Hundreds of enthusiasts attended the Donington Grand Prix Collection on May 1st to witness circuit owner Tom Wheatcroft and his son Kevin place a wreath at the Senna/Fangio Tribute Memorial in memory of the brilliant Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna. The occasion marked the precise anniversary, 10 years ago, of Ayrton Senna’s tragic death at Imola during the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.
The Grand Prix Collection and Donington Park have strong links with Ayrton Senna. It was at Donington Park that Senna achieved what is acknowledged to be his most memorable Grand Prix victory and where, on the opening lap of that 1993 European Grand Prix, he drove what many consider to be the greatest single lap in motorsport history, passing five cars in appalling weather conditions to lead at the end of that lap. Tom Wheatcroft was on the podium to present the trophy to his great friend.
Following Senna’s tragic death at Imola the following year, Wheatcroft was inspired to honor Senna—World Champion in 1988, 1990 and 1991—and another of his great friends, Argentinean Juan Manuel Fangio, who won the World Championship five times in the 1950s, by commissioning his own personal tribute to these great drivers in the form of a memorial at the Donington Grand Prix Collection. The tribute incorporates two life-size bronze figures of Ayrton Senna and Fangio placed on a marble plinth and displayed on an elevated granite base. The tribute has received the support of thousands of race fans worldwide, and is admired by the thousands of enthusiasts who visit the Collection each year.