Alfa Romeo Automobiles S.p. A. is an Italian luxury car manufacturer, founded by Frenchman Alexandre Darracq as A. L. F. A. on 24 June 1910, in Milan. The brand is known for sporty vehicles and has been involved in car racing since 1911; the company was owned by Italian state holding company Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale between 1932 and 1986, when it became a part of the Fiat Group. In February 2007, the Alfa Romeo brand became Alfa Romeo Automobiles S.p. A. A subsidiary of Fiat Group Automobiles, now Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Italy; the company that became Alfa Romeo was founded as Società Anonima Italiana Darracq in 1906 by the French automobile firm of Alexandre Darracq, with Italian investors. In late 1909, the Italian Darracq cars were selling and the Italian partners of the company hired Giuseppe Merosi to design new cars. On 24 June 1910, a new company was founded named A. L. F. A. Still in partnership with Darracq; the first non-Darracq car produced by the company was the 1910 24 HP, designed by Merosi.
A. L. F. A. Ventured into motor racing, with drivers Franchini and Ronzoni competing in the 1911 Targa Florio with two 24-hp models. In August 1915, the company came under the direction of Neapolitan entrepreneur Nicola Romeo, who converted the factory to produce military hardware for the Italian and Allied war efforts. In 1920, the name of the company was changed to Alfa Romeo with the Torpedo 20–30 HP the first car to be so badged. In 1921, the Banca Italiana di Sconto. Nicola Romeo & Co, went broke and the government needed to support the industrial companies involved, among, Alfa Romeo, through the "Consorzio per Sovvenzioni sui Valori Industriali". In 1925, the railway activities were separated from the Romeo company, in 1928, Nicola Romeo left. In 1933, the state ownership was reorganized under the banner of the Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale by Benito Mussolini's government, which had effective control; the company struggled to return to profitability after the Second World War, turned to mass-producing small vehicles rather than hand-building luxury models.
In 1954, it developed the Alfa Romeo Twin Cam engine, which would remain in production until 1994. During the 1960s and 1970s, Alfa Romeo produced a number of sporty cars, but struggled to make a profit, so Istituto per la Reconstruzione, the state conglomerate that controls Finmeccanica sold the marque to the Fiat Group in 1986. Alfa Romeo has competed in Grand Prix motor racing, Formula One, sportscar racing, touring car racing, rallies, it has competed both as a constructor and an engine supplier, via works entries, private entries. The first racing car was made in 1913, three years after the foundation of the company, Alfa Romeo won the inaugural world championship for Grand Prix cars in 1925; the race victories gave a sporty image to the marque, Enzo Ferrari founded the Scuderia Ferrari racing team in 1929 as an Alfa Romeo racing team, before becoming independent in 1939. It has had the most wins of any marque in the world; the company's name is a combination of the original name, "A. L. F.
A.", the last name of entrepreneur Nicola Romeo, who took control of the company in 1915. The company that became Alfa Romeo was founded as Società Anonima Italiana Darracq in 1906 by the French automobile firm of Alexandre Darracq, with some Italian investors. One of them, Cavaliere Ugo Stella, an aristocrat from Milan, became chairman of the SAID in 1909; the firm's initial location was in Naples, but before the construction of the planned factory had started, Darracq decided late in 1906 that Milan would be more suitable and accordingly a tract of land was acquired in the Milan suburb of Portello, where a new factory of 6,700 square metres was erected. Late 1909, the Italian Darracq cars were selling and Stella, with the other Italian co-investors, founded a new company named A. L. F. A. Still in partnership with Darracq; the first non-Darracq car produced by the company was the 1910 24 HP, designed by Giuseppe Merosi, hired in 1909 for designing new cars more suited to the Italian market. Merosi would go on to design a series of new A.
