03/12/2010 Donington Historic Festival Welcomes Three New Race Series
An all-new race series for Touring Cars from the 1977 to 1985 era, launched by Motor Racing Legends, is just one of three new series confirmed for the inaugural Donington Historic Festival on 29 April to 1 May 2011.
To be called the JD Classics Challenge, thanks to the involvement of renowned classic car dealership JD Classics, the Touring Car race is for Groups 1 and 2, and Group A Touring Cars, that raced in the British and European Touring Car Championships in those years: think TWR XJ-S and BMW 528, Alfa GTV6, Audi Coupé and Ford Sierra XR4i, among many others. This isn’t a race for home-built specials, however. Motor Racing Legends is known for demanding real race cars with provenance, running to the correct period specification. The JD Classics Challenge will be no exception.
“We’re also looking at inviting selected cars from American series – IMSA production cars from 1977-85,” added Motor Racing Legends’ boss, Duncan Wiltshire.
And that’s not the only Touring Car race likely to be a huge hit with the Donington spectators. How about a pre-1960 grid, along the lines of the fantastically popular St Mary’s Trophy at the Goodwood Revival? Now, while lots of hopeful folk make unrealistic comparisons with the utterly inimitable Goodwood event, the chap behind the new pre-1960 Touring Greats series, Julius Thurgood, is the very man who collaborated with Goodwood to develop the St Mary’s Trophy in the first place. “I see this new series as a ‘call to arms’ for owners of diminutive Austin A35s, bulky Jaguar MkVIIs and just about every model of Aunt Agatha’s 50s era ‘jellymould’ shopping car, from Standard Vanguards, Volvo PV544s and Moggie Minors, to Fiat 600s,” he says. The race will be run under Thurgood’s banner of HRDC – the Historic Racing Drivers’ Club.
Yet another new series for 2011 will see its first ever round at Donington – as the feature race on the evening of Saturday, 30 April. The ‘1000km’, launched by Carol Spagg and Jason Wright, is a two-driver endurance race for sports prototypes of the type that competed in the World Endurance Championships from 1968-71. As the name suggests, it is a 1000km challenge, but in the form of four, individual, 250km races spread across the year, each held at a top-level event. The Donington Historic Festival will be the first.
In addition to these three new races, Donington will welcome Group C cars at its Festival, bringing the thrills of top-level sportscar racing from the 1980s; plus there will be pre-63 GTs, Formula Junior, U2TC, along with the Stirling Moss Trophy, Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy, Motor Racing Legends Pre-War Sports Car Series and much more besides. As a season-opener to historic motorsport in 2011, the new Donington Historic Festival is clearly shaping up to be a stunner. And what else is there to do on the weekend of 29 April to 1 May? Unless you have a personal invitation to a certain wedding, of course.
Text: Charis Whitcombe Photos: Motor Racing Legends, Historic Racing Drivers’ Club ClassicInside - The Classic Driver Newsletter Free Subscription!