Photo of #11 Rob Hall - McLaren M23#11 Rob Hall - McLaren M23 . Testing at Donington Park Circuit near Derby in England. Thursday 25.02.2016. Photo: Dave Ayres - Picturesports #ThrowBackThursday would be an excellent title for the test at Donington Park this week. The weather played its part and delivered clear blue skies with bucket loads of winter sunshine under which the array of gorgeous cars made me a very happy photographer.
There was something for everyone, be it modern day F4 or F3 cars, classic sports cars, the new Ginetta G57 or one of the four or was it five classic F1 cars that were doing a lot more than circulating!
Test days are always a lot more interesting than you might imagine. Yes you can get days where one car does lap after lap, but normally there is always something interesting to look at. For example, it is one of the few times that you get to see the differences between cars that would otherwise never been seen together, such as a Ligier F1 car from the early 1980s, complete with side skirts and wings, running on track at the same time as the Ginetta G57. Different classes and different eras that were or will be top runners in their respective classes, yet so little difference in performance when run side by side.
Photo of James Hanson - McLaren M19AJames Hanson - McLaren M19A - Testing at Donington Park Circuit near Derby in England. Thursday 25.02.2016. Photo: Dave Ayres - Picturesports It isn’t often that you see a McLaren M19, resplendent in its Yardley livery, going around the outside of a Ford GT40 either. Two cars that under any other circumstances would never be seen on track together and also a testament to the commitment with which the cars are tested. They are certainly not Driving Miss Daisy.
As I have a liking for classic cars though, my personal favourites from Thursday have to be the Lister driven by Phil Keen and Simon Hadfield’s magnificent Aston Martin DB4R which had been returned to the original 2.5 litre engine from the 3 litre version and was now faster (better tyre to power match).
Perhaps best of all though, a fully booked test day and workable light for more than a few hours each day, signals the start of the motor racing season. Next weekend (5th March) it is the Guadix Circuit, Spain, then Castle Combe followed by the 24 Hours Series at Silverstone. Hibernation time is finally over.
Phil Keen - ListerPhil Keen - Lister - Testing at Donington Park Circuit near Derby in England. Thursday 25.02.2016. Photo: Dave Ayres - Picturesports Simon Hadfield - Aston Martin DBR4Simon Hadfield - Aston Martin DBR4 - Testing at Donington Park Circuit near Derby in England. Thursday 25.02.2016. Photo: Dave Ayres - Picturesports