Champions sign up for Wheldon kart race
The Autosport International Karting Challenge in honor of former IndyCar champion Dan Wheldon has received World Champion support ahead of the Johnny Herbert-presented event at the NEC in Birmingham next week.
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.
“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,” Huff said. “I'm honored 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.”
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.
Although Red Bull Racing's Mark Webber is unable to he has generously donated his 2012 Japanese Grand Prix helmet, which will be auctioned after the event at sellebrity.org.uk, while 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.
"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,” he said. “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 trophies by members of the Wheldon family.