Jan 04

Champions unite in honour of Dan Wheldon

Autosport International Karting Challenge

Autosport International Karting Challenge logoDan Wheldon Borg Warner TrophyThe Autosport International Karting Challenge in honour of Dan Wheldon has received World Champion support ahead of the Johnny Herbert-presented event at the NEC Birmingham on Friday, January 11.

Britain’s latest World Champion, Rob Huff, together with triple World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx will be heading-up the touring car contingent helping to raise funds and awareness for the Wheldon family’s nominated charity, Alzheimer’s Society.

Reigning FIA World Touring Car Champion, Huff commented: “Dan played a large role in so many people’s lives and I have been privileged to be part of several events held in his memory and supporting the charity that was so important to Dan.

“I’m honoured to have been invited to take part in the 2013 Autosport International Karting Challenge. At events like this everyone needs to remember what it’s all about and why we’re doing this, which is to remember Dan and raise money for Alzheimer’s Society.”

BMW DTM driver Priaulx added: “It’s always a pleasure to start the new year at Autosport International and in particular get together with all my adversaries from the motorsport world; supporting Johnny’s [Herbert] Karting event in memory of Dan is top of my list. It’s a great event for a very worthy cause and in remembrance of a lovely friend in motorsport, I am privileged to be part of it.”

Also making the special trip to the UK to help celebrate the life and achievements of the British IndyCar Champion, Emanuele Pirro will be joining a raft of sportscar drivers, including fellow Le Mans legends Allan McNish and David Brabham.

From the world of F1, McLaren Sporting Director Sam Michael will be fielding one of the 20 teams, while McLaren test driver Oliver Turvey is also confirmed alongside Sky Sports F1’s Ted Kravitz.

Unfortunately Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber is unable to attend but, in his absence, has generously donated his 2012 Japanese Grand Prix helmet, which will be auctioned after the event at www.sellebrity.org.uk Autosport International visitors can place bids on Saturday and Sunday via the AIKC stand in Hall 6.

Similarly, Dan’s close friend Johnny Mowlem has been signed to race in the Dubai 24 Hours, but has donated his black and gold Lotus factory race suit and gloves used during the 2012 Petit Le Mans, for auction.

Mowlem commented: “I’m so pleased that the Autosport International Karting Challenge presented by Johnny Herbert has chosen to stage the 2013 race in Dan’s memory in aid of Alzheimer’s Society. I’m gutted I can’t be at the NEC to race next week, but I’m sure the event will be a lot of fun and, most importantly, raise vital funds and awareness for a charity that is very worthy and was very close to Dan’s heart.”

Multiple World Rally Champion co-driver Nicky Grist; former BBC Top Gear ‘Stig’, Ben Collins; AutoGP World Series Champion Adrian Quaife-Hobbs and BRDC Woolf Barnato trophy winner Alex Brundle, are just some of the other stars taking time out to head-up each of the 20 teams featuring five members of the public.

Following the race on Friday evening, the winning team will be symbolically presented with one of Dan’s magnificent trophies, by members of the Wheldon family.

The Autosport International Karting Challenge track action kicks off in Hall 4 with practice and qualifying at 18:00 preceding the race start at 19:00. Autosport International trade visitors and MSA licence holders can enjoy full spectator access to the event as a complimentary addition to their standard ticket. Trade tickets cost £26 per person, simply register at www.autosportinternational.com/trade. Those unable to attend can donate in Dan’s memory by visiting www.alzheimers.org.uk.

• One in three people over 65 will die with dementia
• Alzheimer’s Society research shows that 800,000 people in the UK have a form of dementia, more than half have Alzheimer’s disease. In less than ten years a million people will be living with dementia. This will soar to 1.7 million people by 2051
• Alzheimer’s Society champions the rights of people living with dementia and the millions of people who care for them
• Alzheimer’s Society works in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
• Alzheimer’s Society supports people to live well with dementia today and funds research to find a cure for tomorrow. We rely on voluntary donations to continue our vital work. You can donate now by calling 0845 306 0898 or visiting alzheimers.org.uk
• Alzheimer’s Society provides a National Dementia Helpline, the number is 0845 300 0336 or visit alzheimers.org.uk
• Press Office: 08450 744 395 Email: press@alzheimers.org.uk

source: JohnnyHerbertKarting.co.uk, Autosport International Karting Challenge