The inaugural Donington Historic Festival in 2011 was a fantastic success and managed to exceed my optimistic expectations in every way: tremendous turnout, wonderful weather, a rejuvenated race track, but above all, some cracking retro racing.
It could hardly be bettered, but with the follow-up fast approaching – on May 5/6 – it looks like this year’s event will somehow prove even more enticing.
Star attraction for 2012 comes in the form Mr Motor Racing himself – Sir Stirling Moss – who will be taking to the track in the actual Jaguar C-type he drove to victory in the 1952 Reims Grand Prix, exactly 60 years ago.
Any appearance by Sir Stirl’ behind the wheel is a treat – even if it is just demonstration laps for spectators – but the presence of the world-famous C-type will also certainly be something to savour.
It produced the first-ever race victory for a disc-braked car, a landmark occasion which cemented Jaguar’s reputation for innovative engineering and helped to make disc brakes the universal technology that they are today.
When he’s not driving the C-type through the legendary Craner Curves or signing autographs, Moss will likely being paying close attention to one of the races on Sunday morning: the Stirling Moss Trophy for pre-1961 sportscars.
Launched two years ago by historic race organiser Motor Racing Legends, the race series made headlines when the man himself presented the winners with a priceless piece of silverware: the actual trophy he won for his first-ever Formula 1 Grand Prix win – the 1955 British Grand Prix at Aintree.
Other races across the two day event include the hugely popular ‘Mad Jack’ for pre-war vehicles, through the splendid sportscars and racers of the 1950s and 60s, to the E-type Challenge, Historic F2, Touring Cars (both pre-66 and 1966-1985 categories), and last, but by no means least, the always spectacular Group C Racing Series.
And don’t worry if you can only attend one day of the Festival, because thanks to the way the timetable has been structured this year, you’re guaranteed to enjoy the full spectacle of over 300 racing cars taking to the track as there is an even mix of qualifying and racing on both days.
With plenty of off-track activities, such as the huge number of car clubs who will be arriving to display their cherished classics, plus family-friendly ticket prices, this year’s Festival is a real ‘must do’ event on what is an already packed historic race meeting calendar.
Ticket details and further information
Day tickets for the Donington Historic Festival cost just £18 in advance (£25 on the gate), while weekend tickets cost £30 in advance (£40 on the gate). Children aged 15 and under are admitted free.
For more information, and to book tickets visit www.doningtonhistoric.com or call the 24-hour ticket hotline on 0844 873 7355. Advance ticket sales close on April 27th.