L. F. A. Cars, with more powerful engines. A. L. F. A. Ventured into motor racing, with drivers Franchini and Ronzoni competing in the 1911 Targa Florio with two 24-hp models. In 1914, an advanced Grand Prix car was designed and built, the GP1914, with a four-cylinder engine, double overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, twin ignition. However, the onset of the First World War halted automobile production at A. L. F. A. for three years. In August 1915, the company came under the direction of Neapolitan entrepreneur Nicola Romeo, who converted the factory to produce military hardware for the Italian and Allied war efforts. Munitions, aircraft engines and other components and generators based on the company's existing car engines were produced in a vastly enlarged factory during the war. After the war, Romeo invested his war profits in acquiring locomotive and railway carriage plants in Saronno and Naples, which were added to his A. L. F. A. Ownership. Car production had not been considered at first, but resumed in 1919 since parts for the completion of 105 cars had remained at the A.
L. F. A. Factory since 1915. In 1920, the name of the company was changed to Alfa Romeo with the Torpedo 20–30 HP the first car to be so badged, their first success came in 1920 whe
Motorsport or motor sport is a global term used to encompass the group of competitive sporting events which involve the use of motorised vehicles, whether for racing or non-racing competition. The terminology can be used to describe forms of competition of two-wheeled motorised vehicles under the banner of motorcycle racing, includes off-road racing such as motocross. Four- wheeled motorsport competition is globally governed by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile; the Union Internationale Motonautique governs powerboat racing while the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale governs air sports. In 1894, a French newspaper organised a race from Paris to Rouen and back, starting city to city racing. In 1900, the Gordon Bennett Cup was established. Closed circuit racing arose. Brooklands was the first dedicated motor racing track in the United Kingdom. Following World War I, European countries organised Grand Prix races over closed courses. In the United States, dirt track racing became popular.
After World War II, the Grand Prix circuit became more formally organised. In the United States, stock car racing and drag racing became established. Motorsports became divided by types of motor vehicles into racing events, their appropriate organisations. Motor racing is the subset of motorsport activities which involve competitors racing against each other; the Red Bull RB8, the 2012 Formula One World Championship winning car Formula racing is a set of classes of motor vehicles, with their wheels outside, not contained by, any bodywork of their vehicle. These have been globally classified as specific'Formula' series - the most common being Formula One, many others include the likes of Formula 3, Formula Ford, Formula Renault and Formula Palmer Audi. However, in North America, the IndyCar series is their pinnacle open-wheeled racing series. More new open-wheeled series have been created, originating in Europe, which omit the'Formula' moniker, such as GP2 and GP3. Former ` Formula' series include Formula Two.
Formula One is a class of single-seat and open-wheel grand prix closed course racing, governed by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, organized by the owned company Formula One Group. The formula regulations contain a strict set of rules which govern vehicle power and size. Formula E is a class of open-wheel auto racing; the series was conceived in 2012, the inaugural championship started in Beijing on 13 September 2014. The series is sanctioned by the FIA and races a spec chassis/battery combination with manufacturers allowed to develop their own electric power-trains; the series has gained significant traction in recent years. A series originated on June 1909 in Portland, Oregon at its first race. Shortly after, Indianapolis Motor Speedway opened in 1909 and held races that ranged from 50-200 miles, its premier race is the Indianapolis 500 which began on May 11th, 1911 and a tradition was born. Today, Indycar operates a full schedule with over 40 different drivers; the current schedule includes 14 tracks over the course of 17 races per season.
Josef Newgarden was crowned current champion of the Indycar Series at Sonoma Raceway on September 17th, 2017 in Sonoma, California. Enclosed wheel racing is a set of classes of vehicles, where the wheels are enclosed inside the bodywork of the vehicle, similar to a North American'stock car'. Sports car racing is a set of classes of vehicles, over a closed course track, including sports cars, specialised racing types; the premiere race is the 24 Hours of Le Mans which takes place annually in France during the month of June. Sports car racing rules and specifications differentiate in North America from established international sanctioning bodies. Stock car racing is a set of vehicles that race over a speedway track, organized by NASCAR. While once stock cars, the vehicles are now purpose built, but resemble the body design and shape of production cars. Bootleggers throughout the Carolinas are credited for the origins of NASCAR due to the resistance during the prohibition. Many of the vehicles were modified to increase top speed and handling, to provide the bootleggers with an advantage toward the vehicles local law enforcement would use in the area.
