best classic car clubs, whose infield displays proved hugely popular with Festival visitors. Spectators also enjoyed the high-speed historic rally car demonstrations from Rallying with Group B and the Historic Rally Car Register. There were also three days of fly-pasts by the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and evocative demonstration laps by Donington Park owner Kevin Wheatcroft in his painstakingly built replica of a 1937 Mercedes-Benz W125 Grand Prix car. Duncan Wiltshire concluded, “We would like to thank Donington Park, the HSCC, the emergency services and marshals and all who helped after Sunday’s accident, for dealing with a very difficult situation in such a professional manner.”Tags: