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Donington saviour Tom Wheatcroft's 1993 European GP top hat -- its tale linked with legendary Grand Prix

It marked the realisation of a dream.  For so long Tom Wheatcroft had aspired to reinstate a grand prix at his beloved Donington Park and that's what finally occurred on April 11 1993 with the European GP. That it transpired to be a watermark race of the modern era was a bonus.

Having recently undergone heart surgery, Wheatcroft was warned not to get too excited.  Predictably he ignored this and demonstrated -- and spun -- a Mercedes-Benz W125 before the GP.

Later he mounted the podium wearing this top hat to dish out ther silverware to Ayrton Senna, whose incredible opening lap entered into legend. Plenty of excitement -- then Tom was taken ill again!  

Our thanks to the Donington Grand Prix Collection (tel 01322 810048) open seven days a week 10am-5pm, last admission 4pm.