In addition to Mark Webber, fellow F1 2010 star Karun Chandhok has confirmed his attendance at the special Pro-am karting fundraising event in aid of inured Superleague Formula racer Chris van der Drift today (7 September), with sponsorship from Motorsport Insurance Services and Gullwing.
The endurance race, which will take place at Daytona Milton Keynes, is open to the public and will be waved off by F1 title contender Webber. It involves a field of professional drivers and motor racing industry members, with six places having been claimed by the sport's fans through an eBay auction that ended on Sunday to drive alongside 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.
Dutch-Kiwi ace van der Drift suffered multiple injuries in a crash at Brands Hatch in July and was uninsured at the time. He has been left with a sizeable medical bill, and Motorsport Insurance Services and Gullwing are supporting the event to raise awareness of the importance of insurance in the sport.
“Chris' unfortunate situation highlights how important it is for drivers within the industry to have insurance,” said Ryan Mone, director of Motorsport Insurance Services. “Although motorsport is incredibly safe and getting ever-safer, the sport is fundamentally about pushing the limits. Accidents will happen.
“It is really vital for competitors to take out Personal Accident Insurance, and the aftermath of Chris' accident really shows why competitors should be talking to organisations like MIS. When we got wind of this fantastic initiative, we wanted to show our support.”
The event has drawn the attention of several F1 stars, with Webber pledging his support and Hispania Racing (HRT) rookie Chandhok and Lotus test and reserve driver Fairuz Fauzy both entering teams of their own. GP2 Series and Superleague protagonists Sergio Perez and Craig Dolby will similarly be racing. van der Drift hopes the sponsorship of MIS and Gullwing will prevent other drivers from ending up in the same position as him.
“Motorsport moves so fast that it is vital – no matter what level you race at – that you give yourself the best opportunity for a smooth recovery if you have an accident,” he remarked. “My crash at Brands Hatch was obviously a major blow for me, but with no insurance it was an absolute disaster. I am so grateful to everyone who has pledged support so far. I am now in talks with MIS about future cover, and I will not be going back on-track without ensuring I am fully-insured.”
Full team places are still available to be purchased, and the event will also be open to a limited crowd of general public on a first-come, first-served basis at a cost of £10 per person. For more details, please see: www.chrisvddrift.com