Monday, 25 April 2011

A different sport

Donington Park
Sunday 24th April 2011

A first today for "All Roads Lead Somewhere" - photos and other information on a first ever visit to Donington Park for the European Truck Grand Prix. It was an advert in the Leicester Mercury newspaper about a 25% discount on tickets that caught my attention, and having asked the wife if she was interested and organised a dog sitter - thanks Mum! the tickets were booked at a cost of £25.50 including fee for both of us. Prior to leaving home we made the (excellent) decision to take our own food and chairs. We arrived at the circuit early as we had no idea what to expect in terms of, well everything. On entry we were told that there was full access to the inside of the track and paddock area and getting there early allowed us to get a good position inside @ Hollywood. The racing on offer consisted of four different categories:

1) FIA European Truck Racing Championship
2) Formula Renault BARC Championship
3) Legends Cars UK Championship
4) Pickup Truck Championship

The food and drink stalls located at the circuit are the usual fast food variety consisting of burgers, jacket potatoes, baguettes etc. An example of the prices are as follows:

Hot Drinks: £2
Jacket Potato & two fillings: £5
Potato Wedges: £3
Baguettes: between £5 and £6
Burgers: around £5

The first action on the track started around 9am with the trucks doing a 15 minute warm up and the first race itself @ 9.50am with the 14 lap Formula Renault BARC Championship. Between this and the next race (Legends Cars) at 11.20am was the qualifying for the trucks. Two more races then followed before a break for lunch. At the lunch break we decided to ditch our baggage back at the car and have a walk round looking at the trade stalls and paddock area. Opening the paddock area to the fans was a superb idea in my opinion and as well as a chance for the fans to meet the drivers there was also plenty of freebies on offer from Renault and the various teams. After lunch was the first of the two main events of the day with round 3 of the FIA European Truck Racing Championship and not surprisingly it was this that drew the most crowds track side. Three more races followed before the last race of the day @ 5pm - round 4 of truck racing. We decided to miss one of minor races to have another look round the paddock and this was excellent timing as the truck drivers were just coming into the area and signing posters etc for the fans - naturally as the saying goes "when in Rome". 

Results: (FIA European Truck Racing Championship)

Round 3
1st: 3 Jochen Hahn (Germany) 
2nd: 9 Uwe Nittel (Germany)
3rd: 4 Markus Ostreich (Germany)

Round 4
1st: 4 Markus Ostreich (Germany)
2nd: 3 Jochen Hahn (Germany)
3rd: 5 David Vrsecky (Czech Republic)

Admission: £25.50 (two adults + fee)
Programme: £5

Slideshows of the various categories of racing plus general ones of the circuit and paddock area are all below:

Legends Cars:

Formula Renault:

Pickup Trucks:

FIA European Trucks:
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