David Brabham's Celebrity Karting Challenge 2010 at the Autosport International show at Birmingham's NEC on Friday, 15 January will welcome some of America's top young drivers from the elite Team USA Scholarship, it has been confirmed.
Four Team USA Scholarship stars will be jetting into the UK especially for the event, which aims to raise awareness and funds for Malaria No More UK, the charity supported by former F1 ace Brabham in his role as a special ambassador.
Making up the Team USA Young Guns will be Conor Daly, who finished third in the 2009 Star Mazda Championship; winner of the 2009 Walter Hayes Trophy, Connor De Phillippi; 2008 Formula Ford Festival Champion Josef Newgarden; and Patrick Barrett, winner of the 2007 Pacific F2000 Championship.
“I am so excited!” enthused 2009 Team USA Scholarship winner De Phillippi. “This is another great opportunity thanks to the Team USA Scholarship. To represent the USA in the Celebrity Karting Challenge alongside such a high calibre of drivers and to be helping to raise money and awareness for the fight against malaria makes me that much more honoured to have the pleasure to compete in this fantastic charity event.”
The Team USA Scholarship was founded in 1990 by writer and commentator Jeremy Shaw. The unique programme assists young American drivers in the early stages of their careers, giving them an opportunity to display their skills on an international stage. Past winners include Jimmy Vasser, Bryan Herta, Memo Gidley, Jerry Nadeau, Buddy Rice, A.J. Allmendinger and J.R. Hildebrand.
The scholarship is made possible by vital contributors including Mockett & Company and the Road Racing Drivers Club (RRDC). The US-based RRDC organisation comprises many top drivers from around the world, and has been mentoring young stars and promoting safety since its formation in 1952.
The cross-Atlantic trip for the talented quartet has been facilitated by long-time supporter of the Team USA Scholarship Doug Mockett, and Duncan Dayton, principal of Patrón Highcroft Racing – the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) team with which Brabham lifted the LMP1 spoils in 2009.
“Highcroft Racing has been a proud supporter of Team USA in recent years and I've been thrilled with the guys' performances in the UK,” Dayton underlined. “These guys really are the stars of the future, and David's charity karting event gives them a great chance to do battle against the biggest names in motorsport.
“I'm delighted to team up with Doug to help make this happen. With David's race benefitting Malaria No More UK, it is a perfect link to our Miles to End Malaria campaign. I'm sure Connor, Josef, Patrick and Conor are going to have a great time – and I'm sure it won't be long before they will be doing battle with guys like Brabs on the world stage.”