Famous racing drivers celebrated at the Donington Historic Festival, the first major historic motorsport event of the season
This year’s Donington Historic Festival celebrates, among others, two legendary drivers from the early days of motor racing.
Tazio Nuvolari, one of the greatest racers of all time, will be celebrated in the Nuvolari Trophy race for pre-1950 Grand Prix cars. The diminutive Italian was a motorcycle racing champion who found his metier in cars, famously winning at Donington Park in 1938 in an Auto Union.
The HGPCA’s Nuvolari Trophy also celebrates the 80th anniversary of the 1936 Grand Prix at Donington Park, at which Richard Seaman and Hans Ruesch took the chequered flag in an ex-Nuvolari Scuderia Ferrari Alfa Romeo Tipo 8C-35.
Marques represented in the Nuvolari Trophy will include Alfa Romeo, Bugatti, ERA, Maserati, MG and Talbot Lago. There will be at least two unique entries, in the form of the Alta Norris Special and the Parnell MG, which competed at Donington Park in the late 1930s.
A selection of Bugattis will include 35s, 37s, 51s and a 59, alongside 4CL, 6CM, and 8CM Maseratis. English Racing Automobiles (ERA) was successful in the 1930s and six of its popular voiturette racers will be competing.
The Donington Historic Festival also celebrates Richard “Mad Jack” Shuttleworth with racing for pre-War sports cars.
In 1935, Shuttleworth won the first Donington Grand Prix in his Alfa Romeo P3. His exploits in cars and aircraft are legendary, and the organisers promise a suitably adventurous 40-minute race featuring cars from Bentley, Invicta and Alvis - with a driver change thrown in for good measure.
The festival also features touring car racers from the Fifties to the Nineties - encompassing the crowd-pleasing Super Touring cars from when the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) enjoyed unprecedented support from manufacturers. They were raced in the late Eighties and early Nineties by the likes of John Cleland, Steve Soper and Patrick Watts, all of whom will be competing at Donington.
There are also races for Seventies touring cars such as Ford Capris and Rover SD1s, along with pre-1966 cars such as the famed Lotus Cortina and Alfa Romeo GTA.
Other categories include Le Mans prototypes, pre-1950 Grand Prix cars and historic Formula 2.
Away from the track, there will be displays of Group B rally cars and historic karts, along with many hundreds of classic road cars from Alfa Romeo to Zil.
The Donington Historic Festival takes place at the Donington Park circuit in the East Midlands on April 30, May 1 and 2; www.doningtonhistoric.com Telegraph readers get a 20% discount off the advance discounted ticket prices by quoting DHFTEL16 when booking via www.doningtonhistoric.com or on 0844 873 7355. The Telegraph will be on sale every day, with a free souvenir bag while stocks last.
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