Maserati GB was proud to offer its support to Johnny Herbert’s Karting Challenge to raise funds for the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance.
Johnny Herbert, who raced a Maserati MC12 in 2004, its debut year in the FIA GT Championship, has been organising “the Challenge” for 12 years running, inviting racing drivers, celebrities and friends to get together behind the wheel of 270cc go-karts.
“This is the 12th annual Challenge and my enthusiasm remains the same as it was for the first one,” said Johnny. “This year the money will be going to the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance, a charity that is close to my heart: this is a team of life savers who attend some 150 calls each month half of which are road accidents and who rely solely on voluntary donations to carry out their work.”
The race, which took place yesterday at the brand new indoor go-kart venue ”The Raceway Docklands” in East London, saw a record 25 teams and over 140 drivers competing in a three hour endurance go-kart race. Among them were: Maserati’s own FIA GT Champion Andrea Bertolini with his Vitaphone Team-mate Jamie Davies, F1 legend Riccardo Patrese, ex-Jordan F1 driver Ralph Firman, Le Mans 24 Hours winners Emanuele Pirro and Guy Smith, ALMS drivers Fabrizio De Simone and Johnny Mowlem, Susie Stoddard, British F3 star Bruno Senna, TV presenters Louise Goodman, Ted Kravitz and Emma Parker-Bowles.
Pole position was claimed by Team Arbuthnot Latham Private Bank, while British F3 driver Danny Watts won the celebrity shootout, beating Johnny Herbert.
The race was packed with thrilling action and adrenaline moments. In the end “Team Permagard”, featuring 2004 Le Mans winner Guy Smith and Danny Watts claimed the first step of the podium, followed by Team Arbuthnot Latham Private Bank and CJ Motorsport.
Maserati GB’s team, featuring FIA GT 2006 Champion Andrea Bertolini, his Vitaphone Team mate Jamie Davies, former ALMS driver Fabrizio De Simone, TV presenter and motoring journalist Emma
Parker-Bowles, Maserati GB’s own karting star Mark Langfield, and last but not least Autocar’s road test editor Adam Towler, went off to a difficult start after their kart had various problems in the five-minute qualifying session. Fabrizio De Simone went off to a flying start climbing from P23 to P10, but two engine failures which lost the team five laps meant that his teammates could only finish in 17th place.
With the auction of motor racing memorabilia and team’s fees, over Ł20,000 were raised for the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (www.wnaa.co.uk).