Donington Park

Located just off Jct 23a of the M1 Donington Park is easy to find and is situated right next to East Midlands Airport. The circuit is one of the truly great circuits in Europe with a mix of fast and slow corners and with one of the most famous sections in the world, the Craner Curves. Highlights in the circuits history include the 1993 European Grand Prix which is probably the most famous race won by Ayrton Senna. MSV purchased the circuit in 2017 and have upgraded facilities over the last two years.

Redgate is the first corner and is essentially a hairpin. The braking reference is the end of the chevrons at the end of the pit lane exit. Turn in is very late as is the apex, you can use the flat kerb on the inside and the exit of the corner to give you a little more room to carry more speed. At the top of the Craner Curves the first part is called Hollywood but is usually forgotten about: this should be approached from the middle of the track and the car should be eased to the right gently to arrive on the right hand side just as the circuit straightens out. A slight dab of the brakes will settle the car before the left in the centre of the Craner Curves. You can use the kerb on the inside. It is important to let the car run out to the right hand side of the circuit in order to not to load the car more than is necessary. At this point you should be aiming towards about two thirds of the way along the kerb on the left hand side. This is your turn point as you will be approaching this diagonally across the track and braking in a straight line across the track to your turn in point for the Old Hairpin. The apex kerb can be vicious if you take too much, so you will need to use all the road on the exit of the Old Hairpin. You only need to come two thirds of the way back across for Starkeys as you will need to use all the kerb on the left hand side. After this you will be looking up hill to the right; at the top you will turn in at the end of the kerb which gives you a straight line through Schwantz. If you take the kerb on the inside this gives you a good straight line brake for Mcleans. A late turn in here, and lots of the apex kerb, is the fastest way. Using the kerb on the exit is fine, it is just a little bumpy.

The run up to Coppice is steep so helps with braking; a good reference point is the kerb on the left hand side or the seem in the tarmac that runs across the track. The turn is very difficult to spot but its actually just as the circuit crests. It is essential to take as much of the apex kerb as possible as the corner continues to open all the way through. The run down the back straight is very featureless even more so now with the loss of the iconic Dunlop Bridge. Braking for the Goddards is bumpy and your reference point is the chicane that would take you onto the GP loop. The turn in is at the start of the concrete that is right by the marshals box, Once you have turned in, take a tight first apex and a shallow second apex to give you a good run onto the pit straight.

The longer GP Circuit leaves the main track just before Goddards so on approach down the back straight you will be on the right hand side of the track and braking will be just before the crest in the road. Foggartys chicane is very tight but important for a good run down the hill to the Melbourne hairpin. Braking for the hairpin is tricky because of the down hill approach use the kerb on the left side to judge your braking distance and then turn late and take a late apex to make the exit as straight as possible. The final hairpin is difficult as it seems to get tighter all the way through. The turn in point is around the final grid space which you can see painted on the track. It is important to be careful here as too much power to soon will either force you wide or cause you to spin.

A new restaurant/cafe has opened recently: Garage 39

Words kindly provided by Jamie Stanley.

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