Former Lotus F1 driver Martin Donnelly to drive passengers around Snetterton race circuit for charity

PUBLISHED: 10:15 03 September 2012 | UPDATED: 12:32 03 September 2012

Martin Donnelly, chief driving instructor for the driving academy at Lotus, and ex-F1 driver for the team.

Martin Donnelly, chief driving instructor for the driving academy at Lotus, and ex-F1 driver for the team.


A former F1 star will drive passengers around Snetterton race circuit as part of a bid to raise £50,000 for the families of sick children.

Martin Donnelly will be taking motoring fans on laps of Snetterton at the Charity Race Experience Day on Sunday, November 18, which is being backed by the EDP.

The former Formula 3 world champion raced for Camel Team Lotus, but his F1 career was cut short during qualifying at the Spanish Grand Prix in 1990, when his car’s suspension failed.

His injuries from the 140mph-crash were life threatening and he broke both his legs.

And Mr Donnelly, who is now chief instructor at Lotus driving academy, said his experiences after the crash persuaded him to help raise money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) at the Snetterton race day.

The Ulsterman said: “It is a very worthwhile charity. When I had my accident, my family had to come from Belfast to the east end of London for six weeks.

“You can imagine the cost of that.

“This charity does just that for families.”

Organised by businessmen Devin Grosse, Shawn Taylor and Kevin Foley, the race day raised £20,000 for the RMHC last year, but this time the organisers are looking to expand the event into a mini-Goodwood.

Money will be raised by people buying rides around the track in super and classic cars, donated for the day.

Mr Grosse, general manager, at Holiday Inn, in north Norwich, said: “We have been really encouraged by the generous support we have received since the launch.

“We’ve already had contact from great drivers, car clubs, fantastic cars registered, aircraft display teams and some real excitement building around the day.”

Supercars signed up include a Ferrari F430, a Lamborghini and an Aston Martin V12 Vantage.

There will also be classic cars including a Lotus Elan, and a Gordon Keeble from 1964.

Car clubs will also exhibit including the BMW Car Club, PistonHeads East Anglia and the Wensum TR Group.

The Wildcat Aerobatics team from Old Buckenham will perform an air display between 12pm and 1pm.

The rides are open to anyone over the age of 12 or 4ft 10ins tall and all money goes to charity. Entry is £5 per car.

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