SEAT, S. A. is a Spanish automobile manufacturer with its head office in Spain. It was founded on May 9, 1950, by the Instituto Nacional de Industria, a Spanish state-owned industrial holding company, it became the largest supplier of cars in Spain. In 1986 the Spanish government sold SEAT to the German Volkswagen Group of which it remains a wholly owned subsidiary; the headquarters of SEAT, S. A. are located at SEAT's industrial complex in Martorell near Barcelona. By 2000 annual production peaked at over 500,000 units. SEAT today is the only major Spanish car manufacturer with the ability and the infrastructure to develop its own cars in-house, its headquarters and main manufacturing facilities are located in Martorell, an industrial town located some 30 kilometres northwest of Barcelona, with a production capacity of around 500,000 units per annum. The plant was opened by King Juan Carlos of Spain on February 22, 1993, replaced SEAT's former assembly plant by the coast in Barcelona's freeport zone.
A rail connection between SEAT's Martorell and Zona Franca complexes facilitates vehicle and parts transportation between the two sites. The industrial complex in Martorell hosts the facilities of SEAT Sport, SEAT's Technical Center and Development Center, Design Center, Prototypes Centre of Development, SEAT Service Center, as well as the Genuine Parts Centre for SEAT, Audi and Škoda brands; the development and assembly facilities are some of the newest within the Volkswagen Group, with the ability to produce cars not only for its own brand but for other Volkswagen Group brands, such as Volkswagen and Audi. For example, the development and design of several Audi models and several Audi development projects took place there, from 2011 onwards the Martorell plant manufactures the Audi Q3 small SUV; the Barcelona Zona Franca site includes the SEAT Training Centre, the Zona Franca Press Shop factory, producing stamped body parts, the Barcelona Gearbox del Prat plant, producing gearboxes not only for SEAT but for other Volkswagen Group marques.
Another plant owned directly by SEAT from 1975 was the Landaben plant in Pamplona, but in December 1993 its ownership was transferred to the Volkswagen Group subsidiary "Volkswagen-Audi-Espana, S. A.", the site today is producing Volkswagen cars in Spain. However, SEAT's Martorell site still provides support to Volkswagen's operations in the Pamplona plant when necessary, as it did after a serious fire in the paint shop in the Landaben VW plant in April 2007. Factories of the Volkswagen Group producing SEAT models include the Bratislava site in Slovakia, the Palmela AutoEuropa factory in Portugal, the Sidi Khettab factory in Algeria, while in the past other plants were involved too in producing SEAT models, such as the factories in Germany and Belgium. Future plans include a new Research and development centre in the city of Barcelona in the field of environmental and energy efficiency for the entire Volkswagen Group and the launch of a project on the city's urban mobility, as well as a SEAT museum in the Zona Franca's'Nave A122' site hosting all production and prototype models presented by SEAT together with some special or limited edition vehicles with historical value for the brand and the automotive history of Spain.
Among SEAT's subsidiaries, the SEAT Deutschland GmbH subsidiary company is based in Mörfelden-Walldorf and apart from its commercial activities has the further responsibility of operating SEAT's electronic platform, the SEAT IT Services Network. In Wolfsburg, Germany, in the middle of a lake inside the Autostadt, the Volkswagen Group's corporate theme park, is SEAT's thematic pavilion, one of the largest pavilions in the park. In its 60 years, there was only a short period from 1953 to 1965 when the firm produced its cars for the domestic Spanish market. In 1965 and in a rather symbolic move, the company exported some 150 units of its SEAT 600 model destined for Colombia by air freight for the first time, until two years in 1967 SEAT reached a deal over the renegotiation of its licence contract with Fiat which allowed the Spanish firm to form an international distribution network for its cars and thereafter start its export operations massively to more than twelve different countries, entering the export market in 1969.
