The line-up joining forces to raise over £50,000 at the BP Ultimate Celebrity Karting Challenge at Autosport International
in early January received another boost when the most successful driver in Le Mans 24 Hours history added his name to the list.
Tom Kristensen is the latest star to pledge his support to the Friday 9 January event, which already reads like a who's who of world class motorsport, as David Brabham stages the latest in a run of charity kart races at Birmingham's NEC.
The event, which will be raising funds for the Richard Burns Foundation, he Christie Cancer Hospital Manchester and Emmaus Hampshire, already boasted the great and good from international series, but Kristensen's arrival added extra kudos as Audi looks set to have a major presence on track in 2009.
“I am looking forward to the race and helping to raise money for the Richard Burns Foundation and other charities," the eight-time Le Mans winner commented, "It's going to be great fun battling it out against such a fantastic line-up of drivers, but I just hope that David makes sure that our kart is set up perfectly, as I hate understeer!”
Kristensen's erstwhile Audi Sport North America team-mate Emanuele Pirro will also be flying in especially for the event and, after 15 years and five Le Mans wins of his own before retired from Audi at the end of 2008, the multiple karting champion is relishing the prospect of returning to the hot seat in January. Completing the Audi trio will be former BTCC racer Frank Biela, who partnered Pirro in the R8 and R10 up to and including the 2008 Le Mans race.
The Audi boys form just part of a star-studded line-up, with other sportscar aces including Darren Turner, Johnny Mowlem, Guy Smith, Andrew Kirkaldy, Rob Bell, Oliver Gavin, Robbie Kerr, Sam Hancock and Bradley Ellis joining the likes of three-time WTCC champion Andy Priaulx, DTM racer Katherine Legge, single-seater aces Adam Carroll, Niall Quinn, Duncan Tappy, James Jakes, Jon Lancaster and Sam Bird, BTCC regulars Tom Onslow-Cole, Steven Kane and Rob Collard and kart kings Gary Catt, Jack Harvey and Tiffany Chittenden on the entry.
“I am delighted with the response from such high calibre drivers for this year's BP Ultimate Charity Karting Challenge," Brabham commented, "This event truly amazes me. We raised nearly £50,000 last year and January's race is shaping up to be the biggest and best yet. Despite the current financial situation, it's fantastic to see that the sport and public alike are still committed to this event and to helping to raise money for some very worthy causes. It should be fantastic.”
As well as the stars, 32 members of the public will have the chance to join in with the televised event, with seats available for £300.