Martin Donnelly To Make BTCC Debut With Infiniti At Thruxton

Former Lotus F1 racer Martin Donnelly will partake in the third meeting of the 2015 Dunlop MSA British Touring Championship at Thruxton, racing for the Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing squad.

The 51-year-old will replace Richard Hawken and partner regular driver Derek Palmer Jr in the second Infiniti Q50 machine for this weekend’s visit to Hampshire, the team using their single allotted driver change under TOCA TBL rules.

Donnelly, previously a race winner in Formula 3000 and British Formula 3, suffered severe injuries to his legs in a 140mph crash in qualifying for the 1990 Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez, also suffering bruising to his lungs and brain in the accident which prematurely ended his F1 career.

The Northern Irishman has since returned to racing and will this weekend become the 94th former F1 driver to take part in a BTCC meeting, for which he is eager to impress.

“It’s great to be involved with the inspiring Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing team, working alongside the injured ex-Paratroopers”, Donnelly said. “I’m looking forward to contributing to the team.

“I can relate to these guys with what they are trying to overcome with their disabilities, having suffered my own injuries back in 1990 at Jerez.

“Clearly it’s going to be a very steep learning curve, but I’m up for the challenge. My primary goal is to see the flag at the end of Sunday’s three races, and I’m looking forward to racing in the BTCC this weekend.”