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Hennessey Hires Racing Champion David Donohue as the Team Focuses on Venom F5 World Records

Sealy, Texas – WEBWIRE
  • David Donohue, American racing champion, joins Hennessey Special Vehicles as Venom F5 hypercar test driver as the company sets its sights on world records
  • The 2023 Pikes Peak record-setter brings more than three decades of racing experience, including first-place wins at 24 Hours of Le Mans, the North American Touring Car Championship, and the Rolex 24 at Daytona
  • Donohue will support VP of Engineering Brian Jones and Chief Engineer John ‘Heinrocket’ Heinricy as the team pushes the boundaries of hypercar performance

Hennessey Special Vehicles, the Texas-based hypercar manufacturer, has hired David Donohue — celebrated 24 Hours of Le Mans champion, Rolex 24 at Daytona overall winner, and 2023 Pikes Peak record setter — for 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. In addition to wins across a spectrum of world-class events, David has driven in the IMSA Bridgestone Supercar Championship, NASCAR Busch Grand National, Porsche Supercup, Grand-AM Rolex Series, Petit Le Mans, and more. He 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.

David Donohue: “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. 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 V8 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.

John Hennessey, company founder and CEO: “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. 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.”

The appointment of David 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 in January this year.

Find out more about Hennessey Special Vehicles at


The Hennessey Special Vehicles team was formed to create the world-record-breaking hypercars, the Hennessey Venom GT (270.49 mph in 2014) and the current world-record-holding ‘fastest convertible’ the Hennessey Venom GT Roadster (265.5 mph in 2016).

In 2020, Hennessey Special Vehicles launched the 100% bespoke, twin-turbocharged, 6.6-liter V8 Venom F5 Coupe, which sold out in 2021. An open-top Roadster and track-focused Revolution variant joined the F5 Coupe in 2022 and 2023, boasting the F5’s prodigious 1,817 bhp ‘Fury’ engine. In mid-2023, the Texas-based company revealed the Venom F5 Revolution Roadster, which combines visceral open-air motoring with a racing circuit focus. The company is delivering like never before on its mission of ‘making fast cars faster.’

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