Texas-based hypercar manufacturer Hennessey Special Vehicles has hired David Donohue—24 Hours of Le Mans champion, Rolex 24 at Daytona overall winner and 2023 Pikes Peak record setter—to lead advanced track development of its Venom F5 hypercar.
The son of racing legend Mark Donohue, David Donohue has built an impressive racing, testing and development resume during his 35-year career, the company stated. In addition to wins across a spectrum of world-class events, he has driven in the IMSA Bridgestone Supercar Championship; NASCAR Busch Grand National, Porsche Supercup and Grand-AM Rolex series; Petit Le Mans and more.
“David has a long and successful racing career that he complements with a far-reaching list of teams and manufacturers with whom he has high-performance development experience,” stated John Hennessey, company founder and CEO. “With more than 25 customer Venom F5 models already built, we can now refocus our team on achieving speed records. To complete those goals, we need an experienced world-class driver who can push our hypercar to reach its potential—that’s exactly what David can do.”
Donohue has also conducted development work on the BMW M3 GT and M5 Supercar, Dodge Viper GTS-R, Porsche GT3 R Pikes Peak EVO, NASCAR Trucks, Daytona Prototypes and more.
“I’ve been working behind the scenes with John and the team at Hennessey for several months, allowing me to spend quite a bit of time in the driver’s seat of the Venom F5,” he said. “In most ultra-high-performance vehicles, the driving experience becomes almost routine once you’ve acclimated to the powertrain, but the 1,817-bhp Venom F5 is consistently and relentlessly breathtaking. The twin-turbo V-8 has an explosive power delivery that is awe-inspiring without being evil. I may never get completely used to it.”
In addition to his competitive racing history, Donohue has spent the past decade as a private driving coach, vintage racing driver and Porsche 918 Spyder client relationship manager for Porsche Cars North America.
The appointment of Donohue follows Hennessey’s global debut of the new Venom F5 Revolution Roadster hypercar during Monterey Car Week in August. The open-top, track-ready model joins the roofless Venom F5 Roadster–revealed in 2022–and the Venom F5 Revolution Coupe unveiled last January.