The Honda Racing F1 Team has declared its first Charity Open Day 'a major success' after 5,000 Formula 1 fans flocked to the team's operational base in Northamptonshire earlier this month, helping to raise ?75,000 for charity.

Honda's Open Day, held on 15 July in aid of its two nominated charities - Helen & Douglas House Hospice in Oxford and Stepping Stones Pre-School in Brackley, apparently afforded 'unprecedented access to a Formula 1 team'.

Visitors had the chance to see Jenson Button, Christian Klien, Mike Conway and Honda Racing F1 Team ambassador Murray Walker, as well as Super Aguri F1 Team drivers Anthony Davidson and James Rossiter.

Supporting the team's motorsport stars of today was 1979 Formula 1 World champion Jody Schekter, now a partner of the team, along with David Brabham who competes for the Honda premium brand Acura's new racing venture in the American Le Mans series.

"We are delighted with the success of our very first Charity Open Day," said Honda team boss, Nick Fry. "To raise ?75,000 at our first event of this kind is a fantastic achievement.

"Our primary objective was to raise money for our two team charities Helen & Douglas House and Stepping Stones Nursery and I am delighted that they will each receive a very considerable boost to their fundraising efforts this year.

"There was however a secondary objective and that was to bring our fans closer to the team and the sport than is ever possible during a race weekend. The fans were thrilled to see our drivers, Murray and all our other guests at close quarters, shaking hands, signing autographs and hearing about the racing season.

"None of this would have been possible without the tremendous support of our partners, who very generously donated their time and services. We would like to extend our thanks to everyone who played their part in making the day such a success."

The team offered a variety of experiences for its fans, including stage appearances, the opportunity to take part in a real-life pit stop challenge with the team's regular pit crew, as well as the chance to compete against the drivers in the giant Scalextric and F1 Simulator challenges.

The team also opened its doors to the factory so that visitors could see the high-tech engineering environment where Honda's RA107 race cars are designed and manufactured.



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