Two-Stroke Grand Prix bikes come home......
Donington Park is probably one of the most famous circuits in the UK with a history of bike racing that goes back to 1931. It was for so long the hosted the Moto GP series and famously was the place where World Superbikes were launched back in 1988.
The run through Redgate... Hollywood... Craner... Old Hairpin... Starkeys... Schwantz... McLeans and Coppice is one of the most important series of corners to get right anywhere in the world if you want a good lap time. Each corner is vital....but each one also offers an overtaking opportunity.
With the circuit's history of Grand Prix racing it is very apt that this round plays host to the official 250 British GP, as the 250GP ACU National championship runners are joined by a host of European riders to give us the best 250 GP line up since the class was lost at world level. The ACU, the sports UK governing body have now also handed the running of the National 125GP series to NG Road Racing, making it the best place to see two-strokes (....read proper race bikes !!!) competing in the UK. Current champion Philip Atkinson will want to put his Cadwell machine issues behind him, as he takes on two other former champs in Ant Hodson and Dan Jackson..... there is a rumour that another ex-champ Chris Martin may also be on the grid........ watch this space !!
As well as the National series there is also the full race of NG Championships, from the teenagers on the Formula 125 with James Hind and Josh Singh of production 125 Aprilias. As in 2015 Tim Bradley is the man to beat on F400's but Simon Gates loves Donington so he may have a challenge on his hands this weekend.
Josh Day and Max Symonds head the 600cc and open runners but Roo Cotton, Chris Pope, Michael Blank and a host of other superbike men will want to peg there points gap back in the open.
Paul Jeffery sits atop the Streetstock championship on his R1 but Jim Walker and former class champ Richard Hughes are well in touch in this very even battle.
Pre Injections.... Ducati Desmo.... GP45's.... Mini Twins.... Sound of Thunder.... Super Twins.... Prostocks and Sidecars are all on the program. So whatever you taste in racing your appetite will be well and truly satisfied this weekend...... The Phoenix Open
With eight-time champ Phil Bevan taking a year out of the NG series the fight is on for a new name on the club's premier trophy. Josh Day and Max Symonds are currently tied at the top on 111 points with Roo Cotton and Chris Pope on new R1 Yamaha's playing catch up...... The ACU / FSRA British F2 Sidecars
Its not all about the two wheeled machines as this weekend also sees the National F2 sidecars on track, with this the last outing for many before the all important Isle of Man TT. Last years Champs Alan Founds/Tom Peters are taking a year out and John Holden is on the World sidecar trail so that could see 2012 champs Ian and Carl Bell going for another title. Keep an eye out for Lee Crawford/Pat Farrance who ended 2015 in great form as well as Conrad Harrison/Lee Patterson who will have half an eye on the TT....... The Circuit
This 1.96 mile race track is fast and flowing with a series of high speed sweeping corners opening out onto the fast and undulating Dunlop straight. Donington is all about high corner speed and smooth riding. You will see a lot of high speed overtaking as well as bravery in the braking areas at Roberts, Redgate and the Old Hairpin.....but be warned if you get one corner wrong, your lap has gone ! The Fastest
John Day holds the fastest NG lap here at 1 min 10.43sec. That is an average on 100.03mph when he was on his WH Bond/Be Wiser ZX10 Kawasaki, set in May 2013 in what were ideal racing conditions......it will a tough time to beat !!. Get one corner wrong….and the lap is gone !!!.
Meeting three of 2016 means rounds 5 and 6 of the NG championship series that kicked off in style at Brands Hatch followed by Cadwell Park now heads for Donington Park. A good lap relies on the spectacular run from Redgate, through Hollywood, Craner, Old Hairpin, Schwantz, McLeans and Coppice…..get it wrong and the lap is gone !!
For so long Donington was the home of the British GP, and this weekend we can see the cream of the UK’s riders battling it out in not just one but two three National series as The 250 GP ACU National runners are joined by the ACU/FSRA F2 Sidecars. In fact to be fair the 250’s are this weekend rated as a European event so expect to see a few overseas names taking on the regulars.
Also on track there will be the full range of NG classes with the Phoenix Open the focus for many. So whatever your racing tastes there is something for you………. Admission Prices
Ticket Type Sat Sun Adults £17 £17 (Two-day weekend ticket just £30 - concessions available for OAP's) Children (U13) Free Free (If accompanied by an adult)
Paddock Access Free Free
For full conditions of admission and to take advantage of online bookings - www.donington-park.co.uk Directions to the Circuit
Situated on the Derbyshire/Leicestershire boarder, next to East Midlands airport off the A453. Donington Park Brown Circuit signs are evident from all directions - Sat Nav: DE74 2RP What’s on track
20 NG Road Racing championship split into qualifiers and final for each of the classes. That means some 8 hours of on track action each day. I suggest you get in nice and early, take a wander around the paddock and soak up the atmosphere as the riders go through technical inspection and free practice before taking to the track in anger for the qualifiers in seeded championship order. The main finals kick off early afternoon when all the championship points and prizes are contested.
Feature races: 250GP ACU National Championship The Ducati Sporting Club Desmo Due Series, The Phoenix Open The ACU / FSRA Formula 2 Sidecars
NG Support classes: F125 125GP Moto 3 F400 GP45 500cc 600cc Powerbike Sound of Thunder Super Twin Mini Twin Streetstock Pre Injection Formula Prostocks | Sidecars Newcomers
Words : Russ Gardner - NG Road Racing Media Officer
Images : EDP Photo News - www.edpphotonews.co.uk