Website Exclusive: Donington Historic Festival welcomes return of the Tin-top Tourers
FOR MORE THAN FIVE DECADES, saloon car racing has driven enthusiasts crazy with excitement as they cheered on their favourite tin-top. The same passion will be felt as Donington Historic Festival returns to the iconic Donington Park Circuit from 28 to 30 April, 2017.
In a month of contrast, Donington Park will welcome the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship showcase featuring the latest generation of BTCC cars (15 and 16 April), followed by the return of historic touring cars from the 1950s to the 1990s (28 to 30 April). With high profile grids from the HSCC, HTCC, U2TC and HRDC, this is a perfect chance to see the origins of this exciting sport played out on the same arena that hosts the modern cars.
The HSCC Super Touring Car Challenge delivers the festival’s youngest cars of the weekend (1970 to 2000) but they are certainly not short of power. The Super Touring era of the BTCC remains a real highlight of the 59-year story of Britain's most successful race championship, and you can expect to see Honda Accords neck-and-neck with Vauxhall Vectras, Peugeot 406s and Volvo S40s – all in their original period livery. Races take place Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon.
The Tony Dron Trophy for Group 1 cars returns for the second year as part of the Historic Touring Car Challenge. Featuring landmark cars from the 1970s and 80s, high profile drivers are expected to take to the track to settle old scores – with past combatants including Steve Soper, Nick Whale and Henry Mann. Cars will line up for this exciting race just after lunch on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the U2TC Trophy marks a welcome return for pre-66 under two-litre Touring Cars. The Ford Lotus Cortina might be the most popular car on the grid but recent winners of this thrills and spills event have included the BMW 1800 TISA and the Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA. The races take place before lunch on Saturday and just after the lunch break on Sunday.
Finally, the HRDC ‘Touring Greats’ for pre-60 Touring Cars takes place Saturday afternoon, and the HRDC ‘Coys Trophy’ for pre-66 Touring Cars is scheduled for Sunday afternoon.
The HRDC’s ‘Touring Greats’ features a wildly diverse mix of tin-tops, ranging from Austin A35s and A40s to an Alfa Romeo Giulietta Ti Berlina and Volvo Amazon and, for those seeking out obscure British saloons, a Jowett Javelin!
In the HRDC ‘Coys Trophy’, expect David and Goliath action, with Mini Coopers lining-up alongside Jaguar Mk1 and 2 saloons, Lotus Cortinas and, for big-banger sound, the mighty V8-engined Ford Falcons and Mustangs.
Qualifying for all grids takes place on Friday, with plenty of race action lined up for the weekend. The new format is part of the festival’s ‘get involved’ theme for this year, with a diverse range of entertainment both on and off the track for spectators to experience.
Richard Grafton, commercial director of Historic Promotions – which organises Donington Historic Festival – commented: “Touring car content is always a real crowd-pleaser and, this year, we have more on-track action than ever. The new format means there will be plenty of tin-top exploits throughout the weekend and we are thrilled to host some truly iconic cars and drivers.”
The full list of grids comprises: ‘Mad Jack’ Pre-War Sports Cars; Historic Touring Car Challenge; U2TC, GT & Sports Car Cup; Stirling Moss Trophy; Royal Automobile Woodcote Trophy; HSCC Historic Formula 2 International Series; HRDC ‘Touring Greats’; HRDC ‘Coys Trophy’; Jaguar Classic Challenge; 1000 Km; HSCC Super Touring Car Challenge and two Formula Junior grids, the FJHRA/HSCC ‘Silverline’ Championship Front Engined Formula Juniors and Rear Engined Juniors. The full timetable is available to view at: http://www.doningtonhistoric.com/the-races/.
Advance tickets for Donington Historic Festival 2017 range from £16 for a Friday pass, up to £48 for a three-day package that will give access to all the weekend’s racing and other attractions. Children under 16 can visit the event for free, provided they are accompanied by an adult. Tickets are available online at www.doningtonhistoric.com or on the 24-hour hotline on 0844 873 7355 (charged at 7p per minute plus your network access charge).
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