An important part to the modifications of stock cars, was to increase the performance of the vehicle while maintaining the same exterior look giving it the name Stock car racing. Many legends in NASCAR originated as bootleggers in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina like Junior Johnson. Organized oval racing began on Daytona Beach in Florida as a hobby but gained interest from all over the country; as oval racing became larger and larger, a group gathered in hopes to form a sanctioning body for the sport. NASCAR was organized in 1947. Daytona Beach and Road Course was founded where land speed records were set on the beach, including part of A1A; the highlight of the stock car calendar is the season-opening Daytona 500 nicknamed'The Great American Race', held at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. NASCAR has now held over 2,500 sanctioned events over the course of 70 seasons. Richard Petty is known as the king of NASCAR with over 200 recorded wins in the series and has competed in 1,184 races in his career.
Touring car racing is a set of vehicles, modified street cars, that race over closed purpose built race tracks and street courses. Off-Road Racing is a group
Pau Grand Prix
The Pau Grand Prix is a motor race held in Pau, in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department of southwestern France. The French Grand Prix was held at Pau in 1930, leading to the annual Pau Grand Prix being inaugurated in 1933, it was not run during World War II. The race takes place around the centre of the city, where public roads are closed to form a street circuit, over the years the event has variously conformed to the rules of Grand Prix racing, Formula One, Formula Two, Formula 3000, Formula Three, Formula Libre, sports car racing, touring car racing; the race is run around a street circuit, the "Circuit de Pau-Ville" laid out round the French town, is in many ways similar to the more famous Formula One Monaco Grand Prix. About 20 km to the west of the city, there is a 3 km long club track named Circuit Pau-Arnos. For the event, cars are set up with greater suspension travel than is utilised at a purpose-built racing circuit to minimise the effect of running on the more undulating tarmac of the street circuit.
In 1900, as part of the'Semaine de Pau', the newly created Automobile-club du Béarn held a race on a 300 km road circuit, called the Circuit du sud-ouest. The race was given the same name as the circuit, was won by René de Knyff. In 1901, for the second event, the race had individual prizes for the four separate classes of entrants: The Grand Prix de Pau was awarded to Maurice Farman; the Grand Prix du Palais d'Hiver was awarded to Henri Farman. The second Grand Prix du Palais d'Hiver; the Prix du Béarn was awarded to Osmont in a'De Dion' tricycle. The French Grand Prix was held at Pau in 1930; the 1933 Grand Prix de Pau was held in February with snow still on the ground. The race was won by Marcel Lehoux driving a Bugatti. There was no Grand Prix in 1934, in 1935 the event returned with a modified route that bypassed Beaumont Park – the route, still in use today – and the location of the pits was moved. In 1937, the regulations were changed and Grand Prix cars were restricted to 4500 cc. In 1938, the Pau Grand Prix was the scene of a symbolic duel between French René Dreyfus and the German Rudolf Caracciola.
In 1939, another duel took place between two Mercedes teammates, Hermann Lang and Manfred von Brauchitsch. The event took place with a race every year, except during World War II, but returned to the calendar in 1947; the 1947 and 1948 events were successful keeping the public in suspense from start to finish. In 1948, the young Nello Pagani won, defeating many of the famous drivers of the time, such as Raymond Sommer, Philippe Etancelin and Jean-Pierre Wimille. In 1949, Juan Manuel Fangio won by dominating the event, he started from pole position as in the previous year, but achieved the fastest lap and gained victory. The Frenchman Jean Behra won before a record crowd, driving a Simca-Gordini, his win was a result of a duel with Ferrari driver Maurice Trintignant at a time when many French manufacturers were no longer present at the GP. On 11 April 1955, the Italian Mario Alborghetti died in a racing accident, the Maserati driver confused his pedals after being distracted and crashed against some hay bales.