Until the early 1980s, most SEAT exports were sold with Fiat badging. As a response to SEAT's bid for independence, Fiat committed themselves to selling 200,000 SEAT-built cars a year from 1981, compared to 120,000 the year before. At the end of 1983, just after SEAT had won its legal battle with Fiat, a quarter of the production went to Egypt and Latin America. In Europe, they were represented in West Germany, France, Italy and Greece; the UK, various Scandinavian markets were planned to be added in 1984. This was with the Fura to follow; the exponential growth in exports in the 70´s happened under the leadership of Juan Sánchez Cortés and the export director José María García-Courel. To date, the company has launched its own mode
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
Peugeot is a French automotive manufacturer, part of Groupe PSA. The family business that preceded the current Peugeot company was founded in 1810, manufactured coffee mills and bicycles. On 20 November 1858, Émile Peugeot applied for the lion trademark. Armand Peugeot built the company's first car, an unreliable steam tricycle, in collaboration with Léon Serpollet in 1889. Due to family discord, Armand Peugeot founded the Société des Automobiles Peugeot, in 1896; the Peugeot company and family are from Sochaux, France. Peugeot retains a large manufacturing plant and Peugeot museum there. In February 2014, the shareholders agreed to a recapitalisation plan for Groupe PSA, in which Dongfeng Motors and the French government each bought a 14% stake in the company. Peugeot has received many international awards for its vehicles, including five European Car of the Year awards. In 2013 and 2014, Peugeot ranked the second lowest for average CO2 emissions among generalist brands in Europe, the Renault car maker group being ranked first, with 114.9g CO2/km.
Peugeot is known as a reliable brand, citing how its 1950s and 1960s models are still running in Africa and Cuba in the 2010s, where Peugeot is called "the lion". Peugeot has been involved in motor sport for more than a century. Peugeot Sport won the World Rally Championship five times, the Dakar Rally seven times, the 24 Hours of Le Mans three times, the World Endurance Championship twice, the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup twice surpassing Toyota and Audi and the Intercontinental Rally Challenge Championship three times. During the last year, Peugeot Sport has surpassed the record set in the ascent to Pikes Peak with the Peugeot 208 T16 driven by Sébastien Loeb; the Peugeot family of Valentigney, Montbéliard, Franche-Comté, began in the manufacturing business in the 19th century. In 1842, they added production of coffee and salt grinders; the company's entry into the vehicle market was by means of crinoline dresses, which used steel rods, leading to umbrella frames, saw blades, wire wheels, bicycles.
Armand Peugeot introduced his "Le Grand Bi" penny-farthing in 1882, along with a range of other bicycles. The company's logo a lion walking on an arrow, symbolized the speed and flexibility of the Peugeot saw blades; the car company and bike company parted ways in 1926 but Peugeot bicycles continued to be built until recently. Armand Peugeot became interested in the automobile early on and, after meeting with Gottlieb Daimler and others, was convinced of its viability; the first Peugeot automobile, a three-wheeled, steam-powered car designed by Léon Serpollet, was produced in 1889. Steam power required lengthy warmup times. In 1890, after meeting Daimler and Émile Levassor, steam was abandoned in favour of a four-wheeled car with a petrol-fuelled internal combustion engine built by Panhard under Daimler licence; the car was more sophisticated than many of its contemporaries, with a three-point suspension and a sliding-gear transmission. An example was sold to the young Alberto Santos-Dumont. More cars followed, 29 being built in 1892, 40 in 1894, 72 in 1895, 156 in 1898, 300 in 1899.
These early models were given "type" numbers. Peugeot became the first manufacturer to fit rubber tyres to a petrol-powered car. Peugeot was an early pioneer in motor racing, with Albert Lemaître winning the world's first motor race, the Paris–Rouen, in a 3 hp Peugeot. Five Peugeots qualified for the main event, all finished. Lemaître finished 3 min 30 sec behind the Comte de Dion whose steam-powered car was ineligible for the official competition. Three Peugeots were entered in the Paris–Bordeaux–Paris, where they were beaten by Panhard's car (despite an average speed of 20.8 km/h and taking the 31,500 franc prize. This marked the debut of Michelin pneumatic tyres in racing on a Peugeot; the vehicles were still much horseless carriages in appearance and were steered by a tiller. In 1896, the first Peugeot engines were built. Designed by Rigoulot, the first engine was an 8 hp horizontal twin fitted to the back of the Type 15, it served as the basis of a nearly exact copy produced by Rochet-Schneider.
