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Category: Charity

Seb Morris leading Jenson ButtonSeb Morris, 2011 Ginetta Junior Champion and WRDA Welsh Young Driver of the Year, has spoken of the “great privilege” of taking part in the recent Dan Wheldon Memorial Kart Race – an event set-up in remembrance of the former IndyCar Series Champion and double Indianapolis 500 winner.

Wheldon, who tragically lost his life in a racing accident at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in October, was undoubtedly one of Britain’s most successful and talented drivers and the fund-raising kart race at Daytona in Milton Keynes earlier this month proved the perfect way for the motorsport world to pay tribute.

Marford-based Seb joined some of the globe’s top racing stars, including 2009 FIA Formula One World Champion Jenson Button, multiple IndyCar Champion and Indy 500 Winner Dario Franchitti and former Grand Prix stars David Coulthard, Johnny Herbert and Anthony Davidson.

Coupled with the honour of taking part in the memorial event, 16-year-old Seb also enjoyed the highlight of racing wheel-to-wheel with Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes star Button…before going on to overtake his Grand Prix hero during his stint on the track in the team event. Clearly, the move will remain one of The King’s School, Chester pupil’s sporting highlights for a long time to come!

“First and foremost, it was a real honour and a great privilege to be part of the Dan Wheldon Memorial Kart Race – he was one of the best drivers on the planet, a real gentleman and a true inspiration to young racers like me”, said Seb, “It was fantastic so many huge names from the top of the sport took part in the race, it was an amazing event and the perfect way to celebrate his life.

“Racing on track with Jenson (Button) was something I never thought I’d do, to overtake him was incredible – my mum has it on video so I’ll be remembering that for a long time! I was ahead of him at the start but he got by, although I managed to get back past before I had to hand the kart over at the end of my stint. It was a really enjoyable race for a truly fantastic cause.”

Organised by international racing star Johnny Mowlem, a close personal friend of Wheldon, the kart spectacular raised an outstanding £17,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society – the Wheldon family’s charity of choice.

After a hugely successful 2011, which brought his second car racing title in as many seasons, Seb is now looking ahead to making his competitive single-seater debut in 2012 as he eyes graduation into the ranks of Formula Renault.

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

TrainathonFor the second year running, a group of kiwi racing drivers have completed the NZ Motorsport Trainathon, a unique charity event held in conjunction with the World Vision 40 Hour Famine.

Porsche racing driver Jono Lester, single seater racers Alastair Wootten, Richie Stanaway and Andrew Vincent, and Suzuki Swift driver Sam Robinson each completed 40 hours of fitness training at the Millennium Institute of Sport & Health on Auckland’s North Shore over the weekend of May 21-23.

Throughout the 40 hour endurance event, the team completed a rigorous schedule of exercises including cardio fitness, weight training, athletics track work and drills, rock climbing, swimming, water polo, water walking, dance class, boxing, yoga, weightlifting, dodgeball, soccer, the new dance craze ‘Zumba’ and even some Nintendo Wii fit!

Utilising the Millennium Institute’s fantastic facilities and personnel, the team were assisted throughout by a number of MISH high performance athletes, Olympians and Commonwealth Games athletes from a number of sporting codes; all aiding the Trainathon team with technique and execution of some unfamiliar exercises, such as weightlifting’s ‘snatch’ and ‘clean and jerk’..

Helen Carter, World Vision’s 40 Hour Famine Manager, said the heartland of 40 Hour Famine is going without food, but it’s exciting to see young Kiwis finding challenging and creative ways to do the Famine.

“We are inspired by the enthusiasm of the Trainathon team who gave their all once again for those in need. It’s great to see such talented young men behind our cause, and motivating others to get involved!” added Helen.

“Having five of us doing the Trainathon this year was a big advantage when times were tough in the early hours of both Saturday and Sunday morning, but the wide range of activities we got to do this year was just awesome and we can’t thank everyone enough for their help and support,” Lester said.

“We all had our peaks and lows, and they all came at different times. It was really interesting to witness this, but we had loads of laughs and the enthusiasm of the team members made the 40 hours a lot less arduous than it could have been!”

The event was followed live by a number of supporters via Facebook, Twitter and hourly YouTube diaries which detailed the highs, lows, and everything in between during the hours of 04:00pm Friday May 21, to 08:00am Sunday May 23.

Online donations to the Trainathon can still be made by visiting www.famine.org.nz/groups/trainathon

The team also have a number of charity auctions online at the TradeMe website, available through the World Vision Online Store or by searching ‘Trainathon’.

All proceeds from these auctions will go towards the team’s final total, and includes donated items such as sports watches, galvanised trailers, and signed sporting memorabilia.

The 2010 NZ Motorsport Trainathon team would like to thank their long list of supporters, family, friends and donating public for again contributing their time and effort to this year’s event.

A group of kiwi racing drivers will once again trade the race track for the gym in an effort to raise funds for the World Vision 40 Hour Famine, which takes place in just over a fortnight on May 21-23.

Back for a second year, the 2010 NZ Motorsport Trainathon see 2009 participants Jono Lester and Alastair Wootten joined by three new faces to fitness train for 40 hours non-stop at the Millennium Institute of Sport & Health on the North Shore of Auckland.