His death was announced to spectators after the race. The 1956 race was cancelled following the tragic accident at Le Mans the previous year. Improvements to the circuit were made for the 1957 event, both in terms of safety and the comfort of competitors and spectators. After being run to Formula Two regulations in 1958–1960, limiting the capacity to 1500 cm3 Formula One in 1961 allowed the Grand Prix de Pau back in the spotlight ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix. In the early 1960s, the event was won by such famous drivers as Jack Brabham, Maurice Trintignant, Jim Clark. In 1964, after switching the format of the Grand Prix again from Formula One to Formula Two, Jim Clark won the Grand Prix for the second consecutive year, repeating his success for the third time in a row the following year. In 1967, drivers such as Jean-Pierre Beltoise and Henri Pescarolo made their debut at Pau. Jochen Rindt won his first Grand Prix de Pau that year before winning twice more in 1969 and 1970. In 1968, Jackie Stewart won with Matra Sports.
During this period, several former and future world champions raced at the event: Graham Hill, Jackie Stewart, Jack Brabham, Denny Hulme, Emerson Fittipaldi. There appeared more young French drivers like Johnny Servoz-Gavin, Jean-Pierre Jarier, Jean-Pierre Jabouille, Patrick Depailler and François Cevert, as well as other drivers such as Reine Wisell and Peter Gethin, who won the Grand Prix in 1971 and 1972 respectively. In 1973, the event was threatened by problems with the homologation of the circuit, it was brought up to standard by the personal intervention of the Mayor André Labarrère. François Cevert won that year. Drivers such as Jacques Laffite, Patrick Depailler and René Arnoux won in Pau, many F1 drivers at the time continued to race in Formula Two. In 1980, the 40th Grand Prix de Pau was won by the French driver Richard Dallest. In 1985, Formula 3000 replaced Formula Two as the "second-division" formula below Formula One and the Grand Prix de Pau continued to be part of the Formula 3000 European championship.
That same year, Alain Prost became co-organiser of the race. In 1989, Jean Alesi took his first victory after a turbulent start (the race was restarted four times because of successive problems on the
Chelsea is an affluent area of West London, bounded to the south by the River Thames. Its frontage runs from Chelsea Bridge along the Chelsea Embankment, Cheyne Walk, Lots Road and Chelsea Harbour, its eastern boundary was once defined by the River Westbourne, now in a pipe above Sloane Square Underground station. The modern eastern boundary is Chelsea Bridge Road and the lower half of Sloane Street, including Sloane Square. To the north and northwest, the area fades into Knightsbridge and Brompton, but it is considered that the area north of King's Road as far northwest as Fulham Road is part of Chelsea; the district is within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, although Chelsea gives its name to nearby locations, such as Chelsea Harbour in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, Chelsea Barracks in the City of Westminster. From 1900, until the creation of Greater London in 1965, it formed the Metropolitan Borough of Chelsea in the County of London; the exclusivity of Chelsea as a result of its high property prices has resulted in the term Sloane Ranger being used to describe its residents.
Since 2011, Channel 4 has broadcast a reality television show called Made in Chelsea, documenting the lives of affluent young people living there. Moreover, Chelsea is home to one of the largest communities of Americans living outside the United States, with 6.53% of Chelsea residents being born in the U. S; the word Chelsea originates from the Old English term for "landing place for chalk or limestone". Chelsea hosted the Synod of Chelsea in 787 AD; the first record of the Manor of Chelsea precedes the Domesday Book and records the fact that Thurstan, governor of the King's Palace during the reign of Edward the Confessor, gave the land to the Abbot and Convent of Westminster. Abbot Gervace subsequently assigned the manor to his mother, it passed into private ownership. By 1086 the Domesday Book records that Chelsea was in the hundred of Ossulstone in Middlesex, with Edward of Salisbury as tenant-in-chief. King Henry VIII acquired the manor of Chelsea from Lord Sandys in 1536. Two of King Henry's wives, Catherine Parr and Anne of Cleves, lived in the Manor House.