Further improvements followed: the engine moved to the front on the Type 48 and was soon under a bonnet at the front of the car, instead of hidden underneath. In 1896, Armand Peugeot broke away from Les Fils de Peugeot Frères to form his own company, Société Anonyme des Automobiles Peugeot, building a new factory at Audincourt to focus on cars. In 1899, sales hit 300; the same year, Lemaître won the Nice-Castellane-Nice Rally in a special 5,850 cc 20 hp racer. At the 1901 Paris Salon, Peugeot debuted a tiny shaft-driven 652 cc 5 hp one-cylinder, dubbed "Bébé", shed its conservative image, becoming a style leader. After placing 19th in the 1902 Paris-Vienna Rally with a 50 hp 11,322 cc racer, failing to finish with two similar cars, Peugeot quit racing. In 1898, Peugeot Motocycles presents at the Paris Motorshow the first motorcycle equipped with a Dion-Bouton motor. Peugeot Motocycles remains the oldest motorcycle manufacturer in the world. Peugeot added motorcycles to it
Circuit Paul Ricard
The Circuit Paul Ricard is a motorsport race track built in 1969 at Le Castellet, near Marseille, in France, with finance from pastis magnate Paul Ricard. Ricard wanted to experience the challenge of building a racetrack. Opened on 19 April 1970, its innovative facilities made it one of the safest motor racing circuits in the world at the time of its opening; the circuit had a large industrial park and an airstrip. The combination of modern facilities, mild winter weather and an airstrip made it popular amongst racing teams for car testing during the annual winter off-season; the original track was dominated by the 1.8 km long Mistral Straight, followed by the high-speed right hand Signes corner. The long main straight and other fast sections made the track hard on engines as they ran at full revs for extended spells. Engine failures were common, such as Ayrton Senna's huge crash during the 1985 French Grand Prix after the Renault engine in his Lotus failed and he went off backwards at Signes on his own oil and crashed with only light bruising to the driver.
Nigel Mansell crashed at the same place in the same weekend during practice and suffered a concussion which kept him out of the race. Mansell's crash was the result of a slow puncture in his left rear tyre causing it to explode at over 320 km/h, which detached his Williams FW10's rear wing; the Honda powered FW10 holds the race lap record for the original circuit when Mansell's teammate Keke Rosberg recorded a time of 1:39.914 during the 1985 French Grand Prix. During qualifying for the 1985 race, Swiss driver Marc Surer clocked what was at the time the highest speed recorded by a Formula One car on the Mistral when he pushed his turbocharged, 1,000 bhp Brabham-BMW to 338 km/h; this compared to the slowest car in the race, the 550 bhp aspirated Tyrrell-Ford V8 of Stefan Bellof which could only manage 277 km/h. Bellof qualified 12 seconds slower than pole winner Rosberg. Paul Ricard opened in 1970 with a 2-litre sports car race, during the 1970s and the 1980s the track developed some of the best French drivers of the time including four time World Drivers' Champion Alain Prost who won the French Grand Prix at the circuit in 1983, 1988, 1989 and 1990.
The circuit hosted the Formula One French Grand Prix on many occasions, the first of, the 1971 French Grand Prix. The circuit was extensively used for testing in Formula One. In 1986, Brabham Formula One driver Elio de Angelis was killed in a testing accident at the fast first turn after the rear wing of his Brabham BT55 had broken off. Although the circuit was not the cause of the crash, it was modified in order to make it safer; the length of the Mistral Straight was reduced from 1.8 km in length to just over 1 km, the fast sweeping Verierre curves where de Angelis had crashed were bypassed. After the start, instead of heading into the left hand Verierre sweeper, cars now braked hard and turned sharp right into a short run that connected the pit straight to the Mistral; this changed the circuit length for a Grand Prix from 5.81 km to just 3.812 km. This had the effect of cutting lap times from Keke Rosberg's 1985 pole time of 1:32.462 in his Williams-Honda turbo, to Nigel Mansell's 1990 pole time of 1:04.402 in his V12 Ferrari.
