The Richard Burns Foundation was centre-stage at the Ceremonial Start of Rally GB on Thursday, as the climax of the 2009 World Rally Championship got underway, receiving a cheque for ?32,146 raised at the second Richard Burns Memorial Rally earlier this year.

Flying officer Steve Keys and Sergeant Pete Taylor represented RAF Marham, which hosted the hugely successful event in August, and were on the podium in Cardiff to hand over the cheque to Richard Burns Foundation chairman David Lapworth.

Also in attendance was Phil Mills, co-driver to Petter Solberg and a former team-mate of Burns, who had been a guest at the rally in June.

The presentation was accompanied by a fast jet fly-over to entertain the rally fans gathered at the start in the Welsh capital.

"We are extremely grateful to all of those involved in organising the Richard Burns Memorial Rally this year for all of the effort they put in to raising this incredible sum of money," said RBF administrator, Peter Martin.

"We would also like to thank all of our friends at Rally GB for taking the time to show their support for the cause.

"It was fantastic to continue to raise awareness of the Richard Burns Foundation at the most exciting and important event of the WRC calendar and we were delighted to see another great turn out from both rally fans and the WRC stars."

Meanwhile, the Richard Burns Tribute Bike - produced by Midlands-based Ironside Choppers to raise funds for the charity - also attracted admiring glances from drivers and fans alike at the start.

The stunning creation, which took brothers Simon, Andy and Dave Turley along with friend Jem Doward over 100 hours to build, will be auctioned off by Bonhams in December at London's Olympia with proceeds going direct to the Foundation.

Among those who have already shown their support for the project by signing the unique piece of machinery are Sir Stirling Moss, Sir Jackie Stewart and Monte Carlo and RAC Rally winner Rauno Aaltonen, and a host of current WRC stars were keen to add their names to the list.

Petter Solberg who is Burns' only former team-mate still competing in the WRC along with five-time WRC champion Sebastien Loeb and BP Ford Abu Dhabi's championship challenger Mikko Hirvonen all added their signatures to the mud guard of the bike which has been decked out in Burns' famous blue and yellow Subaru livery and features an image of the former WRC champ.

"It was brilliant to see how appreciative the fans and the drivers are of the Richard Burns Tribute Bike and a great reward for all of the work that we have put into building it. To see a driving legend like Sebastien Loeb on the bike was a real thrill for us," said Simon Turley from Ironside Choppers. "We'd like to thank all of the WRC stars who have shown their support for the project because it will really help raise the profile of the bike ahead of the auction in December."

For more information on the Richard Burns Foundation visit www.richardburnsfoundation.com

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