Donnay Formula 100 Pentacore Red

Donnay Formula 100 Pentacore

Donnay Formula 100 Pentacore Red

The Donnay Formula 100 Pentacore Red (referring to the colouring of the writing on the racket body) is one of the top frames of the new production presented by the historic Belgian brand.

Together with Allwood and its “bad” twin Formula 100 Hexacore, the new Formula Pentacore has the mission of relaunching the Donnay brand, bringing it back to its former glory.

As for Allwood, Formula Pentacore is also presented with a shaft full of polyurethane foam type Xenecore characterized by a 5-cell structure (hence the name Pentacore) able to combine lightness, strength and vibration absorption in a single structure of incredible flexibility.

High performance and arms protection are the workhorse of the new generation of Donnay frames.

Technical data sheet

Data collected from pro-t-one for a racket neck 4 strung and “ready to race” with overgrip Signum Pro Magic and dampener Donnay.

Data declared with naked racket Data measured with strung racket
Weight 300g 327g
Balancing 325mm 330mm
Detected stiffness 57 55
Profile 24-27-20mm
Stringbed 100″
Pattern 16×19
Swingweight 316kgcmq
Spinweight 334kgcmq
Twistweight  18kgcmq

The Pentacore Formula, with a swingweight value of 316kgcm2, is easy to move, easy to handle and progressive.

Donnay Formula 100 Pentacore Red
Sweetspot analysis by pro-t-one

From the analysis of the static stiffness data of the stringbed (strung at 4 knots with monofilament of 1.25 gauge at a tension of 24kg) return a very wide and homogeneous response, suggesting an excellent tolerance on off-centre impacts and a good stability and grip of the rotations.

Donnay Formula 100 Pentacore Red
Formula Penta data in red and Hexa data in yellow

The Pentacore shows an extremely homogeneous flexibility without concentrated or highlighted bending points.

The aesthetics

Formula 100 is presented, as we had seen for Allwood and we will see for the Hexacore, finished with multi-directional carbon at sight with clear coat transparent glossy finish.

The result is a glossy black livery that, depending on the reflection of light, varies in texture creating a very attractive and highly sophisticated after effect.

The graphics of the Formula Pentacore are completed by the silkscreens “Donnay”, “Formula 100” and “Xenecore” in red, as well as the red logo just above the handle.

As with all Donnay models of the latest generation, the cap at the end of the handle is transparent and gives a glimpse of the composition of the Xenecore system.

On court – The pros

The Donnay Formula 100 Pentacore Red immediately strikes for the full and “pasty” impact that returns to those who wield it.
The low stiffness (55 ra strung) and the flexibility evenly distributed throughout the chassis give the Formula 100 a full and satisfying response in almost all strokes.

It is a racquet that is appreciated for its ease of movement and maneuverability, both from the bottom of the field and from the net, while maintaining a good level of stability.

As previously written, the Formula has a very large sweetspot size and an excellent attitude to the management of off-center shots.
The high tolerance of the 100-square-inch stringbed translates into excellent management of defensive recoveries, especially if it’s a slice.

The Pentacore is a versatile frame that adapts to multiple styles of play.
It’s not a spin machine but still has a good attitude to spin generation (the big difference is the choice of string setup and of course the arm!).

Very good the back that is played with simplicity and effectiveness.
It is not a “bad” back but it is insidious because the ball remains rather low and therefore not easy to read.

On service I liked it in all its variations.
It specifies the first flat of service, good “curves” generated with the slice and the kick responds properly.

Even in the net the Formula doesn’t disappoint.
Excellent sensitivity (more like a “classic” frame than a profiled one) and good stability (especially in relation to the low weight of 300 grams bare) allow precise and “classy” net closures.

On court – The cons

The flexibility and softness of the Formula Pentacore, if on the one hand it is an absolute pleasure, becomes a little limiting in the closing strokes.
As reported for Allwood, also for Pentacore needs adaptation to take the right measures and time to close the “rally” with a nice winner, especially if used to playing with frames of higher stiffness.

The first serve is very precise but lacks slightly of ball heaviness.
Much better slice and kick!

Watch out also for the tensions of the strings.
It is better to increase your reference tension by 1 kg (maybe even 2 kg depending on the composition of the strings) in order to avoid the sling effect.

Who it is indicated for 

The Pentacore is an extremely versatile frame and adapts to different types of tennis players.

The size of the sweetspot is very large and the tolerance of the stringbed makes the Pentacore a great choice for both amateurs and tournament players.

Donnay’s low stiffness and attention to the arms make the Pentacore attractive to a senior audience as well.

The strings

I tested the Pentacore with the following strings and tensions:


The Donnay Formula 100 Pentacore is an extremely versatile and very interesting frame that stands out for tolerance, softness and high performance.

In essence it is not a profiled racket as the response remains soft, comfortable and elastic and characterized by a level of comfort completely unknown to most products on the market. All this coupled with a unique and unrepeatable sound and vibratory mode, typical of old-school boxed racquets.

We thank HMA Sport (in the person of Marco Chivilò), Italian distributor Donnay, for the concession of the frames that we used in our tests.