Used by BTCC, British Superbike and World Superbike championships, the fastest Donington Park lap times are set by a variety of different racing machinery. Whether you’re racing here or taking your car on a trackday you’ll be interested in the best lap times, so in this article we will list the fastest ever laps.
Donington circuit layouts & changes
Donington Park has two separate circuit layouts – National and Grand Prix circuits. The Grand Prix circuit at Donington is the longer of the two layouts. Both layouts are used at Donington events throughout the year.
If you are heading to Donington as a spectator, driver or team member, make sure you check out our complete guide to Donington Park circuit before you go.
In 2010 some renovation work was carried out to the circuit. One of the biggest changes here was remodelling Goddards chicane at the end of the lap. Before 2010, the back straight was slightly longer and the final chicane on the National circuit tied in with the last hairpin of the Grand Prix circuit, as in the old satelitte image below.
what is a good lap time at Donington Park?
‘Good’ lap times are very dependant on what car you are in. A good lap time in a GT3 RS is obviously very different to a good lap time in a Citreon C1 race car. And then there’s dry vs wet laps to consider.
As a very middle of the road example we can look at my lap times in my old Clio 172 track car. This is fully stripped out, cage’d, fitted with race-spec coilover suspension and running on semi-slick tyres.
Engine wise it is pretty standard but healthy, making 180bhp on the Dyno and weighing 950kg with half a tank of fuel on the scales. I’ve won a couple of saloon car championships over the years so consider myself a solid peddler.
The best laps I’ve done in my Clio are all on trackdays at Donington and are as follows. I wasn’t timing these, I have just looked at the video timestamps:
Clio 172 National circuit best laps:
Clio 172 Grand prix circuit best laps:
- Dry: 1 minute 50 seconds in the dry on Nankang AR1s (video example here)
road legal car - Donington Park lap record
In the battle for pub bragging rights, a couple of guys have been having a go at breaking the road legal lap record at Donington park. These aren’t official records, but if the lap is posted on YouTube and there are no other laps with video proof of a quicker time, then it stands!
The Donington Park National lap record seems to be slightly less competitively contested. After much YouTube searching, the fastest lap I can find in a road legal car set on a trackday is this 900bhp 9 litre Viper doing a 1:13.30.
Watching the video it’s clear there’s a lot more time to be had out of the car, but it sounds amazing. And its incredible grunt down the straights makes up for some performance left on the table round the corners.
The Grand Prix circuit lap record is more sought-after. Originally the record was held in a 991 GT3 RS driven by Leyton Clarke, a former GT racing river. The time was 1:34.29.
That was trumped in July 2022 by a GT2 RS with the Manthey Racing package and prepared by JCR Developments. The GT2 RS MR is the same car that held the Nurburgring production carlap record for a long time. This time it was driven by Jonny Cocker, another ex-professional racing driver, who set a time of 1:32.71.
motorsport lap records at Donington Park
Whilst the best road legal Donington Park lap times are very impressive, there are lap times set as part of race meetings which are even quicker. These guys will have spent many days testing their cars to perfect their chassis setups before competing.
Below are some of the fastest cars (and bikes) to have lapped Donington Park during a race weekend.
BTCC record - National circuit
The BTCC has been racing at Donington Park for decades, and has always been a fan favourite for spectators to watch at Donington. Remember Nigel Mansell wrecking his Super Touring Mondeo at Starkey’s Bridge? This attracts hundreds of thousands of fans each year, with massive queues to get in the main entrance to watch the best in the business go bumper-to-bumper.
In recent years during the NGTC (Next Generation Touring Car) era and now, since 2022, the Hybrid era, the BTCC has solely used the Donington Park National circuit layout. The fastest lap time since the circuit changes in 2010 was set by Jake Hill in 2022. He did a 1:08.42 in his BMW 330e M Sport touring car during qualifying, showing the new hybrid cars are slightly quicker than their pure-petrol predecessors.
British Superbike record - National circuit
The BSB championship is held on the Donington National circuit. In 2022 the fastest ever lap in the championship was set by Jason O’Halloran with a 1:05.29 lap.
Radical Challenge record - National circuit
Radicals are known for being incredibly fast on track, and this lap just goes to prove that. In 2017 Bradley Smith set the Radical lap record around the National circuit with a 1:05.35 lap, only a few hundreds of a second slower than the current British Superbike lap record. It’s a great lap to watch as well as he is right on the edge the whole way round.
Time Attack record - National circuit
Time Attack sees some of the fastest home-brew race cars in the UK go at it for fastest lap glory. Pretty much any car goes, and in 2019 the guys from FastR used an ex-GT3 Bentley race car to set the Time Attack lap record around the National Circuit.
Luke Clayton did a 1:05.59 lap in the big Bentley, going very nearly as fast at the British Superbike lap record.
World Superbike record - GP circuit
The World Superbike Championship uses the Grand Prix circuit at Donington Park, and is one of the busiest weekends of the year at this circuit with all car parks full to the brim. The lap record was set in 2022 by Jonathan Rea with a 1.26.23 lap time, the fastest lap ever by a motorbike around the Grand Prix circuit.
British GT Championship record - GP circuit
The British GT Championship uses the Donington Park Grand Prix circuit. The lap record for this series in recent years was set in a McLaren 720s GT3 in 2020 by the duo of Stewart Proctor / Joe Osbourne in qualifying, with a lap time of 1:26.58.
Donington Park lap record
The Donington Park lap record was set on the Grand Prix circuit in 2022. This was set by Harrison Newey in a 2004 McLaren MP4/19, originally driven by Kimi Raikkonen and designed by his father Adrian Newey. The lap time was a 1:16.83 for a full lap of the GP track, an incredible 10 seconds faster than either a GT3 car or a world superbike.
Watch the video to enjoy the glorious sounding V10 let loose on track.