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Donington Historic Festival

By raccars Published

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One of the first events on the summer's automotive calendar is the Donington Historic Festival, taking place on Saturday 3 to Monday 5 May - Bank Holiday weekend. The festival is held at Donington Park in Derby, a venue with a long racing history.

This will be only the fourth edition of the Donington Historic Festival, which has been gaining in popularity each year. Last year's festival saw the event grow to three days and featured 400 historic racing vehicles, dating from the Twenties. The event was dedicated to Ayrton Senna.

Visitors can watch the historic cars battling it out on the race track and enjoy close up access to the vehicles and their drivers in the race paddocks. There are plenty of other attractions off the track, such as Group B rally cars, stalls selling auto memorabilia, bars and cafes and a number of classic car club displays. Clubs attending this year include Abarthisti, Audi Reflections, Capri Club International, Cavalier and Chevette Club, Club Alpine Renault and the Ford Galaxy Owners Club. The British Historic Kart Club will be putting on some funky displays around the Melbourne Loop as a great introduction to motorsport and visitors will also be treated to a flypast by the Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

Tickets start from £20 for a single day, making this one of the most affordable family auto events of the season.

Saturday kicks off with a couple of Touring Car events, with vehicles going back to 1958, along with a Pre-63 GT race, the single seater HSCC Historic Formula 3 event and the HSCC Martini Trophy, both full of classic 60s racers. The same group is back for a second round on Sunday, plus grids for C-Types, D-Types, Austin Healeys and Aston Martins. The feature races of the day are the pre-WWII Sports Car Motor Sport 90th Anniversary Trophy, with Bentleys, Alfas, Bugattis, Astons, Riley, MG, Vauxhall and Talbot among the big names, and the Maserati Centenary Trophy, featuring vehicles by the eponymous brand from the Thirties to the Sixties. A 1962-1974 'Group 4' FIA Masters Historic Sports Car Championship, full of LeMans style racers, closes the day.

Some of these will make a second outing on Monday, plus the Masters Pre-66 Touring Cars will be put through their paces, followed by the pre-1961 sports cars Stirling Moss Trophy and, finally, the pre-66 GT cars 90 minute Masters Gentleman Drivers race.

This year's event pays tribute to John Surtees, famous for the unique achievement of being a world championship winner on bikes and in cars.

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