The last French Grand Prix held at the circuit was in 1990. Since there were discussions about reviving the French Grand Prix with Paul Ricard one of the circuits believed to be considered as the venue. During its life of hosting a round of the Formula One World Championship, Paul Ricard hosted the French Grand Prix on 14 occasions between 1971 and 1990; the Long Circuit was used from 1971 to 1985, with the Club Circuit used from 1986 to 1990. On six occasions the winner at Paul Ricard went on to win the World Championship in the same year. Ronnie Peterson and René Arnoux are the only Ricard winners. In the 1990s the circuit's use was limited to motorcycle racing and French national racing, most notably until 1999, the Bol d'or 24-hour motorcycle endurance race; the track was the home of the Oreca F3000 team. After Ricard's death, the track was sold to Excelis, a company owned by Formula One promoter Bernie Ecclestone, in 1999; the track was rebuilt into an advanced test track, was for a time known as the Paul Ricard High Tech Test Track before changing its name back to Circuit Paul Ricard.
An aircraft landing strip suitable for private jets is amongst the circuit's facilities. There is a Karting Test Track; the track has hosted some races, including the 2006 Paul Ricard 500km, a round of the FIA GT Championship. Other GT championships have run races here, most notably the Ferrari Challenge and races organized by Porsche clubs of France and Italy. On 5 December 2016, it was announced that the French Grand Prix would return to the Formula 1 calendar for the 2018 season at Paul Ricard, it was the first French Grand Prix since 2008 and the first at Circuit Paul Ricard since 1990. On 19 June 2017, the FIA's World Motor Sport Council in Geneva published its 2018 provisional calendar with the French Grand Prix scheduled for 24 June at Circuit Paul Ricard with the race itself followed by the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring and the British Grand Prix at Silverstone Circuit. Pirelli Motorsport has planned for a two-day tyre testing for its 2018 Formula 1 tyres at C
Grand Prix motorcycle racing
Grand Prix motorcycle racing refers to the premier class of motorcycle road racing events held on road circuits sanctioned by FIM. Independent motorcycle racing events have been held since the start of the twentieth century and large national events were given the title Grand Prix, The foundation of a recognised international governing body for motorcycle sport, the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme in 1949 provided the opportunity to coordinate rules and regulations in order that selected events could count towards official World Championships as FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix, it is the oldest established motorsport world championship. Grand Prix motorcycles are purpose-built racing machines that are unavailable for purchase by the general public or able to be ridden on public roads; this contrasts with the various production-based categories of racing, such as the Superbike World Championship and the Isle of Man TT Races that feature modified versions of road-going motorcycles available to the public.
The championship is divided into four classes: MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3 and MotoE. The first three classes use four-stroke engines; the 2019 MotoGP season comprises 19 Grands Prix, with 12 held in Europe, three in Asia, two in the Americas, one each in Australia and the Middle East. A FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix was first organized by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme in 1949; the commercial rights are now owned by Dorna Sports, with the FIM remaining as the sport sanctioning body. Teams are represented by the International Road Racing Teams Association and manufacturers by the Motorcycle Sport Manufacturers Association. Rules and changes to regulations are decided between the four entities, with Dorna casting a tie-breaking vote. In cases of technical modifications, the MSMA can unilaterally enact or veto changes by unanimous vote among its members; these four entities compose the Grand Prix Commission. There have traditionally been several races at each event for various classes of motorcycles, based on engine size, one class for sidecars.
