The Donington 500 is the brainchild of Bob Adams, the Donington Park Director of Racing.
He has long been conscious of the seemingly ever increasing costs associated with getting into racing.
Some of those costs are real and others are just perceived, but the fact that getting into the sport has an aura of large expense is a very good reason for addressing the issue. Back in the day there were a plethora of one day race meetings that were completely stand alone – no practice day, no pre-event qualifying
– the whole thing was accomplished between 9.00am & 5.00pm on race day.
Of course there are a few such events still around, but none of them take place on the premier circuits like Donington Park, Brands Hatch or Silverstone. The Donington 500
is designed to recreate that 1990s style of race meeting, but with 21st century safety standards.
This event will be going back to the old school style of 3 races per class on the single day, so everyone will go home tired and happy having had a busy days racing. So let’s wind the clock back to 1992 (25 years ago
Bob was also keen to firmly establish the link between cheap racing and kids racing. Although most racing caters for adults, Bob is acutely aware that the link between youth racing and the future health of our sport is inescapable. Therefore, for the first time in modern racing, the Cool Fab Racing
Conti & Metrakit GP50s & GP70s will be sharing equal billing with the adult classes at an ACU sanctioned event with 3 races for these mini Grand Prix bikes.
Central to the event will be a 250 mile endurance race for CB500 machines - The Donington 250
– with teams of 2 or 3 riders. This will be “true endurance
” style with just one bike shared between the riders. This re-introduces the integral teamwork element that is missing from modern Tag-style endurance. Fuel stops, pad changes and getting the bike to the finish requires a level of teamwork not present in multiple machine races where swapping the transponder from one bike to another has eliminated much of this aspect of endurance. The team spirit engendered by this is awesome to be a part of.
The GB Racing Military Races
are already an established part of the Thundersport GB
set up, but this event will showcase the serving military riders with a full set of 3 championship races. These lads could be racing here at Donington Park one weekend and then risking their lives the very next week in order to protect the freedoms we all take for granted.
Finally, we will be running The Thundersport 21st Century Challenge
. This is an event for any rider born in the 21st Century riding a production based machine up to & including a 650cc twin. So Aprilia RS125s, Kawasaki ZX300s, KTM RC390s, Aprilia RRV450s, Honda CB500s, Suzuki SV650s, Kawasaki ER6s and any Formula 400 machine. The results will be based on a sealed handicap which will weight a riders performance assessed on the ultimate lap time possible on his/her machine.
As well as having Mini-Moto bikes on the Melbourne Loop a full days race action will be taking place simultaneously on the National circuit. For those who have never sampled the thrill of riding on two wheels, the Ron Haslam Race School
will be on site to give information and take bookings for their world renowned Honda Riding Skills courses. They supply everything you need to sample track action – helmets, boots, gloves and top quality race suits – so there is no initial outlay in finding out about the exciting world of motorcycle sport.
The full programme of events will include:- The Donington 500 Two-Fifty Endurance, GB Racing British Military Inter Services Challenge, Cool Fab Racing GP70 & GP50, The 21st Century Challenge, That’s 200 racing laps plus practice – all for just £5 admission, The event takes place on Sunday 13th August, so for a real taste of the nostalgic 1990s, make a special note in your diary.