Legends from the historic annals of the Le Mans 24 Hours are just some of the motor racing stars joining forces to support David Brabham's annual Racing4Charity Celebrity Karting Challenge, held within Autosport International at the NEC Birmingham on Friday 15 January.
British racing legend and five-times Le Mans 24 Hours victor Derek Bell will join Brabham, 2009 winner of the historic French endurance marathon and American Le Mans Series Champion, as Race Director for the Celebrity Karting Challenge.
Bell, the triple Daytona 24 Hours race winner and Formula One veteran will be visiting Autosport International especially to preside over the racing antics of some of the sport's best drivers, in the event staged from Autosport International's famous Live Action Arena for the first time.
The fantastic new platform promises to deliver the best event yet, with Malaria No More UK set as the principal beneficiary charity after Brabham was recently confirmed as Special Ambassador for the cause.
“It is with great excitement that I take up the role of Race Director for the Celebrity Karting Challenge in January,” Bell said. “This event attracts motorsport stars of all levels and I particularly enjoy the company of the upcoming young stars of our sport, as they are such fun to be with. I have not been to Autosport International for many years so this will be a very special visit for me."
Joining Bell and Brabham will be an array of sportscar stars. Le Mans Winner Guy Smith and Audi Sport duo Dindo Capello and Emanuele Pirro have already announced their intention to support the event. Mazda ace Marino Franchitti is also confirmed alongside fellow ALMS drivers Paul Drayson, Johnny Cocker and Rob Bell. Even the voice of Le Mans and sportscar racing will be in attendance as John Hindhaugh from Radio Le Mans joins the Celebrity Karting Challenge as the event presenter.
Aside from the Le Mans contingent, the Celebrity Karting Challenge is attracting stars from the karting ranks to the highest echelons of the sport to form over 20 teams comprising of four celebrity and two paying public drivers.
The original 'Karting Guru' Martin Hines — the triple FIA World Superkart and multiple FIA European and British champion who invented the indoor karting concept in the 1980s, is confirmed alongside Robin Liddell, Gordon Sheddon, Tim Harvey, Matt Neal, Louise Goodman, Bradley Ellis and Ollie Hancock, to name a few. The event is also attracting celebrities from outside the sport, such as Neil Primrose, drummer from the band Travis.
“To have Derek Bell presiding over the Celebrity Karting Challenge is a real privilege and the level of support from high profile racing drivers from across the sport has been staggering,” said Brabham. “Hosted from Autosport International's Live Action Arena for the first time, the 2010 event is shaping up to be the best yet. With a great new TV package also secured, I hope this year's race will raise valuable awareness of the work of Malaria No More UK and help raise vital funds for the charity.”