A RACING charity returns with its first event in ten years for motor neuron disease.
Racing4Charity, the fundraising partnership between David Brabham and Bill Williams, will host a charity endurance kart race with the sole purpose of raising funds for the MND Association (MNDA), at the Thruxton Kart Center on Thursday, August 26.
Taking place on the eve of the BTCC Race Weekend, Karting4MND will host 18 teams of four to six professional drivers, members of the racing team and the wider motorsport fraternity, all coming together to raise funds to help MNDA to continue its vital research to support people living with the disease.
Renowned for its legendary charity kart races held for nearly a decade at Autosport International, Racing4Chariity returns to fundraising after a 10-year hiatus to help support Bill’s younger brother, Gideon Williams, who received a diagnosis of MND in 2019.
The motorsport world has also lost great friends such as the late single-seater, sports car and stuntman Neil Cunningham, who died of MND in 2016.
David Brabham, Co-Founder of Racing4Charity, said: “I am delighted to be reunited with Bill Williams to resurrect Racing4Charity in our quest to raise funds for the MND association with our karting charity event at the Thruxton Kart Center.
“Bill and I have worked together for many years and Gideon is a good friend. I have quite a few people in my life who have died or are suffering from this terrible disease and it is heartbreaking to see the suffering that MND causes to the individual and his family.
Motor neuron disease (MND) is a fatal, rapidly progressive neurological disease that affects up to 5,000 adults in the UK at any one time. The disease causes messages from the nerves (motor neurons) in the brain and spinal cord that control movement to gradually stop reaching the muscles, causing them to weaken, stiffen and deteriorate.
The result is that people find themselves locked in a failing body, unable to move, speak, and ultimately breathe. MND kills a third of people within a year and more than half within two years of diagnosis.
Gideon Williams told the announcer: “I was first diagnosed with MND in September 2019. I was a successful mortgage broker, pretty DIY and pretty fit. kart race that year and I was the fastest lap keeper and event winner.
“In October 2020, I was so weak that I couldn’t complete a single lap of the same track. Now I can’t get dressed, I need help with bathing, and I can’t do anything in the house to help my family. This disease must be stopped and there is a solution, it just needs to be found. ”
The team that wins Karting4MND 2021 will become the first winner of the Gideon Williams Trophy, made from the helmet Gideon wore the last time he raced. The fastest team will receive the Neil Cunningham Trophy, created by Thruxton.
Among those who will join three-time Le Mans 24 Hours class winner David Brabham on the track are Kelvin Burt, former Racing4Charity winners Duncan Tappy, Sam Bird and Will Stevens, Rob, Jordan and Ricky Collard, Ben Barnicoat and Rick Parfitt. BTCC’s Jade Edwards also pledged his support on the track.
All but two team spaces have been reserved, with stars from across sport supporting the cause. One of the first to sign up was Brookspeed, the team that took Neil to the 1998 championship Marcos Mantis, Le Mans and his last British GT campaign.
The ‘To Le Mans And Back’ team will also be on the pitch, championed by Neil’s close friend James Beckett, while three teams from Gideon’s family and former co-workers will also join the action. Other teams include Autosport Magazine and the ‘Racing4MND’ team led by MND victim Salvo Cacchia, to name a few.
All professional drivers, teams and members of the motorsport industry wishing to take one of the last team spots can contact Bill Williams via [email protected]
The Karting4MND action will start on Thursday August 26 at Thruxton. Practice and qualifying takes place at 5 p.m. and the two-hour race begins at 6 p.m.
In the meantime, racing fans and members of the public can support Karting4MND by donating through the event’s Just Giving page: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/bill-williams2 or text MNDKART10 to 70085 to donate £ 10.
Pamela Fry, MNDA, said: “Support from Racing4Charity will play a vital role in supporting people living with MND, their families and friends and in advancing ongoing research projects that may well be able to to reduce the symptoms of so many people. ”
Pat Burns of Thruxton Circuit added: “It is a pleasure to welcome David Brabham and Bill Williams back to Thruxton. It has been a few years since they had a kart race here, but I am honored that they have chosen Thruxton Kart Center to return. to fundraising.
“I knew Neil Cunningham and I know Gideon very well, he has raced here several times. I was so shocked to learn that he has the same illness as Neil. We look forward to welcoming all the teams to the circuit!