Classes for 50 cc, 80 cc, 125 cc, 250 cc, 350 cc, 500 cc solo machines have existed at some time, 350 cc and 500 cc sidecars. Up through the 1950s and most of the 1960s, four-stroke engines dominated all classes. In part this was due to rules, which allowed a multiplicity of cylinders and a multiplicity of gears. In the 1960s, two-stroke engines began to take root in the smaller classes. In 1969, the FIM —citing high development costs for non-works teams— brought in new rules restricting all classes to six gears and most to two cylinders; this led to a mass walk-out of the sport by the highly successful Honda and Yamaha manufacturer teams, skewing the results tables for the next several years, with MV Agusta the only works team left in the sport until Yamaha and Suzuki returned with new two-stroke designs. By this time, two-strokes eclipsed the four-strokes in all classes. In 1979, Honda, on its return to GP racing, made an attempt to return the four-stroke to the top class with the NR500, but this project failed, and, in 1983 Honda was winning with a two-stroke 500.
The championship featured a 50cc class from 1962 to 1983 changed to an 80cc class from 1984 to 1989. The class was dropped for the 1990 season, after being dominated by Spanish and Italian makes, it featured a 350cc class from 1949 to 1982, a 750 cc class from 1977 to 1979. Sidecars were dropped from world championship events in the 1990s. From the mid-1970s through to 2001, the top class of GP racing allowed 500 cc displacement with a maximum of four cylinders, regardless of whether the engine was a two-stroke or four-stroke; this is unlike TT Formula or motocross, where two and four strokes had different engine size limits in the same class to provide similar performance. All machines were two-strokes, since they produce power with every rotation of the crank, whereas four-stroke engines produce power only every second rotation; some two- and three-cylinder two-stroke 500s were seen, but though they had a minimum-weight advantage under the rules attained higher corner speed and could qualify well, they lacked the power of the four-cylinder machines.
In 2002, rule changes were introduced to facilitate the phasing out of the 500 cc two-strokes. The premier class was rebranded MotoGP, as manufacturers were to choose between running two-stroke engines up to 500 cc or four-strokes up to 990 cc or less. Manufacturers were permitted to employ their choice of engine configuration. Despite the increased costs of the new four-stroke engines, they were soon able to dominate their two-stroke rivals; as a result, by 2003 no two-stroke machines remained in the MotoGP field. The 125 cc and 250 cc classes still consisted of two-stroke machines. In 2007, the MotoGP class had its maximum engine displacement capacity reduced to 800 cc for a minimum of five years; as a result of the 2008–2009 financial crisis, MotoGP underwent changes in an effort to cut costs. Among them are reducing Friday practice sessions and testing sessions, extending the lifespan of engines, switching to a single tyre manufacturer, banning qualifying tyres, active suspension, launch control and ceramic composite brakes.
For the 2010 season, carbon brake discs were banned. For the 2012 season, the MotoGP engine capacity was increased again to 1,000 cc, it saw the introduction of Claiming Rule Teams, which were given more engi
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
Hyundai Motor Company
The Hyundai Motor Company known as Hyundai Motors, is a South Korean multinational automotive manufacturer headquartered in Seoul. The company was founded in 1967 and, along with its 32.8% owned subsidiary, Kia Motors, its 100% owned luxury subsidiary Genesis Motor, altogether comprise the Hyundai Motor Group. It is the third largest vehicle manufacturer in the world. Hyundai operates the world's largest integrated automobile manufacturing facility in Ulsan, South Korea which has an annual production capacity of 1.6 million units. The company employs about 75,000 people worldwide. Hyundai vehicles are sold in 193 countries through some 5,000 showrooms. Chung Ju-Yung founded the Hyundai Engineering and Construction Company in 1947. Hyundai Motor Company was established in 1967; the company's first model, the Cortina, was released in cooperation with Ford Motor Company in 1968. When Hyundai wanted to develop their own car, they hired George Turnbull in February 1974, the former Managing Director of Austin Morris at British Leyland.
