A participant in the Donington Park vintage car rally was killed on Sunday when his vehicle crashed, according to a report by BBC News published today.
Christian Devereux, a vintage car fan from Chiswick, west London, was driving a 1965 Mini Cooper S – car number 67, when the fatal crash occurred. He was pronounced dead at the scene despite assistance from medics at the scene, according to race officials.
The accident took place on the Donington Park racetrack yesterday (Sunday 5 May) at about 4:30 pm (16:30 British Summer Time) in fine weather.
The cause of the crash is as yet unknown, but the Historic Sports Car Club and Motor Sports Association have made assurances towards working with the owners of the Donington Park track to determine the exact circumstances surrounding Mr. Devereux’s death.
Vintage car rallies are a major crowd-puller in the United Kingdom, with several national and European rallies taking place on British streets and racetracks every year. Cars from as far back as the 1920’s regularly make an appearance, and all vintage cars and their participants are expected to meet strict conditions on driving skills and vehicle roadworthiness, as well as being registered with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), the government body responsible for regulating drivers on UK roads.
A car race on the Melbourne Hairpin, part of the Donington Park Circuit where the victim was killed during a vintage car rally.
Several hundred people attended the Donington Park vintage rally at the Bank Holiday weekend. A series of races were organised at the racetrack in Leicestershire, which also hosts Moto GP and Superbike Championships.
Donington Park was the first ever permanent park circuit to open in the UK. In May 1931, the circuit’s maiden motorcycle race took place on the nearby Donington Hall Estate, before the track was widened in 1933 to accommodate Grand Prix Racing. It went into decline after the Second World War, when the British military acquiesced it for use as a vehicle depot. It came back to life in 1987, when the site was purchased by Tom Wheatcroft, a local motorsports fan who had amassed the world’s largest collection of vintage racing vehicles. He sponsored many of the new drivers who arrive for the public races at the re-opened Donington Park.
A traditionally British vehicle, the Mini Cooper S is highly sought after by collectors and racers.
The circuit, located near the village of Isley Walton, hosts a 1.9 mile track for the National Circuit, coupled with a nearly 2.5 mile stretch for Grand Prix races. The site also hosts exhibitions, conferences and has on-site cafes and a museum on motorsports history.
Investigations into the tragedy are also being held in conjunction with Leicestershire Police and local ambulance services.
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BBC London Newsroom on Twitter LINK
“Donington Park crash: Driver dies in historic touring car race” – BBC News Leicester LINK
“Donington Historic Festival” – Donington Park Racing Ltd LINK
“Circuit Information” – Donington Park Racing Ltd LINK
“History” – Donington Park Racing Ltd LINK