American Le Mans Series ace Mika Salo is looking for a new co-driver - but not for his regular sportscar activities.
Instead the Finn, who previously drove for Ferrari - amongst others - in F1, is looking for someone to share the experience of this year's 3000-mile 'Coast to Coast' Gumball 3000 with him - and has opened the opportunity to the public at large.
Salo, who competed in 111 Formula One grands prix between 1995-2002 before converting to sportscars and winning the GT class at Le Mans in 2008 and Sebring just last month, will enter the seven-day Gumball event in his own Ferrari 430 Scuderia, with his co-driver to come from an auction on internet site eBay
The auction, which can be found HERE
, goes live today [Monday 13 April] and will donate a percentage of its proceeds to the Association of Hole in the Wall Camps, the charity for children with serious illnesses founded by the late Paul Newman.
Included in the one-of-a-kind package is the opportunity to ride - and drive - with Salo during the entire seven days of the Gumball Rally, as well as training with a professional Ferrari driver prior to the race, attendance at all Gumball festivities and parties, accommodation and meals and, at the finish line, the keys to the Ferrari.
The Rally, which starts from Los Angeles on 1 May, heads for Miami via stops in Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Santa Fe, Dallas, Houston – where Risi Competizione, Ferrari of Houston and Hennessey Performance will be hosting a lunch for all the competitors – and New Orleans. It will showcase 120 of the world's finest cars, including vintage, customised and luxury Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Rolls Royces, Aston Martins and Bugattis alongside America's finest muscle cars and today's 'greenest' hybrid and electric vehicles of the future. Other big names already announced for the 2009 rally include Jackass
stars Bam Margera and Ryan Dunn, and skate legend Tony Hawk.
Salo's Gumball participation adds to a short roll call of F1 drivers to have sampled the unique event, including Damon Hill, who drove on the 2001 rally to St Petersburg, and Jenson Button, although the current world championship leader confined himself to waving the starting flag for the 2005 run from London to Croatia.