Martin Donnelly (racing driver)

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Martin Donnelly
Martin Donnelly VW Scirocco R-Cup - 2012.jpg
Donnelly in 2012
Nationality United Kingdom British
Born (1964-03-26) 26 March 1964 (age 51)
Belfast, Northern Ireland
British Touring Car Championship career
Debut season 2015
Current team Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing
Car no. 85
Starts 3
Wins 0
Poles 0
Fastest laps 0
Previous series
2013
2012–13
2011
2010
2007–08
2004
2000
198990
1989
1989
1989
198889
1988
1987
1985
1984–85
1983, 1986–88
Scirocco R China Masters Challenge
Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup
Lotus Cup UK
Ginetta G50 Cup
Lotus On Track Elise Trophy
Britcar Endurance Championship
Lotus Sport Elise Championship
Formula One
Japanese Formula 3000
All Japan Sports Prototype Championship
SAT 1 Supercup
International Formula 3000
World Sportscar Championship
EFDA F3 Euroseries
European Formula Ford 2000
British Formula Ford 2000
British Formula Three
Formula One World Championship career
Active years 19891990
Teams Arrows, Lotus
Entries 15 (13 starts)
Championships 0
Wins 0
Podiums 0
Career points 0
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0
First entry 1989 French Grand Prix
Last entry 1990 Spanish Grand Prix

Hugh Peter Martin Donnelly (born 26 March 1964) is a motor racing driver from Belfast, Northern Ireland. After competing in Formula Three and Formula 3000 where he won 3 races and was a championship contender, Donnelly raced in Formula One in 1989 and 1990, until a serious crash during qualifying at the Jerez circuit ended his Formula One career.

Racing career[edit]

Formula One[edit]

During 1988, as well as his racing commitments, Donnelly was the test driver for Lotus Formula One team. But it was during 1989 that Donnelly got his first race start when he substituted for Arrows driver Derek Warwick at the 1989 French Grand Prix after Warwick injured his back in a non-competitive karting accident. He impressed in France qualifying 14th compared to his much more experienced team mate Eddie Cheever who started 25th on the grid. Donnelly finished his first F1 race 3 laps down in 12th place and was the last car running to finish while Cheever's experience told and he had a better race finishing only 1 lap down in 7th place.

In 1990 he continued in F1 with Lotus though this time not as a test driver but as a race driver alongside new team mate Derek Warwick. However, after a frustrating season of scoring no points driving the V12 powered Lotus-Lamborghini which often saw him retire with engine failure, he suffered a serious crash during practice at the Jerez circuit which ended his Formula One racing career. He sustained multiple injuries in the crash, including brain and lung contusions as well as severe leg fractures, the latter of which almost necessitated the amputation of his right leg.[1] This marked the end of Donnelly's career as an F1 driver.

After Formula One[edit]

Donnelly has since managed to race in smaller club events, and managed a Formula Vauxhall team. His involvement in club racing ended in 2004 when he filed for bankruptcy due to failure to pay taxes and legal disputes regarding driver contracts. In 2004, Donnelly raced a Mazda RX-8 in a Silverstone 24-Hour race, finishing in 27th place. 2006 saw Donnelly return to Lotus, participating in a track day sponsored by a Lotus owner's club. In September 2007, Donnelly beat 35 other Lotus Elises to win Class A in the Donington Park round of the Elise Trophy. This class win was closely followed by the race win in the 2nd Elise Trophy race of the day. Later in the season he raced at Spa-Francorchamps and in 2008, campaigned in a Lotus 2-Eleven. Donnelly continues to have a close relationship with Elise Trophy organisers LoTRDC, racing in a Lotus Evora in 2012 and he is currently working as a club steward for Lotus Cup Europe and Lotus Cup UK.[citation needed]

Donnelly worked as a driver development director for Comtec Racing in 2008. During this year, Norfolk county court records indicate Donnelly had continuing legal issues regarding driver contracts and a failure to pay child support. By 2009, Donnelly was no longer associated with Comtec Racing. In June 2010, Donnelly drove as a guest in the Ginetta G50 Cup at Oulton Park. On 2 July 2011 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Donnelly drove a Lotus 102 similar to that which nearly took his life. The Lamborghini-powered car was the same specification as the car he drove in 1990, the original car having been completely destroyed in the crash. He has been appointed as the driver representative on the FIA stewards panel for a number of F1 Grand Prix including most recently the 2012 and 2013 Canadian Grand Prix.[citation needed]

Having worked as sporting director and driver development manager at Comtec Racing, Donnelly has recently formed the Donnelly track academy specialising in Lotus trackday events and racing services in Norfolk.[2]

Donnelly made his British Touring Car Championship début in 2015, briefly driving for the works Infiniti-Support Our Paras Racing team, but the team's plans were thrown into disarray by the marque's subsequent withdrawal of its backing from the project, and he was replaced by Max Coates.[3]

Racing record[edit]

Complete International Formula 3000 results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 DC Points
1988 Jordan Racing JER VAL PAU SIL MNZ PER BRH
1
BIR
2
BUG
2
ZOL
Ret
DIJ
1
3rd 30
1989 Jordan Racing SIL
Ret
VAL
DSQ
PAU
Ret
JER
Ret
PER
Ret
BRH
1
BIR
3
SPA
Ret
BUG
7
DIJ
17
8th 13

Complete Japanese Formula 3000 results[edit]

(key)

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 DC Points
1989 Team Kygnus Tonen SUZ FUJ MIN SUZ
9
SUG
7
FUJ
Ret
SUZ SUZ NC 0

Complete Formula One results[edit]

(key)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 WDC Pts.
1989 Arrows Grand Prix International Arrows A11 Ford V8 BRA SMR MON MEX USA CAN FRA
12
GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR ESP JPN AUS NC 0
1990 Camel Team Lotus Lotus 102 Lamborghini V12 USA
DNS
BRA
Ret
SMR
8
MON
Ret
CAN
Ret
MEX
8
FRA
12
GBR
Ret
GER
Ret
HUN
7
BEL
12
ITA
Ret
POR
Ret
ESP
DNS
JPN AUS NC 0

Complete British Touring Car Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position – 1 point awarded in first race; races in italics indicate fastest lap – 1 point awarded all races; * signifies that driver lead race for at least one lap – 1 point awarded all races)

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 Pos Points
2015 Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing Infiniti Q50 BRH
1
BRH
2
BRH
3
DON
1
DON
2
DON
3
THR
1

20
THR
2

19
THR
3

Ret
OUL
1
OUL
2
OUL
3
CRO
1

CRO
2

CRO
3

SNE
1

SNE
2

SNE
3

KNO
1

KNO
2

KNO
3

ROC
1

ROC
2

ROC
3

SIL
1

SIL
2

SIL
3

BRH
1

BRH
2

BRH
3

28th* 0*

* Season in progress.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Martin Donnelly on the crash that almost killed him, f1fanatic.co.uk, 16 January 2010; accessed 9 December 2014.
  2. ^ "About Martin Donnelly". Donnelly Track Academy. Retrieved 26 April 2011. 
  3. ^ Mitchell, Scott (24 June 2015). "Max Coates replaces ex-F1 driver Martin Donnelly in BTCC". Autosport (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 24 June 2015. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Andy Wallace
Macau Grand Prix
Winner

1987
Succeeded by
Enrico Bertaggia