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Little Classics News: 17 July 2014

Prodrive Collection Moves to Donington Park Museum

Prodrive Collection Moves to Donington Park Museum

Donington Park’s world famous Grand Prix Collection this week welcomes the arrival of its first ever display of rally cars, with the entire Prodrive Collection being re-housed in the onsite museum.

Prodrive’s multiple world championship winning display includes Colin McRae’s Subaru Impreza, the 1984 Rothmans Porsche 911 SC RS and even the little monster that is the 1986 Metro 6R4, all of which have been loaned to the Donington Collection by motorsport engineering and rallying company, Prodrive, as they prepare to move their HQ factories and offices.

The new collection now on show includes several rally championship winning cars, including the successful Prodrive built Ford BTCC winner. The Prodrive display, which will be housed in the museum’s Hall 5, will be open to the general public on the same entry ticket as Donington Park’s existing collection.

Donington’s Grand Prix Collection houses the world’s largest showcase of Grand Prix racing cars, displaying more than 130 race cars including the winning cars driven by past F1 World Champions such as Ascari, Mansell, Prost, Senna, Hill, Fangio, Piquet, Brabham and Stewart.

This special exhibition will remain at Donington Park for a minimum of one year and is expected to attract many new visitors to the museum, especially the many thousands of rally fans who are new to the Grand Prix Collection.

David Richards, Chairman of Prodrive, said: “The Donington Grand Prix collection has always been one of the best displays of racing cars in the world. It is therefore a fitting venue to house our own collection of race and rally cars from the last 30 years, where the public can continue to enjoy them, while we relocate to our new facilities in Banbury.”

Kevin Wheatcroft, Chairman of Donington Park, added: “It is a great honour to be chosen by Prodrive to host this superb collection of cars – especially when they come with so much great heritage.”

The Prodrive cars on show

1984 Porsche 911 SC RS

The first rally car Prodrive built in 1984 and which competed and won the Middle East Rally Championship with Saeed Al Hajri in 1984 & 85. It also competed in the European Rally Championship with Henri Toivonen.

1986 Metro 6R4

In 1986 Prodrive competed with the 6R4 in the British and Irish Tarmac Championship while also competing with the Porsche in the Middle East. The programme only lasted one year as Group B cars were banned at the end of the year. This is the car which competed at the RAC rally with Jimmy McRae.

1990 BMW E30 M3 Group A rally car

From 1987 to 1990, Prodrive competed in a number of European national rally championships, winning a number of titles. The BMW brought Prodrive its first ever WRC win in 1987 when Bernard Beguin won the Tour de Corse. This is the penultimate chassis of 36 built by Prodrive.

1992 Subaru Legacy RS Group A rally car

In 1990, Prodrive began its relationship with Subaru. The team first competed with the Subaru Legacy RS built to Group A regulations. Colin McRae won the British Championship in a Legacy RS in 1991 and 1992 and secured Subaru’s first WRC win at rally New Zealand in 1993 before it was immediately superseded by the Impreza.

1996 Subaru Impreza 555 Group A rally car

This is the car that Colin McRae drove at Rallye Catalyuna in 1996 - the last event of the year and the last time the Impreza Group A car would compete. His win on that event helped clinch the WRC manufacturers’ title for Subaru that year.

2000 Subaru Impreza WRC – Safari spec

This is Richard Burn’s winning car from the 2000 Safari Rally. Cars built for the Safari Rally were specifically designed to cater for the needs of this endurance event, with extra suspension travel, ‘bull’ bars and a snorkel for traversing deep water.

2011 MINI John Cooper Works WRC

This is the car that Dani Sordo drove in Rally GB in November 2011.

1998 Honda Accord Super Touring Car

This is James Thompson’s Super Touring Car from the 1998 season. He won four races in this car.

2000 Ford Mondeo Super Touring Car

This is Alain Menu’s BTCC winning car from 2000. It is the fastest British touring car of all time and was the last of the Super Touring Car era.

2004 BAR Honda F1 car

Prodrive ran the BA Honda F1 team from 2002-2004, turning it from a perennial under performer to the team which finished second in the constructors’ championship in 2004 and helped Jenson Button to his first podium finish.

Impreza P2

In 2005, Prodrive decided to design and build an all new performance road car. In just nine months the car went from the drawing board to being unveiled and subsequently test-driven by Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear.

For further information about Donington Park and the museum visit www.donington-park.co.uk



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