Silverstone Classic celebs take wheel for charity

Some of the celebrities who will be taking part in the challenge.

A HOST of celebrities were on hand at Silverstone race track yesterday to launch the 2011 Silverstone Classic Celebrity Challenge. The Celebrity Challenge, which will take place on Saturday 23 July at the world’s biggest classic car racing festival, will see an all-star line-up going head to head in 130mph Morgan V6 Roadster sports cars around the famous Silverstone Grand Prix circuit.
Celebrity drivers including Heston Blumenthal, Brendan Cole and Charley Boorman attended yesterday’s launch along with their Team Manager, legendary DJ ‘Whispering’ Bob Harris. The two top drivers from the 2010 Celebrity Challenge, musicians Rick Parfitt Jnr and Neil Primrose from rock group Travis, were also on hand to renew their rivalry. Other famous faces confirmed for the charity fundraising event include Comedy Dave, Jonny Saunders, Neil Fox, Luther Blissett, Lord Charles Brocket and Paul O’Duffy.  Further names will be announced in the lead up to the race.
Speaking at the launch Heston Blumenthal said: “I made my racing debut at the Silverstone Classic last year and absolutely loved it… even if I did go sideways round most of the corners! My bravery rather outweighed my ability and I ended up hitting a kerb and puncturing the tyre so that was the end of my race. This year I’m determined to make it to the chequered flag in one piece.”
“The Silverstone Classic is a phenomenal thing to be part of,” added Brendan Cole. “It’s a massive event and to be at Silverstone, the home of British motor racing, and actually take part in a race is one of the most exciting things that I have ever done. Seeing Heston go off was pretty exciting too! I’m very happy to be taking part again and raising money and awareness for the Bobby Moore Fund which is a great cause”. Last year’s Silverstone Classic Celebrity Challenge raised over £25,000 for the charity and the celebrities are aiming to beat that target in 2011.
Charley Boorman is best known for his exploits on two wheels, but the actor and adventurer is looking forward to making his car racing debut at this year’s event. “I am more into my bikes really and I can fall of those quite well so I am sure I can crash this!” Charley laughed. “As they say ‘if you ain’t crashing you ain’t trying!’ Seriously, though, I had a brush with cancer last year so I know how important it is to look out for these things and that’s why I’m so happy to be here and to be raising funds for such a good cause. I’d obviously like to beat all the other guys but I’m sure that will never happen. It’s fantastic to be involved, though, and I’m sure it will be an incredible day.”
Stephanie Moore MBE, Bobby’s widow and founder of the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK, was also at the launch and said: “The Silverstone Classic race is going to be a wonderful event with all the sounds and smells of bygone motor racing eras. The Morgan is an iconic British sports car and I am delighted that the celebrities will be racing them to raise money for the Booby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK. The money raised by the Bobby Moore Fund has already made a huge difference to the lives of people diagnosed with bowel cancer. However, there’s still a lot more work to do. My hope is that by increasing awareness and helping to fund vital research many more lives can be saved from this terrible disease in the future.”