He in turn hired five other top British car engineers. They were Kenneth Barnett body design, engineers John Simpson and Edward Chapman, John Crosthwaite ex-BRM as chassis engineer and Peter Slater as chief development engineer. In 1975, the Pony, the first South Korean car, was released, with styling by Giorgio Giugiaro of ItalDesign and powertrain technology provided by Japan's Mitsubishi Motors. Exports began in the following year to Ecuador and soon thereafter to the Benelux countries. Hyundai entered the British market in 1982. In 1984, Hyundai began exporting the Pony to Canada, but not to the United States, as the Pony would not pass emissions standards there. Canadian sales exceeded expectations, it was at one point the top-selling car on the Canadian market. In 1985, the one millionth Hyundai car was built. In 1986, Hyundai began to sell cars in the United States, the Excel was nominated as "Best Product #10" by Fortune magazine because of its affordability; the company began to produce models with its own technology in 1988, beginning with the midsize Sonata.
In the spring of 1990, aggregate production of Hyundai automobiles reached the four million mark. In 1991, the company succeeded in developing its first proprietary gasoline engine, the four-cylinder Alpha, its own transmission, thus paving the way for technological independence. In 1996, Hyundai Motor India Limited was established with a production plant in Irungattukottai near Chennai, India. In 1998, Hyundai began to overhaul its image in an attempt to establish itself as a world-class brand. Chung Ju Yung transferred leadership of Hyundai Motor to his son, Chung Mong Koo, in 1999. Hyundai's parent company, Hyundai Motor Group, invested in the quality, design and long-term research of its vehicles, it added a 10-year or 100,000-mile warranty to cars sold in the United States and launched an aggressive marketing campaign. In 2004, Hyundai was ranked second in "initial quality" in a survey/study by J. D. Power and Associates. Hyundai is now one of the top 100 most valuable brands worldwide. Since 2002, Hyundai has been one of the worldwide official sponsors of the FIFA World Cup.
In 2006, the South Korean government initiated an investigation of Chung Mong Koo's practices as head of Hyundai, suspecting him of corruption. On 28 April 2006, Chung was arrested, charged for embezzlement of 100 billion South Korean won; as a result, Hyundai Vice Chairman and CEO, Kim Dong-jin, replaced him as head of the company. On 30 September 2011, Yang Seung Suk announced his retirement as CEO of Hyundai Motor Co. In the interim replacement period, Chung Mong-koo and Kim Eok-jo will divide the duties of the CEO position. Hyundai has six research and development centers, located in South Korea, Germany and India. Additionally, a center in California develops designs for the United States. Hyundai has made an app with augmented reality, showing users how to maintain vehicles. In 1998, after a shake-up in the South Korean auto industry caused by overambitious expansion and the Asian financial crisis, Hyundai acquired the majority of rival Kia Motors. Hyundai owns 33.88% of Kia. In 2000, the company established a strategic alliance with DaimlerChrysler and severed its partnership with the Hyundai Group.
In 2001, the Daimler-Hyundai Truck Corporation was formed. In 2004, DaimlerChrysler divested its interest in the company by selling its 10.5% stake for $900 million. Hyundai has invested in manufacturing plants in North America, the Czech Republic, Russia and Turkey as well as research and development centers in Europe, North America and the Pacific Rim. In 2004, Hyundai Motor Company had $57.2 billion in sales in South Korea making it the country's second largest corporation, or chaebol. Worldwide sales in 2005 reached an 11 percent increase over the previous year. In 2011, Hyundai sold 4.05 million cars worldwide and the Hyundai Motor Group was the world's fourth largest automaker behind GM, Volkswagen and Toyota. Hyundai vehicles are sold in 193 countries through some 5,000 dealerships. In 2006, Hyundai hired Thomas Bürkle as head of the company's design center in Germany. Bürkle had worked for BMW, having designed the BMW 3 Series, the BMW 6 Series. Hyundai's current design philosophy is known as Fluidic Sculpture, inspired by nature.
Hyundai Motor America began selling cars in the United States on 20 February 1986, with a single model, the Hyundai Excel, offered in