In 1609 James I established a theological college, "King James's College at Chelsey" on the site of the future Chelsea Royal Hospital, which Charles II founded in 1682. By 1694, Chelsea – always a popular location for the wealthy, once described as "a village of palaces" – had a population of 3,000. So, Chelsea remained rural and served London to the east as a market garden, a trade that continued until the 19th-century development boom which caused the final absorption of the district into the metropolis; the street crossing, known as Little Chelsea, Park Walk, linked Fulham Road to King's Road and continued to the Thames and local ferry down Lover's Lane, renamed "Milmans Street" in the 18th century. King's Road, named for Charles II, recalls the King's private road from St James's Palace to Fulham, maintained until the reign of George IV. One of the more important buildings in King's Road, the former Chelsea Town Hall, popularly known as "Chelsea Old Town hall" – a fine neo-classical building – contains important frescoes.
Part of the building contains the Chelsea Public Library. Opposite stands the former Odeon Cinema, now Habitat, with its iconic façade which carries high upon it a large sculptured medallion of the now almost-forgotten William Friese-Greene, who claimed to have invented celluloid film and cameras in the 1880s before any subsequent patents. According to Encyclopædia Britannica, "the better residential portion of Chelsea is the eastern, near Sloane Street and along the river; this is no longer the case, although Council property do remain. The areas to the west attract high prices; this former fashionable village was absorbed into London during the eighteenth century. Many notable people of 18th century London, such as the bookseller Andrew Millar, were both married and buried in the district; the memorials in the churchyard of Chelsea Old Church, near the river, illustrate much of the history of Chelsea. These include Lady Dacre; the intended tomb Sir Thomas More erected for himself and his wives can be found there, though More is not in fact buried here.
In 1718, the Raw Silk Company was established in Chelsea Park, with mulberry trees and a hothouse for raising silkworms. At its height in 1723, it supplied silk to Caroline of Ansbach Princess of Wales. Chelsea once had a reputation for the manufacture of Chelsea buns, made from a long strip of sweet dough coiled, with currants trapped between the layers, topped with sugar; the Chelsea Bun House was patronised by the Georgian royalty. At Easter, great crowds would assemble on the open spaces of the Five Fields – subsequently developed as Belgravia; the Bun House would do a great trade in hot cross buns and sold about quarter of a million on its final Good Friday in 1839. The area was famous for its "Chelsea China" ware, though the works, the Chelsea porcelain factory – thought to be the first workshop to make porcelain in England – were sold in 1769, moved to Derby. Examples of the original Chelsea ware fetch high values; the best-known building is Chelsea R
Abergavenny is a market town and community in Monmouthshire, Wales. Abergavenny is promoted as a Gateway to Wales, it is located on the A40 trunk road and the A465 Heads of the Valleys road and is 6 miles from the border with England. The site of a Roman fort, Gobannium, it became a medieval walled town within the Welsh Marches; the town contains the remains of a medieval stone castle built soon after the Norman conquest of Wales. Abergavenny is situated at a tributary stream, the Gavenny, it is entirely surrounded by mountains and hills: the Blorenge, the Sugar Loaf, Ysgyryd Fawr, Ysgyryd Fach, Deri and Mynydd Llanwenarth, known locally as "Llanwenarth Breast". Abergavenny provides access to the Brecon Beacons National Park; the Offa's Dyke Path is close by and the Marches Way, the Beacons Way and Usk Valley Walk all pass through the town. In the UK 2011 census, the six relevant wards collectively listed Abergavenny's population as 12,515; the town hosted the 2016 National Eisteddfod of Wales. The town derives its name from a Brythonic word Gobannia meaning "river of the blacksmiths", relates to the town's pre-Roman importance in iron smelting.
The name is related to the modern Welsh word gof, so is associated with the Welsh smith Gofannon from folklore. The river became, in Welsh and the town's name became Abergafenni, meaning "mouth of the Gavenny". In Welsh, the shortened form Y Fenni may have come into use after about the 15th century, is now used as the Welsh name. Though pronounced in English or Welsh, the English spelling Abergavenny is in general use. Gobannium was a Roman fort guarding the road along the valley of the River Usk, which linked the legionary fortress of Burrium and Isca Augusta or Isca Silurum in the south with Y Gaer and Mid Wales, it was built to keep the peace among the local British Iron Age tribe, the Silures. Remains of the walls of this fort were discovered west of the castle when excavating the foundations for a new post office and telephone exchange building in the late 1960s. Abergavenny grew as a town in early Norman times under the protection of the Lords of Abergavenny; the first Baron was Hamelin de Balun, from Ballon, a small town and castle in Maine-Anjou called "Gateway to Maine", near Le Mans, today in the Sarthe département of France.
