No UK race circuit has a more fascinating and varied history than that of Donington Park. Situated in the parkland of 18th century stately home Donington Hall, the first races took place on the Hall’s estate roads before the creation of a formal race track in the early 1930s, which means Donington lays claim to being the oldest established race track in the UK. Donington Park is now host to some of the biggest rock stars on the planet through its “Monsters of Rock” festival, as well as presenting one of the largest and most diverse motorcycle sport calenders in the UK. Donington Hall’s original owner, Francis Rawdon-Hastings, 2nd Earl of Moira, would scarcely recognise the vibrant hub with a huge following of loyal fans that is Donington today. In recognition of its unique history, Donington Park is home to a museum of motor racing and the popular annual Donington Historic Festival
Silverstone’s accessible location, historical associations and outstanding contribution to the heritage of motor racing in the UK have given this internationally renowned circuit a unique place in British hearts. Built on the site of a former second world war RAF bomber station whose triangular runways still exist within the racetrack, Silverstone testifies to both the determination and tenacity of wartime Britain and the technical motoring expertise and enthusiasm of the postwar decade. Known as “The Home of British Motor Racing”, Silverstone has seen many British firsts since the first informal races in the late 1940s, which took place on the runways themselves using nothing more sophisticated than hay bales to mark the race track perimeter. Inevitably, the long fast straights and sharp corners of the original race track have been redesigned over the years. Another reason Silverstone circuit is very popular, is for its driving experiences, which are open to the public. If you are a racing fanatic, there is nothing more entertaining than driving a supercar full speed around the race track as you were a pro. With hundreds of cars to choose from, motor enthusiasts flock in the thousands to give it their all around this legendary circuit.
With the acquisition of a lease on the former airfield from the Ministry of Defence, the RAC moved swiftly to reinstate a genuinely British Grand Prix. the last event of this kind having taken place at Brooklands in 1927. Since then the race track has hosted both the F1 Car Grand Prix and Motorcycle Grand Prix, and is home to the elite British Racing Drivers’ Club.
Set in the stunning Cheshire countryside of a former manorial estate, Oulton Park is the jewel in the crown of northern motor sport. Oulton Park was established in the 1950s, by which time interest in post war racing was rising fast, with emerging charismatic drivers such as Stirling Moss amassing fan bases through the equally popular medium of television. Moss was to prove a firm favourite at Oulton Park, taking the Gold Cup in a series of victories throughout the late 1950s and early 1960s. From his first win in 1954 when his superior driving skills brought him from the back of the field in his Maserati 250F to beat the 19 other competitors, it was clear that Moss was going to be a legend in his lifetime.
Oulton Park’s uniquely challenging and adaptable race track has held its appeal throughout the challenging times that motor sport has faced since those early heady post war days. The venue has always drawn crowds from the neighbouring areas of urban Greater Manchester and Merseyside, and has firm fans in nearby classic car clubs of the north west. Easily accessible from Scotland, too, it was an obvious choice for rising star Jackie Stewart in the 1960s. Now Sir Jackie, the F1 driver has particularly fond memories of his Gold Cup successes at this demanding iconic north west race track.