March 7th

Spectacular Donington Rally kick starts motorsport season in style!

A huge entry of 79 cars competed in Donington Park’s first motorsport event of the year yesterday, the Imperial Commercials Volkswagen Donington Rally, with the Ford Escort Mk2 of Ian Woodhouse and Paul Rowland taking overall honours.

Each team had to complete eight separate stages, which encompassed most of the racing circuit, as well as occasional off-track excursions on internal access roads, which proved a massive draw for spectators.

Battling cold conditions and the occasional snow flurry, the Woodhouse/Rowland combination eventually finished over half a minute clear of the field, with Gary and Gordon Adam finishing in second place in their similar Escort, with the unique Darrian T9V6 of Andy Fraser and Michael Calvert claiming third overall.

TV stunt driver Paul Swift looked set to claim victory after leading the rally at the halfway point, but technical drama with his Escort Mk2 forced him into retirement. That promoted the similar machine of Alan Kirkaldy and Garry Muir into the lead until they too succumbed to mechanical woes at the end of stage five, paving the way for Woodhouse and Rowland to claim glory.

Donington Park Managing Director Christopher Tate commented: “It was a great way to start the season at Donington Park, and very heartening to see a healthy turnout on a rather wintry Mother’s Day! Excitement was had by all who attended, and now, with the 2016 season properly underway, we look forward to welcoming hundreds of thousands of motorsport fans to Donington Park over the coming months.”

The next event at Donington Park is sports car racing from the 750 Motor Club on 19-20 March, before the popular Season Launch for the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) on Tuesday 22 March, with free public entry from 12.30pm. Hospitality taster packages are also available for the BTCC Season Launch from £35 per head. For more information and to book hospitality email hospitality@donington-park.co.uk.

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