David Brabham seized a rare opportunity to meet his British fans at Europe's biggest motorsport show, Autosport International
, over the weekend, as the double Le Mans class winner fulfilled various ambassadorial roles, made personal appearances and helped raise £45,000 for charity.
A long-term supporter of the show, the Patrón Highcroft Racing ALMS star hosted the first ever Karting Show Workshop on Saturday, offering young karters an exclusive insight into the fundamentals any driver must master in order to build a foundation for success in motorsport. Drawing from his Brabham Performance Clinic driver training programme concept, Brabham covered essential elements from personal fitness and breathing control to visualisation and race preparation, as young racers from across the ranks flocked to learn some top tips for success
“I think the workshop with David was great and it has given me quite a lot to think about, especially how to prepare for a race," all-conquering 11-year old Roy Johnson commented, "From now on, I will concentrate on focusing my attention on my breathing techniques.”
Fourteen-year old Jody Fannin was equally impressed by Brabham's advice.
“There are a lot of points from the session that I hope to use in the coming season," he noted, "I'm going to be concentrating a lot more on how I think and my mental attitude, especially before a race weekend. I will be determined to stay positive and visualise my perfect lap, because then I will know exactly what I can do in the racing seat.”
“I wasn't one hundred per cent sure what to expect from the Karting Show Workshop as it was the very first one, but I felt it went very well and I am delighted with the great response it received, not just from the young karters but from their parents as well," Brabham admitted, "This is certainly a concept that I would like to develop in the future, not only with the Brabham Performance Clinic but also with the Karting Show.”
In addition to hosting the workshop however, Brabham attended Autosport International
on the opening trade day to announce that applications are now open for the 2009 MSA British Race Elite programme. Operated by Brabham Performance Clinic and fronted by David, the programme offers the most promising British racing drivers the opportunity to develop their skills and the best possible chance of progressing in the sport.
On Friday, Brabham's annual charity kart race, the BP Ultimate Celebrity Karting Challenge, staged together with the Racing 4 Charity auctions held throughout Saturday and Sunday on the F1 Racing display, raised £45,000 for a variety of charities, including the Richard Burns Foundation.
In the race, Brabham was joined by a host of top celebrity drivers including fellow sportscar stars Tom Kristensen, Frank Biela, Emanuele Pirro and Johnny Mowlem, who raced alongside members of the public, who paid £300 for the exclusive privilege of partnering their heroes.
Team 11, 'The Good Mornins' finally took the spoils with 'MSA Rally Elite' second and 'Team GT' third. Brabham's 'Team Modena All Stars', featuring Kristensen, Australian karting star Kip Foster, race organiser Bill Williams, Team Modena owner Rik Bryan, Dennis Jehan and Mitch Macfarlane, finished fourth.