Media Release: Follow In The Tyre Tracks Of Button & Hamilton - Get Started In Karting At Autosport International

London, UK – Thursday 7 January, 2010; The Karting Show at Autosport International opens its doors to the public on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 January 2010 at the NEC, Birmingham, offering any aspiring Jenson Buttons and Lewis Hamiltons the chance to find out how to get racing. Housed within the world’s biggest motorsport show, it’s the perfect place to get all the information you need to start and progress in karting, with some of the sport’s best drivers on hand for expert advice.

Jenson Button is the latest star to rise from the British karting ranks to take the FIA Formula One World Championship 2009. A former national champion, Button will return to his karting roots during his two-day visit to Autosport International, to present some of the country’s youngest racing stars with their 2009 Super One national karting championship trophies on Saturday. Anthony Davidson, test driver for Brawn GP in 2009 and commentator for BBC Radio 5 Live, built his race craft in karts from the age of eight. Like Button, his 12 year karting foundation, clinching numerous club and national karting crowns, helped him to the heights of the sport. Davidson, who will also attend Autosport International next week, commented: “I see karting as a vital part of racing in any young driver's career. It’s the grassroots of motorsport and you pick up so many skills in karting that you carry through with you right to the top. It's also great fun and easy to get into.” If you are serious about getting on the karting track, then who better to take advice from than Le Mans 24 Hours and American Le Mans Series Champion, David Brabham? Leader of the MSA Team UK driver training programme, Brabham is helping to develop the next generation of British racing stars. “Karting is an essential starting point for anyone interested in a racing career. The sport now offers options to start racing at any age and the skills learned will build the foundation for any driver, from rallying to F1,” said Brabham. “I hold a charity kart race at Autosport International and one reason the Celebrity Karting Challenge attracts such high profile racers each year is because karting forms a fundamental part of most driver’s careers. Any opportunity to get back in the kart seat to fine tune skills and take on the wheel-to-wheel racing only karting can provide is always welcomed by any established driver. Autosport International signals the start of the new season and with the whole industry on show it’s the perfect place to come and have a look at the various options available – it’s a must-see event.” Audi Sport double Le Mans 24 Hours winner and former Formula One driver Allan McNish, together with Davidson, are just a few stars beckoned back to the karting seat for Brabham’s Celebrity Karting Challenge. Aside from his charity race duties, Scottish star McNish will pay his usual visit to the Karting Show at Autosport International on Saturday. McNish commented: “Karting has always had a very important part to play in any driver’s career. It’s a perfect way to learn and develop your skills and also to enjoy the experience of driving and racing. If you look at the UK and the last two F1 champions, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton developed their talents in karting and at circuits across the British Isles and it’s therefore only appropriate that karting has such a strong presence at Autosport International.” “I’m also very pleased that David Brabham’s Celebrity Karting Challenge will have such an impressive platform at the NEC and I’m sure we will see some of the next generation of budding racing stars really show themselves in the next few days.” Visitors can find out how to try karting at their local circuit with the MSA’s Let’s Go Karting initiative. Simply visit the Go Motorsport stand for information on how to get involved in the sport, as a competitor, spectator or volunteer. The ABkC can also help you get on-track with free and friendly advice on the most suitable racing class and how to progress through all levels of karting. Visit stand 6132 to collect a free brochure and DVD featuring a step-by-step guide to obtaining an MSA kart licence, and full details of classes, kart clubs, kart schools and traders. The cream of Britain’s young karters will also be in attendance at the Karting Show at Autosport International on Saturday when drivers from the Formula Kart Stars national karting series will collect their 2009 championship awards. Autosport International is open to the public on Saturday and Sunday, 16-17 January 2010. Adult tickets start at £29 per day, with children’s tickets costing from £19. MSA licence holders under 16 qualify for a complimentary weekend day ticket, when accompanied by a paying adult, by booking in advance. To book, visit www.autosport-international.com or call 0844 579 3188 quoting ‘Karting 216’. For further ticket information and to keep up-to-date with the latest Karting Show at Autosport International news and information visit www.thekartingshow.com -Ends- Please click on the thumbnails below to download images. Notes to Editors Autosport International, held at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, is open to the public on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 January 2010. Tickets are on sale now with adult tickets starting at £29 per day and children’s tickets costing from £19. To book please visit www.autosport-show.com or call 0844 579 3188. Media information is available from the Karting Show at Autosport International press office: Emma Spearing, Hazel PR Tel: +44 (0)1202 862411 Mobile: +44 (0)7736 341828 Email: emma.spearing@hazelpr.com

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