Media Release: Sell-Out For Autosport International Karting Challenge In Memory Of Dan Wheldon

Lancaster, Lancashire – Thursday, December 20, 2012: The Autosport International Karting Challenge being held at the NEC Birmingham on Friday, 11 January, has received an outstanding response to the 2013 race presented by Johnny Herbert. Staged in memory of Dan Wheldon in aid of the Wheldon family’s nominated charity, Alzheimer’s Society, all 20 teams are now fully booked with a substantial reserve list also in place.

There has been huge demand from members of the public and the wider motorsport industry to take part in the three-hour endurance event. With professional drivers and celebrities set to head-up each team of five public members, stars across the highest motorsport echelons have also pledged to race in celebration of the life and achievements of the late British double Indy 500 winner and IndyCar Champion.

Newly crowned FIA World Touring Car Champion Rob Huff, sportscar legend Allan McNish, Le Mans winner and double ALMS Champion David Brabham, McLaren F1 test driver Oliver Turvey, Sky Sports F1 commentator David Croft and pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz, are just some of the stars joining Johnny Herbert this January.

Alzheimer’s Society ambassador and former Welsh professional footballer, Robbie Savage will also be taking to the track and commented: “My Dad, Colin, had Pick's disease, a degenerative brain condition with similar symptoms to Alzheimer's so I understand how much of an impact it can have on the person as well as their family.

“As a proud Alzheimer's Society ambassador and car fanatic, I'm so pleased that the money raised from The Autosport International Karting Challenge will go towards supporting people living with dementia. I can't wait to take part and help raise funds and awareness for a charity very close to my heart.”

The new event takes place with the full blessing of the Wheldon family, with the ‘Wheldon Lionhearts’ team taking part. In a touching gesture, family members will also present the winners with one of Dan’s magnificent trophies.

Holly Wheldon commented: “It’s wonderful to see that so many people want to join together to celebrate Dan’s life and achievements. If Dan were here, he’d be the first on the track, having a great time racing with his friends and fans for a charity that was very important to him. We hope the event raises vital funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s Society, and everyone has a lot of fun doing it.”

Working closely with show organisers, the 2013 event is managed by Race Drivers Inc and the Johnny Herbert Karting Challenge, which will mark its 20th anniversary. Presenter Johnny Herbert commented: “It’s our first time running The Autosport International Karting Challenge so to have sold all team places a month before the event is fantastic.

“We know how important Alzheimer’s Society was to Dan and this event has grown with that firmly in mind with a great group of partners. The three-hour format has proved to be a real draw and we hope it offers more fundraising potential to benefit the charity. If you can’t be at the event, please donate in Dan’s memory by visiting www.alzheimers.org.uk.”

Liz Monks, Director of Fundraising at Alzheimer’s Society said: “We’re delighted to be involved with this special kart race to honour Dan Wheldon. Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to make the event a success in the New Year. We’re excited to see that teams have sold out and that so many people have committed to supporting our cause by attending. As a charity we rely on voluntary donations to support people to live well with dementia today and fund research to find a cure for tomorrow.

The Autosport International Karting Challenge track action kicks off in Hall 4 with practice and qualifying from 18:00, with the three-hour endurance race starting 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.

-Ends-

Notes to editors:

  • 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

Autosport International Karting Challenge Media Contacts:

Emma Spearing:

Mobile: +44 (0)7736 341828 | emma.spearing@hazelpr.com

Cathy Metcalfe:

Mobile: +44 (0)7802 332398 | cathy.metcalfe@hazelpr.com

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