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Martin Donnelly to debut for Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing

Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing will debut ex-Formula 1 driver Martin Donnelly in this weekend’s Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Thruxton. Donnelly becomes the 94th F1 driver to have competed in the BTCC.

The former Lotus F1 racer will replace Richard Hawken and will partner Derek Palmer, from Lesmahagow and Zurich, in matching Infiniti Q50 race cars for the remainder of the season.

Northern Irishman Donnelly (51), the British Formula 3 and Formula 3000 race winner, had a seat fitting at Thruxton today.

“It’s great to be involved with the inspiring Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing team, working alongside the injured ex-Paratroopers,” Donnelly said today, “and 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 chequered flag at the end of Sunday’s three races, and I’m looking forward to racing in the BTCC this weekend”

The Mallory Park-based team’s Infiniti Q50 race cars are prepared by injured ex-servicemen from the Parachute Regiment, with all team profits being donated to Support Our Paras, the official Regiment charity.

Donnelly is best known for his recovery from the horrific 140mph crash he suffered in qualifying for the 1990 Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez. The accident ended his F1 career.

Donnelly sustained severe injuries in the crash, particularly to his legs, but also bruising to his lungs and brain. The Irishman returned to racing later that decade and most recently competed in the Lotus Cup UK alongside his son Stefan last year.

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