Donington hosts a number of large motorsport events each season, including the BTCC, BSB and Superbike World Championship. With a capacity of 120,000 spectators it can get very busy. Read this article for information on Donington Park parking, Starkey’s car park and the best ways to avoid the traffic entering / leaving the circuit.
trackday parking at Donington
If you are attending a trackday at Donington, whether as a driver in your own car or as a passenger, friend or support crew of another car or driver, parking is easy. Head to the paddock entrance via the Donington Park main entrance. At the paddock entrance there’ll be a man in the gate house who will direct to you to the correct bit of the paddock.
99% of the time the parking area for trackdays is everything to the East of Garage 39 café. If you have pre-reserved a pit garage, find your name on the garage and park inside it. If not, parking is available in the whole paddock area behind the garages.
on-site parking for race events
A number of big race events are held at Donington Park. These include the BTCC, BSB and World Superbike Championship as three of the biggest. On these weekends over 100,000 fans can attend the circuit to watch the racing. This makes parking a little interesting.
There are a number of on-site parking areas for race events. These are all free of charge (except Starkey’s – see next section). The below venue map shows the designated public car parking areas, and that they are more easily accessible via the Main entrance. This is where most spectator traffic is likely to be directed during a busy race weekend.
Which one of these Donington Park parking areas you should park in isn’t usually up to you, as once through the main entrance you will be directed by the marshals. But bear in mind that traffic leaving Donington at the end of a busy race meeting can be horrendous as it is all filtering out on to a single carriageway. So if you do have a choice, parking as close to the exit at possible is never a bad idea.
If you know which is your preferred viewing location as a spectator at Donington, you can always try and park as close to that as possible.
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.
Starkey's car park Donington
Starkey’s car park allows you to park your car on the edge of the track and have a fantastic view of the circuit without ever leaving your car. It is a separate parking area that you have to pre-purchase additional tickets for in advance.
It is located on the Northern side of the circuit and overlooks Craner Curves, the Old Hairpin and the Schwantz sequence of corners. If you were here in 1993 for the F1 you would have seen Senna pass Karl Wendlinger around the outside of Craner Curves in the pouring rain during his Lap of the Gods.
It is a fan favourite, but as it is so popular tickets for parking here often sell out well in advance. You can pre-purchase this on the website at the time of booking.
General admission tickets are still required if you purchase a Starkey’s car park ticket. To purchase a Starkey’s parking ticket, you need to enter the usual ticket booking process on the Donington website. If Starkey’s car park is available for your selected race weekend, you can buy tickets for this in Stage 4 ‘Optional Extras’ of the booking process. Tickets are usually around £15 – £20 and you just need one per vehicle.
Starkey’s car park at Donington is best accessed via the East entrance to the circuit. Even if most traffic is being directed to the main entrance, tell the marshals you have tickets for Starkey’s car park and they should let you through the East Entrance. And perhaps more importantly you should also be able to leave via the East entrance, hopefully missing most of the queues to leave via the Main entrance.
Below you can see the bridge and the parking area up the hill behind the black and white barriers.
Donington Park disabled parking
There is a specific disabled parking area located on the outside of Coppice corner. This is for disabled badge holders only, and has an excellent view of this part of the track.
This parking area is best accessed by the East Entrance.
Donington off-site parking
If you cannot face queuing to get in or out of the circuit during a busy race weekend then I don’t blame you. Stories of 3 hours of queuing at either end of the day during MotoGP are not unheard of.
There are a couple of ways to avoid this. One is to camp at Donington, either within the circuit or the nearby campsite.
The other option is to use a nearby driveway to park in. The best way to explore this option is to look on Justpark and search for Donington Park circuit. I have done that on the screenshot below, and set the date for the 2nd of July 2023 which is the main day for the World Superbike Championship at Donington.
As you can see above, a few nearby options have popped up for not a lot of money. These are all reservable in advance and are a great option if you’re happy to walk for 15 to 20 minutes, rather than sit in your car waiting to leave the circuit for a few hours.
Bear in mind the quoted walking time is to the Donington Park Circuit pin in the centre of the infield, so to get to the entrance gates will be less than the stated time.
Download Festival parking
Parking is available on-site at Donington Park for Download festival, but is not free. Parking passes have to be purchased for each vehicle. See the Download festival website for more information.