He founded the Benedictine priory, now the Priory Church of St Mary, in the late 11th century. The Priory belonged to the Benedictine foundation of St. Vincent Abbaye at Le Mans, it was subsequently endowed by William de Braose, with a tithe of the profits of the castle and town. The church contains some unique alabaster effigies, church monuments and unique medieval wood carving, such as the Tree of Jesse. Owing to its geographical location, the town was embroiled in the border warfare and power play of the 12th and 13th centuries in the Welsh Marches. In 1175, Abergavenny Castle was the site of a massacre of Seisyll ap Dyfnwal and his associates by William de Braose, 4th Lord of Bramber. Reference to a market at Abergavenny is found in a charter granted to the Prior by William de Braose. Owain Glyndŵr attacked Abergavenny in 1404. According to popular legend, his raiders gained access to the walled town with the aid of a local woman who sympathised with the rebellion, letting a small party in via the Market Street gate at midnight.
They were able to open the gate and allow a much larger party who set fire to the town and plundered its churches and homes leaving Abergavenny Castle intact. Market Street has been referred to as "Traitors' Lane" thereafter. In 1404 Abergavenny was declared its own nation by Ieuan ab Owain Glyndŵr, illegitimate son of Owain Glyndŵr; the arrangement lasted two weeks. At the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1541, the priory's endowment went towards the foundation of a free grammar school, King Henry VIII Grammar School, the site itself passing to the Gunter family. During the Civil War, prior to the siege of Raglan Castle in 1645, King Charles I visited Abergavenny and presided in person over the trial of Sir Trefor Williams, 1st Baronet of Llangibby, a Royalist who changed sides, other Parliamentarians. In 1639, Abergavenny received a charter of incorporation under the title of bailiff and burgesses. A charter with extended privileges was drafted in 1657, but appears never to have been enrolled or to have come into effect.
Owing to the refusal of the chief officers of the corporation to take the oath of allegiance to William III in 1688, the charter was annulled, the town subsequently declined in prosperity. Chapter 28 of the 1535 Act of Henry VIII, which provided that Monmouth, as county town, should return one burgess to Parliament, further stated that other ancient Monmouthshire boroughs were to contribute towards the payment of the member. In consequence of this clause Abergavenny on various occasions shared in the election, the last instance being in 1685; the right to hold two weekly markets and three yearly fairs, beginning in the 13th century, was held since as confirmed in 1657. Abergavenny was celebrated for the production of Welsh flannel, for the manufacture, whilst the fashion prevailed, of goats' hair periwigs. Abergavenny railway station opened on 2 January 1854 as part of the Newport and Hereford Railway; the London North Western Railway sponsored the construction of the railway linking Newport station to Hereford station.
The line was taken over b
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
Donington Park is a motorsport circuit located near Castle Donington in Leicestershire, England. The circuit business is now owned by Jonathan Palmer's MotorSport Vision organisation, the surrounding Donington Park Estate is under lease by MotorSport Vision until 2038. Part of the Donington Hall estate, it was created as a racing circuit during the period between the First and Second World Wars when the German Silver Arrows were battling for the European Championship. Used as a military vehicle storage depot during the Second World War, it fell into disrepair until bought by local construction entrepreneur Tom Wheatcroft. Revived under his ownership in the 1970s, it hosted a single Formula One race, but became the favoured home of the British round of the MotoGP motorcycling championship. Leased by Donington Ventures Leisure Ltd in 2007 the hope that Formula One racing could return to the track, the incomplete venture failed to raise sufficient financial backing during the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis.
