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Pioneers of Donington celebrated at new book launch

Thursday, October 25 2018

A new book, Donington Park: The Pioneers, was launched at the circuit yesterday, with over 100 people associated with Donington past and present attending an event hosted by the author, John Bailie.

The book, 20 years in the making, celebrates Donington's unrivalled heritage as a motorsport venue in the UK, and recalls the history of the circuit from the 1930s onwards, documenting the legendary pre-war Grands Prix, it's requisition for military use, it's rebirth under Tom Wheatcroft in the 1970s, and the bright new era under MSV stewardship.

As well as telling the story of Donington and the key people behind it, the book is superbly illustrated with hundreds of historic images, offering a fantastic insight into the circuit's pre-war history, as well as a number of then and now images which vividly depict where the present day meets the past.

Author John Bailie commented: "It all started 20 years ago and it has taken a lot of effort but it's been hugely worthwhile. The people that I have met and the people who have helped me and been involved with the book, it has been an absolute privilege to meet all of them and without that assistance it would never have happened. It has been a great day today and the book has been extremely well received.

"Donington is such a wonderful place and I know its future is as bright as its past. It has a unique heritage - no other motorsport venue in the UK has a history and a community behind it like Donington's."

The launch saw numerous characters speak about their Donington memories, including the first circuit manager under Wheatcroft's stewardship, Ian Phillips, who went on to become the Commercial Director at Jordan F1, while Kevin Wheatcroft and MSV Chief Executive Jonathan Palmer also addressed the attendees, before helping Bailie launch the book at the end of the event.

Donington Park, The Pioneers is available online priced at £85 from several bookshops, including the MotorSport Magazine online store, Chaters Bookshop and at Hortons Books.