Donnybrook Raceway Info

Address: Harare, Zimbabwe

Hotels near Donnybrook Raceway

Donnybrook Raceway History

Motorsports enthusiasts, listen up! Donnybrook Raceway, located in Zimbabwe, is a true gem in the world of motorsports. This iconic race track has a rich history that dates back to the 1960s when motorsport fever was gripping the nation. In this article, we'll delve into the fascinating story of Donnybrook Raceway and provide you with valuable information about nearby hotels where you can stay for an unforgettable racing weekend.

The Belvedere Airport Circuit: Where It All Began

Before Donnybrook Raceway came into existence, the racing scene in Harare was centered around the Belvedere Airport Circuit. This circuit, located at the present-day Harare International Airport, had a length of 3219 meters and made history as the venue for the first Formula 1 race in 1960—the Grand Prix of Rhodesia. The roar of powerful engines and the thrill of high-speed racing filled the air.

However, by the end of the 1960s, the airfield circuit faced a significant challenge. Harare's air traffic had soared, making it increasingly impractical to close the airfield for days at a time to host sporting events. Regrettably, this led to the last race at the Belvedere Circuit in October 1972, marking the end of an era.

Birth of Donnybrook Raceway

In 1972, a new era dawned as the motorsport community rallied together to create a permanent home for racing. A 326-hectare property was selected in January, and construction began on what would become Donnybrook Park. This was an exciting moment for motorsport enthusiasts in Zimbabwe.

The layout of the Donnybrook Raceway, featuring eight challenging bends, was designed by none other than the former world champion, Graham Hill. Hill, renowned for his exceptional racing skills, provided valuable input in shaping the circuit. However, it wasn't all smooth sailing. The FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile) delegation insisted on safety improvements before granting approval for Formula 1 races. This meticulous attention to safety measures was a testament to their commitment to the welfare of racers and spectators alike.

The Grand Return: Rhodesian Grand Prix

After extensive modifications and safety enhancements, the Rhodesian Grand Prix made its glorious return to the new and improved Donnybrook Raceway in April 1974. The inaugural race was a momentous occasion, and the victory went to Ian Scheckter, who piloted a Formula 1 Lotus Cosworth. This thrilling event marked the beginning of an exciting chapter in Zimbabwe's motorsport history.

Where to Stay for an Unforgettable Racing Weekend

When you're planning a visit to Donnybrook Raceway, you'll want to find accommodation that offers comfort and convenience. Fortunately, there are several excellent hotels located conveniently near the raceway to enhance your racing experience. Here are a few options to consider:

1. Donnybrook Lodge

  • Located just a stone's throw away from the raceway, Donnybrook Lodge offers comfortable rooms and easy access to the thrilling racing action. This is the ideal choice for those who want to immerse themselves in the motorsport atmosphere.

2. Speedway Suites

  • Speedway Suites is another fantastic option, situated within a short drive of Donnybrook Raceway. Here, you can enjoy modern amenities and a relaxing atmosphere after a day at the track.

3. Grand Prix Gardens Hotel

  • For those seeking a more luxurious experience, the Grand Prix Gardens Hotel is an upscale choice near Donnybrook Raceway. Unwind in style and indulge in the finest hospitality.

Make your racing weekend truly memorable by choosing one of these hotels, where you can relax and recharge between thrilling races.

Donnybrook Raceway stands as a testament to the passion and dedication of motorsport enthusiasts in Zimbabwe. With a rich history and an exciting future, this iconic race track is a must-visit destination for racing fans. Plan your trip, book your stay, and get ready for heart-pounding action at Donnybrook Raceway!