Motor Racing: Grand Prix of Europe, Donington Park

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The Independent Online
THE first race in Europe on the Formula One grand prix circuit and the Easter weekend will combine to produce large crowds at Donington Park for the Grand Prix of Europe meeting from 9 to 11 April.

The Grand Prix is the third round of the championship after South Africa and Brazil and it will give the British public a chance to assess the Formula One teams early in the season at a venue better known for the British motorcycling grand prix.

The last motor racing grand prix was held there in 1938, but it remains a driver's track and the persistence pursuit of a Formula One race by Donington's owners has been rewarded. Set in natural parkland, the course is undulating with fast right-handers and sweeping corners. The natural swell of the land offers good spectating.

Page and Moy Ltd, of Leicester, has selected 22 hotels, varying in price, in the surrounding area for visitors seeking accommodation. The road network around Donington is comprehensive, but to avoid queues, Page and Moy will fly you by helicopter from the Quorn Country Hotel, south of Loughborough, to East Midlands Airport, which is adjacent to the circuit, for pounds 199 return. A return flight from London City Airport to East Midlands is also available on race day for pounds 189. The tour company organises return coach trips from 18 British venues and a ticket service is provided with service charge.

Airtrack Services Ltd, the Uxbridge- based motor racing travel company, is offering return flights from several British airports to East Midlands, starting at pounds 135 per person (tickets extra). Additionally, it can also provide hospitality at the Thistle Hotel at the airport, with transfer to circuit, costing pounds 199 plus VAT. This includes a grandstand seat.

Donington has its own hospitality suites for 20 people and camping and caravan facilities will be available.

Grand Prix of Europe, Donington Park, 9, 10, 11 April.

Donington Park, Castle Donington, Derby DE74 9BR. Booking Office: Tel: 0332-850955 or 810048. Credit card bookings: 0602-483456.

Admission (reduction if booked in advance). Centre transfer extra. Friday: pounds 16 (on day pounds 20) adults, pounds 5 (on day pounds 8) children 15 and under. Grandstand pounds 10 and free. Saturday: pounds 20 ( pounds 25), pounds 6 ( pounds 9). Grandstand pounds 20, free. Sunday: pounds 55 ( pounds 60), pounds 10 (15). Grandstands: Start and finish (infield), Redgate, McLeans, Coppice, Old Hairpin (infield) pounds 120 adults, pounds 60 children.

The circuit is adjacent to the East Midlands airport, three miles from junctions 23A/24 of the M1/M42/A42. Bus link from Loughborough and Derby railway stations.

Hospitality suites at Donington: Tel: 0332- 812919.

For further information on hotels, flights and hospitality, contact: Airtrack Services Ltd, 16-17 Windsor Street, Uxbridge UB8 1AB (Tel: 0895- 270921); Page and Moy Ltd, 136-140 London Road, Leicester LE2 1EN (Tel: 0533-524344).