BTCC at Donington Park

BTCC at Donington Park

I wrote yesterday about my son Xander’s first motor sport event, a trip to BTCC at Donington Park, and I mentioned how good a spectator sport it is, not just because of the quality of the racing, but also because of the quality of the access to the circuit, the pits and the teams and drivers. Donington Park is a great venue, so BTCC at Donington Park is a wonderful day for motor sports fans.

I went to BTCC at Donington Park in 2012, and had a great time. I went for the day by myself – it’s only a few miles from home for me – and was quite content walking around the circuit and stopping to take some pictures. As I mentioned in previous posts, there is great access to the teams and drivers at BTCC, and this included a trip down the pit lane, where some of the drivers were taking questions from fans and signing autographs. I am not an autograph hunter, so left that to those who are, but as always, was impressed with the simple, easy access to the action.

In the pit lane at the 2012 BTCC at Donington Park

In the pit lane at the 2012 BTCC at Donington Park

In the pit lane at the 2012 BTCC at Donington Park

In the pit lane at the 2012 BTCC at Donington Park

In the pit lane at the 2012 BTCC in Donington Park

There were even more formal interviews going on around us, that we could listen to, and watch the reaction of the drivers.

Adam Morgan and Zoe James in the pit lane ahead of the BTCC race at Donington Park in April 2012

Tony Hughes being interviewed in the Pit Lane at the 2012 BTCC in Donington Park

For those who like these things, the good access to the Pit Lane provided a good view of the engines.

The engine in the pit lane for the 2012 BTCC at Donington Park in April, 2012

Inside an engine at BTCC

We cleared the Pit Lane to allow some action to happen, and quickly the space where the fans had been walking was filled with the teams as they prepared to race.

Busy in the pit lane ahead of the BTCC at Donington Park in April 2012

Daniel Welch getting ready for the BTCC race at Donington Park in April 2012

Busy in the pit lane ahead of the BTCC at Donington Park in April 2012

The grid quickly filled up with cars…

Getting the grid ready for the BTCC event at Donington Park in April 2012
Liam Griffin on the grid during the BTCC at Donington Park in April 2012, with Gemma Newman holding the grid sign
Jason Plato getting ready for his race at the BTCC race at Donington Park in April 2012
Nick Foster getting ready for his race
Jeff Smith getting ready for his race
Tony Hughes on the grid for the BTCC race at Donington Park, April 2012
Liam Griffin on the grid
Chris James and Andy Neate on the grid
Adam Morgan getting ready for his race
Nick Foster getting ready for his race
Race Engineer getting ready for the race

Soon, there was action, and plenty of it. As quickly as the race kicked off, there were incidents and accidents through the field, in a race filled with overtaking.

BTCC Racing at Donington Park in April 2012
Rob Collard and Jason Plato after a collision in BTCC at Donington Park in April 2012
Jason Plato's damaged car in BTCC in Donington Park, April 2012
Jason Plato's damaged car in the pits at BTCC in Donington Park, April 2012

There was, of course, plenty of good racing.

BTCC Racing at Donington Park in April 2012
BTCC Racing at Donington Park in April 2012
BTCC Racing at Donington Park in April 2012

The chequered flag made it’s usual appearance, and signalled the end of the race.
The chequered flag in the second BTCC race at Donington Park in April 2012

The media gathered to interview the three drivers who would be occupying the podium.
ITV's Louise Goodman waits to interview the winning drivers at BTCC in Donington Park in April 2012

The drivers got out of the car, and the media were there to capture the moment, and the thoughts and views of the three drivers.
Gordon Sheddon inteviewed by ITV's Louise Goodman after his win in BTCC at Donington Park in April 2012
Gordon Sheddon inteviewed by ITV's Louise Goodman after his win in BTCC at Donington Park in April 2012
Gordon Sheddon inteviewed by ITV's Louise Goodman after his win in BTCC at Donington Park in April 2012
Gordon Sheddon inteviewed by ITV's Louise Goodman after his win in BTCC at Donington Park in April 2012
Mat Jackson parks and gets out of his car after finishing third at the BTCC in Donington Park in April 2012
ITV's Louise Goodman interviews Matt Neal after his second place in BTCC at Donington Park in April 2012
Gordon Sheddon inteviewed after his win in BTCC at Donington Park in April 2012
Matt Neal being interviewed after his second place in BTCC at Donington Park in April 2012
ITV's Louise Goodman interviews Mat Jackson after his third place in BTCC at Donington Park in April 2012
ITV's Louise Goodman interviews Matt Neal after his second place in BTCC at Donington Park in April 2012
ITV's Louise Goodman interviews Mat Jackson after his third place in BTCC at Donington Park in April 2012

