Peter won the Stawell handicap over 880 yards in 1961, and in the following year he set a new World Professional record for the 600 yards when he covered the distance in 1minute 11 seconds. He came third in the race. Running from tight handicaps, he ran third in the Stawell handicap and second in the Wimmera 600 yards in 1963 and 1964.
Donovan also made a significant contribution off the track. He served as President of the Stawell Athletic Club in 1985 and 2000 and was made a life member in 1998. For many years he served as treasurer of the VAL and the Sebastopol Athletic Club, He is a life member of both organisations, but his greatest contribution in recent years has been his instigating and organising the Calcutta which has become such an important part of the Easter weekend.