* Main straight at Beccles renamed ‘Pennell Straight.’
* Macaulay Austin earns inaugural Dannie Pennell trophy.
Formula Kart Stars and Ellough Park Raceway joined forces to remember the late Dannie Pennell earlier this year, dedicating the final two rounds of the Formula One Management backed championships’ 2011 season to the late founder of Team Dadson.
Pennell, who succumbed to cancer in July, was one of the most popular and well respected members of the karting fraternity with friends throughout the sport thanks to Team Dadson, which ran drivers in Formula Kart Stars and the Rotax Euro Challenge and the Dadson Challenge, a nationwide series dedicated to senior drivers.
Throughout the Ellough Park weekend circuit owner Richard Lock, a good friend of Dannie’s, and Formula Kart Stars went to great lengths to honour Pennell and raised more than £500 to the hospice that cared for Dannie during his final days.
“Dannie was instrumental in helping me buy Ellough Park and it is fitting that the main straight should be named after him,” says Lock, who helped unveil the new ‘Pennell Straight’ during an emotional driver’s parade during the weekend. “I couldn’t name a corner after him because he was a very straight person.”
corner after him because he was a very straight person.”
Lock also founded the Dannie Pennell Trophy, an award that celebrates any driver who epitomised the spirit, graft and ‘never say die’ attitude that Pennell was known for. Following a joint deliberation by Lock and Formula Kart Stars officials, Junior Rotax driver Macaulay Austin was named as the inaugural recipient of the extremely impressive trophy.
"It is such an honour to be chosen for this award,” said the Bryn Mawr based driver, who finished fourth in the 2008 MSA British Cadet Championship and has won over 100 races despite almost always running as an independent driver with his dad Neil. “I am very pleased that my hard work has been recognised.”
The main fundraising element of the weekend fell, quite literally, to FKS circuit commentator Henry Beaudette, who took part in a 12,000ft skydive complete with radio mic to try and raise money for the Hospice that cared for Dannie. Despite having less than 24 hours notice, the FKS paddock was able to raise more than £500.
“To say I was a reluctant volunteer would be an understatement,” says Beaudette. “But Dannie was a good friend and was very generous with his support and time when my team were racing at Le Mans. When I was asked I couldn’t say no and it was a pleasure to help raise some money for a very worthy cause and an all round great bloke.”