Donington 4H Classic: Endurance Back on the Map

Posted: 10th May 2017

Packed and Competitive Grid – International Support Races – Classic Trackday Sessions – Clubs and Traders in the Paddock – When's The Next One? ...

Full race results are here: donington4h-results.pdf

This weekend's four hour classic endurance race at Donington Park has firmly put endurance racing back on the map in the UK for the first time since the 1980s.

The combination of an endurance race with a packed, international and fiercely competitive grid, world class support races, classic trackday sessions and a paddock full of traders, celebrities and club display made for an incredibly successful weekend that has left everyone involved looking forward to next year's event.

Neate Racing 1979 Honda Harris Magnum

The four hour race itself went down to the wire, with the eventual winners Neate Racing Honda suffering from a failing gearbox while challengers Sweatshop Phase One saw their P&M Suzuki's motor fail with just twenty minutes of the race to run and Team Force who had made the running for much of the race suffering a similar fate. Further down the field the Classic 1000 class became a closely fought battle of the twins with an QRG Motorcycles BMW R90S eventually winning out. The UK teams could hold their heads high with FB Racing's Suzuki GSX-R750 finishing 5th overall and winning the F2 class and the BSK Speedworks BMW K100RS winning F1 Classic.

Joka Racing Yamaha 1986 FZR600

There were support races from the Lansdowne Classic Series and ICGP adding a whiff of two-stroke oil and the sound of British thunder to proceedings, and the circuit was kept constantly busy with fully-booked classic trackday sessions and classic race bike parades.

Simmi Performance 1984 Kawasaki Gpz750

The last time international endurance racing was attempted on this scale in the UK was in 2001 and 2002 when the FIM Endurance World Championship staged rounds at Brands Hatch and Silverstone with little impact; those events didn't have the breadth of activities we saw at Donington, nor the support from participants, sponsors or – perhaps most importantly – the paying public.

Gijs VanDijk 1974 Laverda 1000

Reaction to the event on social media has been overwhelmingly positive; everyone involved appears to have enjoyed themselves immensely. Suggestions for next year's event have included a pitwalk, a race that either starts earlier on Sunday or is run later on Saturday, big screens and some form of timing screen for public viewing and we're sure the organisers will do all they can with their resources to make the next event even better.

The next European Classic Series classic endurance race is at Spa on the 1st of July.

Full race results are here: donington4h-results.pdf

Race organisers Endurance Legends:

Championship organisers European Classic Series:

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Words and Photos: Martin Gelder

Honda CBX1000 on track in the classic trackday sessions