Completed successfully for the first time in 2009, Lester and Wootten decided in early February to give the challenge another crack, and go ‘bigger and better’ in every respect, including a hefty target of raising $10,000 for the charity.

It didn’t take long for others to put their hands up, and the 2010 NZ Motorsport Trainathon has a diverse team of participants from all walks of motorsport life. They include:

- Jono Lester, 20, a Porsche GT3 driver and recent winner of a Porsche Junior Scholarship.

- Alastair Wootten, 20, a former Speedsport Scholarship winner and Toyota Racing Series driver.

- Richie Stanaway, 18, 2008/09 NZ Formula Ford Champion and current ADAC Formula Master points leader.

- Andrew Vincent, 16, a national quad racing champion and Formula First front runner.

- Sam Robinson, 21, a rookie in the 2009/10 Suzuki Swift Sport Cup and top-5 finisher at the 2010 Hamilton 400.

The five young athletes will push their physical and mental boundaries throughout the event (which has no resting or relaying) with a schedule including cardio fitness, weight training, athletics track work and drills, rock climbing, swimming, water polo, water walking, dance class, boxing, yoga, weightlifting, dodgeball, soccer, the new dance craze ‘Zumba’ and even some Nintendo Wii fit!

Utilising the Millennium Institute’s fantastic facilities and personnel, the team will also spend time training with Olympic and Commonwealth Games athletes throughout the 40 hours, including Olympic swimming start Moss Burmester, the Commonwealth Games weightlifters and former Games walking Silver Medallist Tony Sargisson.

With the participants aware of what is in store for them this time around, the event preparation has been lifted in professionalism, with the Trainathon team working directly with the marketing teams at the Millennium Institute and World Vision New Zealand to get the most out of this unique challenge.

1273465257Helen Carter, World Vision’s 40 Hour Famine Manager, said the heartland of 40 Hour Famine is going without food, but it’s exciting to see young Kiwis finding challenging and creative ways to do the Famine. Last year, two world records and a national record were set, including the Trainathon.

“We are inspired by the enthusiasm of the Trainathon team who have decided to give the 40 Hour Famine another go. It’s great to see such talented young men behind our cause, and motivating others to get involved!” added Helen.

As with any charity event, the Trainathon relies on the generous donations and sponsorship of others, be it a personal donation of a full sponsorship of the event on a larger level.

“We treat this a little like raising money for a race event, to be honest, and with that in mind we all know what we’re doing. We encourage anyone to donate to the cause online [below] – it doesn’t matter if it’s $5 or $50 – but we also have a heck of a lot to offer those who want to sponsor the event on a larger level,” Lester said.

“Sponsorship can come in the form of a cash donation or the donation of product to on-sell via charity auction – whatever it takes to make up that $10,000 target!”

The team encourage anyone interested in sponsoring the Trainathon to contact them directly at trainathon@gmail.com – information on media support and sponsor recognition is ready to be distributed.

The 2010 NZ Motorsport Trainathon has also gone viral, with the public able to keep up to date with via the Official website, Facebook and Twitter pages, and YouTube diaries every hour of the event.

The Trainathon represents a monumental personal challenge for each of its participants, but they remain upbeat about the task ahead:

“You only live once, so why not go down to the gym for 40 hours, and help others while you do so!” Robinson said.

Vincent added; “From seeing what the boys did last year I wanted to give this a go as it’s for a great cause, and a great way to have fun with my mates in the process. Bring it on!”

Online donations to the Trainathon can be made by visiting www.famine.org.nz/groups/trainathon

The 2010 NZ Motorsport Trainathon commences at 04:00pm on Friday May 21, finishing at 08:00am on Sunday May 23.

Adrian Quaife-Hobbs made the most of the lengthy break between races to take part in the Castle Ride 2009, a 100 mile bike ride to raise funds for Action Medical Research. The road ride started and finished in Adrian’s home town, at Tonbridge Castle in Kent yesterday, with the Formula Renault front-runner one of 1200 cyclists taking part.

The charity is dedicated to improving the health of babies and children and this year’s Castle Ride looks set to have raised more than £100,000 for this very worthy cause. The 18 year-old Sackville School pupil shrugged off a heavy cold and battled the winds and rain to get to the finish of the event, the equivalent of a marathon in running terms.

“I don’t really run so effectively this 100 mile race was similar to running the marathon for runners. It was tough at times, the first 50 miles or so was OK and I had a good pace but the last half was difficult. Not only was it physically tiring, it was also very cold and very wet which didn’t help my cold one bit.

“It was pretty much a last minute decision so I didn’t really have any chance of training and as I’ve been so busy with school work I haven’t really done any cycling for about seven months. The longest I’ve ever done is about 30 miles so it was a real sense of achievement to get to the finish. It was great to do but would I do it again next year? Well I certainly won’t commit to the event just yet, let’s wait and see!”

The Castle Ride was centered around Tonbridge with the 1200 riders setting off in groups over the space of an hour and went out on a circular route as far a field as Gillingham and Tenterden. Next year’s event is scheduled to take place on 16 May 2010. Anyone wishing to assist Adrian can still go online at http://www.action.org.uk/sponsor/quaife and pledge their support.

Adrian will return to four-wheel action in the next rounds of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Championship at the Hungaroring over the weekend of 13/14 June following a test for the North European Cup rounds at Oschersleben, Germany on Monday.