Formula One fans will get a near unprecedented opportunity to attend the European Grand Prix of their choice and watch the action unfold from the within the hallowed portals of the F1 paddock as guests of one of the teams.
The initiative is being launched in the form of an auction by the Tom Pryce Memorial Trust, with all proceeds being channelled towards the creation of a permanent memorial to the Welsh ace in his home town of Ruthin. For nine consecutive weeks, starting Monday 9 February, fans will be able to bid for a pair of exclusive paddock passes, which will include team hospitality normally reserved for sponsors and VIP guests, on the Tom Pryce Memorial Trust website
, with the chance to join McLaren at the Spanish Grand Prix over 8-10 May the first up for grabs.
Pryce remains among the greatest talents lost to grand prix racing, having combined natural speed with sensational car control that saw him mentioned in the same breath as the likes of Jochen Rindt, Gilles Villeneuve and Ronnie Peterson. He is best remembered for becoming the only Welshman to have won a Formula One race, when he triumphed in the non-championship Race of Champions at Brands Hatch in 1975, but was killed in a freak accident during the 1977 South African Grand Prix, aged just 27.
“Tom was an extraordinarily talented racing driver who remained true to his roots in Wales where, to this day, he retains a strong following amongst his many fans," fellow Welshman David Richards, a member of the fund-raising committee, noted, "I am extremely proud to chair the Trust and support its plans to honour Tom with a permanent memorial in his home town in the Vale of Clwyd, an area he loved so much.”
Following the opportunity to join McLaren in Barcelona, fans can bid on the following 'lots', taking in the remainder of the European rounds of the 2009 F1 world championship and culminating with the chance to join Ferrari at Monza.
Monaco Force India
Hungary BMW Sauber
Valencia Toro Rosso
Belgium Red Bull Racing