Chemmy Alcott is gearing up for an exciting new high-speed adventure. The Olympic downhill skier and recent star of ITV’s Dancing on Ice has just passed her test to become a racing driver and now, as a fully-fledged MSA competition licence holder, is ready to get on track.
“That was really, really fun – it’s always nice to pass things isn’t it!” grinned Chemmy after successfully completing both written and driving elements of the official ARDS test at Silverstone. “When you get past a certain age you don’t get many opportunities to challenge yourself and learn something new. That was one of the things I enjoyed about Dancing on Ice and this has been the same. I’ve really loved it – and it’s been really great to learn a new skill. It was really interesting out on the track and it really helped having some instruction from an ex-driver. He’s given me loads of tips and shown me how to drive fast and stay in control of the car.”
The five time Senior British National Champion is hoping to put her new-found driving skills to the test in a special, star-studded Celebrity Challenge race being staged as one of the highlights of this summer’s Silverstone Classic powered by the AA (20-22 July), the world’s biggest classic motor sport festival.
Chemmy, 29, will line up on the starting grid alongside a host of personalities from showbiz, sport, TV and music all whizzing around the famous Silverstone Grand Prix circuit in lightweight, competition prepared Morgans capable of topping 130mph. Those taking part include Hollywood star Sir Patrick Stewart, award-winning chef Heston Blumenthal, lifestyle guru Jo Wood, ‘Comedy Dave’ Vitty from Radio 1, Sky Sports presenter Vicky Gomersall, legendary rocker Brian Johnson from AC/DC and Strictly Come Dancing’s Brendan Cole.
“I’ve been clocked at 92mph on skis but I’m hoping to double that speed in the car!” joked Chemmy who has already challenged Sir Patrick to a re-match on skis. “I’m going to be a racing driver for the day and it is just going to be an amazing experience! With all those fabulous cars racing and on display, the Silverstone Classic sounds fabulous and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Unlike in downhill ski competitions, motor racing is a sport in which girls can compete against boys and Chemmy is relishing the opportunity to mix it with her male rivals. She added: “I’m going to tuck my hair up in the helmet on the day, so that none of the boys know that I am a girl – I don’t want to be judged on that basis! When I take on the boys skiing, they just don’t like it; so I want to see if the same applies here!”
The Celebrity Challenge takes place on Saturday 21 July and will raise funds for the Birmingham Children’s Hospital, the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK and the RPJ Crohn’s Foundation.
Adult tickets for 2012’s Silverstone Classic powered by the AA (20-22 July) cost from as little as £35 and special two- and three-day weekend tickets are also available with savings of more than 20 per cent if purchased in advance. Full details are available via the event’s official silverstoneclassic.com website.