Inaugural Caron Keating Kart Race Challenge a spectacular success

In memory of Caron and to acknowledge the ten-year anniversary of the Caron Keating Foundation, friends and family came together in an action-packed fundraiser - Over £35,000 was raised for the foundation

The Caron Keating Foundation added another fabulous event to its fundraising portfolio at the weekend. Hosted by Russ Lindsay, Caron’s husband of 14 years, friends and family joined together to remember Caron and to celebrate the ten years of her foundation at the inaugural Caron Keating Kart Race Challenge.

Over 100 guests took part in an endurance karting challenge at Daytona, Sandown Park, Surrey. And what a challenge it was, with both amateurs and professionals racing hard and fast in over 20 teams of four.

As guests arrived in wet and windy conditions, karters braced themselves for a greasy track. By the time the practice session came to a close, however, the sun broke through and shone brightly on the home straight. As Russ said in his opening speech, ‘this was Caron’s way of saying thank you for coming’.

And so the karting began. Unsurprisingly, the professional team – consisting of current GP2 Series championship leader Jolyon Palmer, BTCC driver Jack Clarke and former F3 competitor Rupert Svendsen-Cook – showed off their talent to secure the fastest lap times. Commenting on the race, Caron’s brother Paul Keating said: “It was amazing to race against the real pros! It’s a little embarrassing when they lap you three or four times, but crazy to see how fast they actually go!”

The excitement wasn’t exclusive to the track. Celebrity friends of Russ, including Anthea Turner, Grant Bovey, Sugababes singer Heidi Range and actor Philip Glenister cheered from the sidelines and chatted away with other guests.

Two-and-a-half-hours later, the chequered flag dropped and karters headed to the marquee to enjoy some well-earned refreshments. After cooling off, Russ welcomed to the stage Caron’s mother, Gloria Hunniford, who was pleased to announce the results of the race. Despite being penalised by several black flags, the professionals, as expected, secured victory. Current British GT Champion Marco Attard’s team sealed the runner-up spoils, with Russ’ own team, Infinity Media, third and Honda 3 – including triple BTCC Champion Matt Neal – winding up seventh.

Whilst guests mingled and champagne flowed, the charity auction got underway. An impressive array of prizes – including a Honda MSX bike, an autographed David Coulthard TW Steel Watch and Ferrari merchandise, signed by Fernando Alonso himself – saw bidders raise over £10,000 for the Caron Keating Foundation.

Commenting on the success of the event, Russ Lindsay said: “It was an amazing event and we now hope to repeat it on an annual basis. Between us we have raised over £35,000 for Caron’s charity. For those who knew Caron, she loved motorsport and fast cars and would completely approve of raising money for her charity in this way – she was always the one on Blue Peter who got picked to do the fast and dangerous stuff!”

Special thanks were expressed to the supporters of the event, namely Honda UK and The Wine Reserve for their very generous contributions.

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