British drivers line up for David Brabham’s Celebrity Karting Challenge

By LJ Hutchins

CalendarMonday, November 30th, 2009

 
 

A karting fundraiser due to be held in January is shaping up into a who’s who of UK motorsport with drivers including Anthony Davidson, Allan McNish, Paul di Resta, Oliver Turvey and Adam Christodoulou.

David Brabham’s Celebrity Karting Challenge, scheduled for the Autosport International show on Friday January 15, will support charities including Malaria No More UK.

Backed by the top sportscar racer, it allows members of the public to try their hand against professional drivers while contributing money to a good cause.

Held for the first time in Autosport International’s Live Action Arena, it offers a unique chance for motorsport stars to race head-to-head on a challenging new circuit at the NEC Birmingham.

According to organisers, the Celebrity Karting Challenge has become an annual mission for each motorsport formula to prove who boasts the best drivers. On the list for this year’s event are former Formula One stars and drivers from single-seaters to touring cars, sportscars, rallying and karting.

Davidson said of his involvement: “I’m really happy to be able to help out with David’s Celebrity Karting Challenge at Autosport International – the race is raising money for a very worthy cause by doing something we all enjoy. It should be a great event and I hope it gets lots of support.”

McNish added: “I am pleased to be able to support David’s charity kart race in aid of Malaria No More UK and I’m really looking forward to the inevitable competition. You can just imagine what the entertainment will be like with a track full of racing stars racing in karts after the long winter break.

“It is all for a good cause and the event is a great concept, with fans and stars competing with and against each other at Europe’s biggest motorsport show. I cannot think of a more enjoyable way to get into shape for the new season.”

Joining them on the attendance list are David Brabham himself, DTM ace Paul di Resta, sportscar star Johnny Mowlem, A1GP team driver Danny Watts and 2009 Star Mazda Champion Adam Christodoulou.

Also taking part are motorsports TV presenter Louise Goodman, UK science minister and sportscar team owner Lord Drayson, driver and motorsports journalist Amanda Stretton, DTM racer Katherine Legge, former A1GP pilot Robbie Kerr, Superleague racer Duncan Tappy, GT driver Tim Mullen, Pro Kart and Formula A driver Linda Playfair, the BTCC’s Paul O’Neill and Tom Onslow-Cole, and BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year nominee and Ginetta Junior champion Sarah Moore.

Up-and-coming racers joining the fray include Racing Steps Foundation drivers Oliver Turvey, Jack Harvey, James Calado and Graham Sharp, while karting guru Martin Hines will be joined by fellow British Superkart team drivers Thomas Johansson, James O’Reilly and Trevor Roberts.

Further karting stars include Jordan Chamberlain, Ben Cooper, Robert Foster-Jones and Jason Parrott.

Twenty teams, each featuring four celebrity drivers and two paying members of the public, will battle for the 2010 Celebrity Karting Challenge.

The action starts from 3pm on Friday 15 January at Autosport International, with practice followed by qualifying for one nominated driver from each team.

The 90-minute endurance race will take place on a specially-constructed kart circuit designed by Apex Circuit Design, specialists in FIA and CIK approved racing facilities, who have devised tracks worldwide including the 5.4km Dubai Autodrome and 1.2km Kartdrome and, most recently, the new French Formula One circuit at Flins-Les-Mureaux near Paris.

The new Apex-designed 402-metre circuit at the NEC will feature 10 challenging corners that will test both the experienced professional and novice public driver alike, offering an even playing field for the race which will unfold in the 5000 seater Live Action Arena.

Members of the public can join the action and race alongside their racing heroes for just £300. The charity entrance fee also includes two entrance tickets to Autosport International on an exclusive trade day.

Book your public place now by contacting Bill Williams at bill@racing4charity.com or call (07712) 578263. The latest race information can be found at www.racing4charity.com.

Malaria No More UK launched in April 2009 fronted by David Beckham, Andy Murray and Denise Lewis, founding members of the charity’s Leadership Council. It is committed to ending suffering and death caused by malaria, a preventable disease.

The charity works with governments, corporations, celebrities and the public to raise mass awareness and funds. For more information and to donate visit its website here.

• Jenson Button will be paying a visit to the Karting Show at Autosport International to support the Super One 2009 championship awards presentation on Saturday January 16.

Button, who once competed in the series, will present the Super One trophies for the top three drivers across the Cadet, KF1 MSA British Kart Championship, KF2 and KF3 Junior British Kart Championship classes from 3.20pm.

A clean slate of 34 wins from 34 starts saw Button crowned Super One Cadet Champion in 1991. He went on to take the Junior TKM series title the following year.

Super One Series Marketing Director John Hoyle said: “We’re delighted that Jenson has taken time out of his busy schedule to return to his karting roots.

“We sincerely congratulate Jenson on his fantastic achievements this year. He is a true inspiration to our competitors who will be overjoyed to meet him at the Karting Show at Autosport International.”

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