On October 24 the Henry Surtees Challenge will take place at Buckmore Park in Kent, offering huge prizes for young racers.
Held in honour of F1 and motorcycle World Champion John Surtees’s son Henry, who was killed in a Formula 2 race in 2009, the event is open to drivers aged 16 and over. On the entry list for this year’s event are plenty of emerging names. Last year’s victor – and winner of the 2008 McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver Award – Alexander Sims returns following his debut at Le Mans in June. He will be joined by Alex Brundle, who was also a la Sarthe first-timer this year, sharing an LMP2 Zytek with father Martin and GT Academy winner Lucas Ordóñez. Up-and coming British GT Championship star Matthew Bell and Indy Lights driver Oli Webb will also be competing.
The list of prizes on offer should grab the attention of any young racer:
- Visit to Red Bull Racing in Milton Keynes with simulator time and evaluation by an F1 race engineer
- Simulator pre-test in the UK, plus GP3 test with Carlin Motorsport in Portugal
- InterSteps Championship test with Falcon Motorsport (for drivers in their 16th year)
- National B Formula Renault BARC test with Hillspeed Racing
- Formula Renault Eurocup Test with Manor Competition
- A full kit of Puma race clothing for the winner
- Two pairs of Puma ‘lifestyle’ shoes for second place
- One pair of Puma ‘lifestyle’ shoes for third place
- An Arai helmet prepared and painted to driver’s own design
- Shell Pilota Experience at Ferrari in Maranello, driving on the Fiorano test track and a visit to the F1 facility (donated by Shell and travel arrangements courtesy of Travel Places)
- A pair of VIP F1 tickets including paddock entry, donated by Bernie Ecclestone
- A supply of Teng Tools to the value of £1000 donated by IQ Supplies
- Custom-fit driver communication earpieces together with Hearing Healthcare Package donated by Hearing Electronics Ltd
- A session on a simulator at iZone donated by Andy Priaulx
- A pair of tickets to the Autosport Awards in December
- A bottle of Mumm champagne for first, second and third place finishes
“This event is purposely staged towards the end of the motor sport season,” Surtees. “The objective of course is to raise funds for Henry’s charity, the Henry Surtees Foundation. I am however acutely aware of the problems that young drivers face in developing their careers. So with the help of some very generous sponsors I wanted to put together an event that provided prizes which would create valuable contacts, publicity and be career enhancing in their content.”
Surtees is hoping for a maximum entry of 50 drivers, from all areas of the sport, from single-seater formulas to touring and sports car classes, regular kart racers and even motorcyclists. The grid will line up on identical TKM karts run by the Club 100 series and all competitors must hold an MSA licence, be a member of Club 100 or a Buckmore Park Elite driver. Entries cost £500 per driver.
The winning driver will also be featured in a special profile interview in Motor Sport, which is also supporting the event.
All funds raised will go to the Henry Surtees Foundation, which is supporting the introduction of a blood transfusion service into the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance service with the provision of equipment.
There are still places available in the race, so contact Buckmore Park on 01634 201562. To find out more about the Challenge, email Sharon Bowness at [email protected] and take a look at the Henry Surtees Foundation website.