The History of DoningtonDonington Park’s race circuit was one of the first race circuits in England and the first motorcycle race took place on Whit Monday 1931 on narrow lanes of the Donington Hall Estate. In 1933, the lanes were widened and the it was made a permanent venue for Grand Prix Racing, however World War II put a stop to racing as the circuit become requisitionedby the Military of Defense as a military vehicle depot.
It took four decades before racing returned to Donington and in 2010 the Motorsport Authorities announced that the track was fit for a return to motorsport after passing their safety inspection, since then, the venue and race circuit has become one of the nations favourites for all sorts of different events. Donington Park has since become the home to the British Moto GP Championships and the British Superbike Championships as the circuit’s twists and turns provide the crowd with a racing spectacle as the driver’s skills are really put to the test.
Lohen at Donington
Although we have had a shaky start to this year’s race season, the team were ready for the 4th Round of the Time Attack to begin at Donington. Going into this race, the team re-evaluated Bear’s capacity for power and after installing a new turbo for Round 3 at Brands Hatch, the car was mapped and fine-tuned. Polar Bear went from producing 280 BHP at Brands Hatch to producing 301bhp ready for her time on the track at Donington.
After the race at Donington was over, more tweaking and tuning was done and she was able to consistently produce 446 Nm torque. Before going to Round 5 at Oulton, a modified fuel lift pump was fitted and the team focused on tuning her drivability rather than her power.
The History of Oulton Park
Oulton Park’s race circuit began its life as the grounds to Oulton Hall until it was burnt down in 1929 and like most race circuits the land was then used as an army staging camp throughout the war. The Mid-Cheshire car club developed the track and built on the natural contours of the Cheshire Countryside and when in 1953, a crowd of 40,000 attended a race meeting Outlon Park’s future as a race circuit was assured. Its combination of stunning scenery and spectacular racing have made it one of the most striking and best loved circuits for spectators and competitors alike.
Crowds of up to 35,000 regularly visit the annual round of the British Touring Car Championships. As well as this, the circuit also host two rounds of the British Super Bike Championships. Outlon Park’s history has helped it become what it is today, and the circuit itself, continues to flourish under MSV’s guidance and remains one of Europe’s most reserved racetracks.
Lohen at Outlon
After the race at Donington was over, more tweaking and tuning was done and she was able to produce a whopping 470 Nm torque and 310 BHP but we dialled back the tuning to consistently produce a healthy 446 Nm torque and 301 BHP.
Further to this a modified fuel lift pump was installed to aid fuel pressures with the team focused on tuning her drivability rather than her power. Track testing took place on Friday evening, so our team headed down early to get prepared for the race, to feel how Polar Bear felt and to set up for the Tuner Fest which was taking place on the Saturday alongside the Time Attack event.
Tuner Fest sees a number of modern, retro, iconic, and desirable performance cars in a variety of styles, from a variety of manufactures come together to showcase everything that’s great about cars and although a huge rain storm took place while our team were setting the Lohen stand, the day was a success.
Saturday morning begin with another heavy shower, but the teamed remained hopeful for a good result as the wet conditions meant we could take full advantage of the Motec traction control system that had previously been set up on Polar Bear. However as the sun appeared and the track began to dry, the team soon realised that the stars were against us.
During Time Attack we race in the Club 2WD and 4WD category and while the times are separated into 2WD and 4WD cars, everyone is out on the track together. Martyn Henry in a Vauxhall Astra set the quickest lap in the 2WD sub-category at 1:33.643, and Neil Wrenn who set a lap time of 1:34.005 in a Honda Civic closely followed him. Although both the Lohen driver and car put in a worthy performance and set a lap time of 1:38.007 (our best time of the day), we were still playing catch up as some of the competition was producing 400-450+ BHP. Comparing best lap times meant that we finished in 9th place out 10 in the 2WD sub-category. The quickest lap in the 4WD sub-category was recorded at 1:29.763 by Josef Calleja in a Subaru Impreza, who was again followed closely by Ben Albery in a Mitsubishi Evo 7 in a time of 1:29.948.
Lohen’s Polar Bear performed on the track as expected, but we’d exhausted the power of the hardware installed, alternative options were being considered for Round 6 which is a double header taking place at Croft Race Circuit on the 2nd and 3rd September.
The History of Croft
Croft, like most race circuits in the UK, began its life as a Military Airfield. Local enthusiasts saw the potential of the runways and The Darlington & District Motor Club began organising events for both cars and motorcycles. In 1950 the Royal Automobile Club approved the circuit and a full calendar of events were organised.
By July 1964, a new racecourse had been built, and the first meeting took place on the 3rd August 1964 attracting a crowd of between 30,000 and 50,000 people. The new course was roughly triangular in shape and measured approximately 1.64 miles long. The circuit became famous for it tricky track layout which consisted of two long straights, a fast esses, three tight corners, and an unforgiving chicane built on railway sleepers. As the track surface deteriorated over the next few decades, a decision was made to build a rallycross circuit instead. By 1982, the circuit was complete and the sound of competitive car racing rang from the circuit again. In 1997, the track was extended to 2.127 miles and now uses a lot more of the old runways. It has remained one of the main British Touring Car Circuits and the British GT and F3 have also visited the circuit, which is where Sergio Perez set the lap record of 1m 13.656s in an F3 Dallara in 2008.
Lohen at Croft
Although we are only taking part in one of the two rounds at Croft this weekend, the team has installed an even bigger turbo and have made modifications to the fuel pump in preparation for Round 6 on the 2nd September. While these modifications wont necessarily improve Bear’s power any more, they will help to improve the cars drivability.
If you see our race truck on whist your on your travels, then don’t forget to tag us in using the hashtag #LohenMINI.