DVLL lost the rights to the British rounds of both Formula 1 and MotoGP, in its bankruptcy returned the track to the Wheatcroft family in December 2009. Under Wheatcroft's ownership, the venue underwent significant work, with the track restored to use in 2010, before major upgrades in the following five years. At the end of 2010, it was announced that Donington would become home to an annual historic motorsport event, the Donington Historic Festival, with new events being added. Since 2010, significant investment across the venue has seen major improvements made to its infrastructure, while the circuit has become a regular fixture for top class motorcycling in the form of the Superbike World Championship. In January 2017, the circuit business and a long term lease on the estate was purchased by MotorSport Vision, with the purchase cleared by authorities in August of the same year. Significant investment has seen facilities at the venue brought up to modern standards, with a new restaurant, toilet blocks, large new grandstand and new circuit offices, as well as other detail changes.
As well as improving the infrastructure, MSV has made additions to the race calendar, with additional major events planned for 2019 including extra rounds of the British Superbike Championship and British GT. Donington Park motor racing circuit was the first permanent park circuit in England, which ended the race circuit monopoly that Brooklands had held since 1907. Fred Craner was a former motorcycle rider who had taken part in seven Isle of Man TT races, was by 1931 a Derby garage owner and secretary of the Derby & District Motor Club. Craner approached the owner of the Donington Hall estate, Alderman John Gillies Shields JP, to use the extensive roads on his land for racing; the original track was 2 mile 327 yd in length, based on normal width unsealed estate roads. The first motor cycle race took place on Whit Monday, 1931. For 1933 Craner obtained permission to build a permanent track, with the original layout widened and sealed at a cost of £12,000; the first car race was followed by three car meetings further that year.
The first Donington Park Trophy race was held on 7 October 1933, the 20-lap invitation event was won by the Earl Howe in a Bugatti Type 51. In 1935 the first 300-mile Donington Grand Prix was won by Richard "Mad Jack" Shuttleworth in an Alfa Romeo P3. In the 1937 Donington Grand Prix and 1938 Donington Grand Prix, the race winners were Bernd Rosemeyer and Tazio Nuvolari, both in Auto Union'Silver Arrows.' The circuit at Donington Park was closed in 1939 due to World War II, when it was requisitioned by the Ministry of Defence and was converted into a military vehicle depot. In 1971 the circuit was bought by business man and car collector Tom Wheatcroft, who funded the rebuilding of the track. Wheatcroft moved his collection to the circuit, in a museum now known as the Donington Grand Prix Exhibition which opened in 1973, has the largest collection of Grand Prix cars in the world; the motor racing circuit re-opened for cars on 28 May 1977, as per the original pre-war opening, the first post-war meeting was for motorcycles.
The first postwar car race meeting was organised by the Nottingham Sports Car Club, sponsored by local Lotus dealers, J A Else of Codnor. That first car meeting nearly didn't happen, as the local ramblers tried to assert their rights to retain access to footpaths at the eleventh hour; the meeting went ahead as a "Motor Trial", a legal loophole that curtailed the use of single seater racing cars for that opening meeting. The NSCC continued to run race meetings at Donington until the Donington Racing Club was formed and a licence to run race meetings obtained; the Melbourne Loop was built in 1985 to increase the lap distance to 2.5 miles and allow the track to host Grand Prix motorcycle races – at 1.957 miles without the loop, the circuit was deemed too short. This shorter layout remains as the National circuit, used for most non-Grand Prix events. In recent times Donington has held meetings of MotoGP, the British Touring Car Championship and British Superbike Championship, as well as the 1993 European Grand Prix.
Other events taking place at the track include a 1000 km endurance race for the Le Mans Series in 2006, the World Series by Renault and the Great and British Motorsport Festival. On 26 August 2007, the circuit hosted the British Motocross Grand Prix, with a purpose-built motocross circuit constructed on the infield of the road circuit. In 2007, Wheatcroft via the holding company Wheatcroft & Son Ltd, sold a 150-year lease on the land on which the track and museum are located to Donington Ventures Leisure Ltd. In July 2008, it was announced that DVLL had won the rights to the British Gra