In the wake of one of the most horrifying accidents of recent times, F1 2010 title protagonist Mark Webber and the motorsport industry have united to help raise funds for the rehabilitation of Superleague Formula racer Chris van der Drift in a unique charity outing that will allow fans to bid on eBay
for a chance to race alongside some of the sport's top up-and-coming stars in Milton Keynes next week.
van der Drift was badly injured in a crash during the Superleague Formula meeting at Brands Hatch a month ago today whilst competing for Greek football club Olympiacos. Launched into the air at more than 250km/h, the Dutch-Kiwi suffered a dislocated and broken right ankle, a broken wrist, a broken finger, two broken ribs, a cracked shoulder blade and a mangled left index finger.
Despite this, he is in good spirits and recovering well, although he requires additional funds to get the specialist treatment his injuries require to get back behind the wheel in the shortest timeframe possible. With guidance from Webber's personal trainer Roger Cleary, the former Formula Master, Formula BMW and Formula Renault Champion is hoping to become the first racing driver to attend Bisham Abbey, a sports science medicine facility designed for elite athlete training and recovery and used by Great Britain's Olympic squad as well as top rugby and football teams.
To help raise the necessary funds, a two-hour endurance karting race will take place at 6pm on 7 September, 2010 at Daytona Raceway in Milton Keynes, featuring a full field of four-driver teams and a host of figureheads from within the sport, all friends of van der Drift.
“I survived and I am determined to return stronger than before”, confirmed the 24-year-old, a four-time Superleague race-winner and ten-time podium-finisher. “Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. At the moment I am losing, not because of my competitors but because I have injuries and broken bones due to the accident at Brands Hatch. I am still determined to win the championship this year and get my test in F1, but to do that I have to manipulate the time I have and to do that I need help.
“It's really humbling to see so many good friends from within the industry support me through this difficult period. I am really looking forward to the karting fundraiser. I am sure it will be a fantastic event, and I really cannot thank everyone enough for their efforts.”
Webber will attend to wave off the start of the race, and the track will be filled with some of the brightest stars around, with six future F1 hopefuls inviting the general public to join them as part of their teams. Red Bull Racing test driver Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren/Autosport BRDC award-winner and F3 Euroseries front-runner Alexander Sims, newly-crowned British F3 Champion Jean-Eric Vergne, World Series by Renault ace Brendon Hartley, BRDC Superstar and British F3 race-winner Oli Webb and Formula Renault UK leading light Tom Blomqvist will all form part of three auction-based entries, with two seats available on each of the three teams which the public can bid for on eBay
Information on how to bid can be found on van der Drift's website (www.chrisvddrift.com
), or fans can search the eBay
auction using the following details: TEAM RICCIARDO AND VERGNE, TEAM SIMS AND HARTLEY and TEAM WEBB AND BLOMQVIST.
The event will also feature a number of professional race simulators – allowing attendees to test their skills against real racing drivers – and will be open to a limited crowd of general public on a first-come, first-served basis at a cost of £10 per person. Each of the successful auction-winners will be given three free spectator tickets to the event.
“We already have commitments from some of Chris' past race teams and opponents, along with racing drivers and associated motor racing companies,” added event initiator Jessica Beale. “Teams are limited, so sign up quick!”
The cost per team is £250, and a donation for Chris would be very much appreciated. To enter a team, please contact Jessica at firstname.lastname@example.org