Former Formula 1 driver Martin Donnelly’s son will be making his motorsport debut in 2014, competing alongside his father in the MSVR-organised Elise Trophy, Lotus Cup UK and Lotus Cup UK Speed Championships.
Stefan Donnelly, 20, will compete in a Lotus Elise previously raced by World Land Speed Record holder Wing Commander Andy Green and former BBC F1 TV presenter Jake Humphrey, as well as his famous father. The pair will take part in sprints and races with the car this season.
The car will run to Production class rules, meaning that it is eligible for all three series. The Speed Championship takes in several sprint events around the UK and Stefan will be making his competition debut alongside his father at North Weald on 16 March. Round two will take place at Snetterton on 5-6 April, where Stefan will also race in the Elise Trophy, and pair up with Martin for the Lotus Cup UK mini-endurance race the same weekend.
Martin Donnelly, who drove for Team Lotus in F1, said: “I’ve been involved with motorsport all my life, when my father eventually arrived to the hospital after I was born he presented me with a shark nose Ferrari, which I still have. So it would have been inevitable that at some stage myself and Stefan would end up racing together. He is currently at Loughborough University doing sports so that he can be qualified enough to get involved in sports massage and nutrition in Formula One, so he is determined to reach the dizzy heights.
“A large part of this racing programme is down to Paul Golding from Lotus on Track for giving us the use of his Elise, and to our new Sponsors IDSystems from Norwich without whom this project would never have come together. It will give us the father-son bonding time, which all Dads need in these modern times with so many other electronic distractions!”
Son Stefan added: “With my Dad’s background in Motorsport it has been a long ambition of mine to be a racing driver, but unfortunately due to his career being cut short in F1, as a family we didn’t have the financial capability to allow me to get into a racing car. However this year with the backing from IDSystems it has allowed me for the first time to race alongside him in the Production class of Lotus Cup UK.
“This is my first year of car racing, and I have to be realistic with my ambitions for the season, as there are many quick and much more experienced guys that I am racing against. However, I hope to come on leaps and bounds during the course of the season with dad’s tuition, and we believe that with more race experience under my belt, we can start to challenge for podiums in the second half of the season. Hopefully I can try and keep dad on his toes with regard to lap times!
“We both can’t wait to get in the car and get some decent testing under way before the season starts.”
Tickets for the MSVR Season Starter meeting at Snetterton on 5/6 April are available from £10, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.
Photo courtesy of Derek Partridge.