The eagle eyed among fans may have spotted that among the convoy of tyres and other car parts moving from the pit lane was a golf buggy with three familiar faces sitting on it.
Tyres arrive for a BTCC race at Donington Park in BTCC in April 2012
Gordon Sheddon, Matt Neal and Mat Jackson, top three  at the BTCC race at Donington Park in April 2012, arrive at the podium
Gordon Sheddon, Matt Neal and Mat Jackson, top three  at the BTCC race at Donington Park in April 2012, arrive at the podium
Gordon Sheddon, Matt Neal and Mat Jackson celebrate their top three places on the podium at the BTCC race at Donington Park in April 2012

The three drivers, Gordon, Matt & Mat, got off the golf buggy and onto the podium.
Gordon Sheddon after winning the second BTCC race at Donington Park in April 2012
Mat Jackson with his trophy after coming third at the BTCC race at Donington Park in April 2012
Mat Jackson with his trophy after coming third at the BTCC race at Donington Park in April 2012
Matt Neal with his trophy after coming second at the BTCC race at Donington Park in April 2012
Gordon Sheddon with his trophy after winning at the BTCC race at Donington Park in April 2012
Gordon Sheddon with his trophy after winning at the BTCC race at Donington Park in April 2012

Once the trophies were distributed, it was time for the champagne.
Gordon Sheddon, Matt Neal and Mat Jackson celebrate their top three places on the podium at the BTCC race at Donington Park in April 2012
Gordon Sheddon, Matt Neal and Mat Jackson celebrate their top three places on the podium at the BTCC race at Donington Park in April 2012
Gordon Sheddon, Matt Neal and Mat Jackson celebrate their top three places on the podium at the BTCC race at Donington Park in April 2012
Gordon Sheddon, Matt Neal and Mat Jackson celebrate their top three places on the podium at the BTCC race at Donington Park in April 2012

After the champagne, there was the obligatory photo of the drivers on the podium.
Gordon Sheddon, Matt Neal and Mat Jackson celebrate their top three places on the podium at the BTCC race at Donington Park in April 2012

Of course, as well as BTCC, there were support races, including Ginettas and Porsches. Both provided the same level of access as BTCC. The Ginettas have a series of young drivers making their way through motorsport.
Ginetta Racing at the 2012 BTCC weekend at Donington Park in April 2012
Ginetta Racing at the 2012 BTCC weekend at Donington Park in April 2012
Ginetta Racing at the 2012 BTCC weekend at Donington Park in April 2012

There was some remarkably close racing from the Ginettas.
Ginetta Racing at the 2012 BTCC weekend at Donington Park in April 2012
Ginetta Racing at the 2012 BTCC weekend at Donington Park in April 2012

There were, of course, some casualties from the Ginetta race, but as always, the volunteer marshals, without whom motor sport as we know it could not happen, were on hand to save the day.
A crash in the Ginetta Racing at the 2012 BTCC weekend at Donington Park in April 2012
A crash in the Ginetta Racing at the 2012 BTCC weekend at Donington Park in April 2012

As normal, the chequered flag signalled the end of the race.
The chequered flag in the Ginetta Racing at the 2012 BTCC weekend at Donington Park in April 2012

The Ginettas were applauded back into the pits.
The Ginettas return to the pit lane at the 2012 BTCC event at Donington Park in April 2012
The Ginettas return to the pit lane at the 2012 BTCC event at Donington Park in April 2012
The Ginettas return to the pit lane at the 2012 BTCC event at Donington Park in April 2012

The podium for the Ginettas was also well received.
The Ginetta Junior podium at the 2012 BTCC weekend at Donington Park in April 2012
The Ginetta Junior podium at the 2012 BTCC weekend at Donington Park in April 2012
The Ginetta Junior podium at the 2012 BTCC weekend at Donington Park in April 2012
The Ginetta Junior podium at the 2012 BTCC weekend at Donington Park in April 2012
The Ginetta Junior podium at the 2012 BTCC weekend at Donington Park in April 2012

The Ginetta trophy at the BTCC support race at Donington Park in April 2012
The Ginetta trophy at the BTCC support race at Donington Park in April 2012

The Porsches were as popular as always, and there were some big names racing there.
Porsche Carrera Cup driver  Sam Tordoff in his garage at BTCC in Donington Park in April 2012
Porsche Carrera Cup driver Glyn Geddie in his garage at BTCC in Donington Park in April 2012

All in all, a good day, and a glimpse of bmi (and my) former office, and the newly announced home of Norton Motorcycles, Donington Hall.
Donington Hall from Donington Park, April 2012

If you get a chance, BTCC at Donington – or any of the other circuits – is definitely worth a visit.