– the who’s who of world class motorsport
The entry list of racing drivers joining forces to raise over £50,000 for the BP Ultimate Celebrity Karting Challenge at Autosport International on Friday 9 January reads like the who’s who of world class motorsport. David Brabham’s charity kart race at the NEC, Birmingham, will see some of the best drivers in the world battle it out and members of the public can take the racing seat alongside them for just £300.
The most successful driver in the history of the prestigious 24 Heures Du Mans, Tom Kristensen is the latest star to pledge his support to the event which will be raising funds for the Richard Burns Foundation, The Christie Cancer Hospital Manchester, and Emmaus Hampshire. The eight-time Le Mans winner for Audi commented: “I am looking forward to the charity kart race and helping to raise money for the Richard Burns Foundation and other charities. It’s going to be great fun battling it out against such a fantastic line up of drivers. I just hope that David [Brabham] makes sure that our kart is set up perfectly, as I hate understeer!”
Kristensen’s Audi Sport North America team mate and sports car legend Emanuele Pirro will also be flying in especially for the event. After 15 glorious years, earning five 24 Heures Du Mans wins and two American Le Mans Series titles, Pirro retired from Audi at the end of 2008. With multiple karting championship crowns also among Pirro’s outstanding racing CV, the Italian is relishing the prospect of returning to the racing seat in January.
Completing the Audi trio for the Celebrity Karting Challenge will be former BTCC racer Frank Biela who partnered Pirro in the R10 with Audi up to and including the 2008 Le Mans race. After 18 years with Audi, Biela retired from the prototype squad at the end of 2008.
The Audi boys form just part of a fantastic line up of racing stars for the Celebrity Karting Challenge. Also confirmed are Andy Priaulx, Louise Goodman, Darren Turner, Johnny Mowlem, Guy Smith, Andrew Kirkaldy, Rob Bell, Katherine Legge, Adam Carroll, Niall Quinn, Robbie Kerr, Oliver Gavin, Duncan Tappy, Sarah Playfair, Tom Onslow-Cole, Steven Kane, Rob Collard, Sam Hancock, Ollie Hancock, Adrian Quaife-Hobbs, James Jakes, Gary Catt, Jack Harvey, Tiffany Chittenden, Jon Lancaster, Sam Bird and Bradley Ellis.
David Brabham commented: “I am delighted with the response from such high calibre drivers for this year’s BP Ultimate Charity Karting Challenge. This event truly amazes me. We raised nearly £50,000 last year and January’s race is shaping up to be the biggest and best yet. Despite the current financial situation, it’s fantastic to see that the sport and public alike are still committed to this event and to helping to raise money for some very worthy causes. It should be fantastic.”
Just 32 members of the public will have the chance to join this televised event and rub shoulders with their racing heroes for just £300 and there are only a few public places remaining. The event package includes two Autosport International entrance tickets for Friday 9 January, usually an exclusive trade day, so not only will you be the first members of the public to get a sneak preview of Europe’s biggest motorsport show, but you will also be making an invaluable contribution to charity.
Autosport International will be open to the public on Saturday 10 to Sunday 11 January 2009. MSA kart licence holders under 16 will receive a complimentary ticket to the Karting Show, when accompanied by a paying adult, call 0844 579 3188 and quote ‘KART 167’, while BRDC Stars of Tomorrow and Super One competitors will receive a pair of free tickets to the show. To purchase tickets visit autosport-international.com or call +44 (0) 844 579 3188. Adult tickets start at £29 per day with children’s tickets costing £19.