Sir Patrick Stewart to line up on Silverstone grid for special celebrity race

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Acting legend Sir Patrick Stewart OBE is preparing for an exciting challenge when he takes part in a celebrity race at Silverstone this summer.

The 76-year-old movie star, who famously played Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the iconic sci-fi series Star Trek as well as Professor Charles Xavier in the X-Men films, has just passed his official ARDS racing driver test at the Silverstone Motorsport Academy.

He is now ready to compete in the Celebrity Challenge Trophy Race at the Silverstone Classic racing festival on Saturday, July 29.

“It was a lot of fun. For someone who has followed motor racing since being a teenager, to drive around Silverstone and negotiate such legendary corners as Becketts and Stowe is just such a thrill,” said Stewart, who passed both written and driving tests required to obtain a MSA competition licence at Silverstone.

“Speed is not a particularly big passion of mine, but when you are behind the wheel of a nice car it’s quite exhilarating to open it up, and I am looking forward to the classic race meeting very much. Everybody has got a little bit of competitiveness and aggression about them, so it will certainly be entertaining!”

Other celebrities to appear on the grid alongside Stewart include Olympic gold medalists Mark Hunter MBE, Jason Kenny CBE, Greg Searle MBE, Jonny Searle MBE and Amy Williams MBE, bike racing world champions Wayne Gardner and Freddie Spencer, former England test cricket captain Mike Gatting OBE, Dragon’s Den TV star Theo Paphitis, former Top Gear presenter Tiff Needell, Wheeler Dealer’s Ant Anstead and adventurer Charley Boorman as well as a host of other famous faces from sport, film and television.

They will all be helping to raise funds and awareness for the Classic’s official charity partner Prostate Cancer UK.

Fuelling the Silverstone Classic’s nostalgic atmosphere, the celebrities will be racing competition-prepared Austin A30 and A35 saloons, harking back to the late fifties.

The race programme will be split into two parts with owners of the Austins qualifying on Friday and racing on Sunday, and the celebrities racing on Saturday.

Tickets should be bought in advance with adult admission starting at £43 and weekend camping and hospitality upgrades are available. All tickets provide access to racing paddocks, trackside grandstand seating, live music concerts on both Friday and Saturday evenings featuring the Bootleg Beatles and Tony Hadley formerly of Spandau Ballet, vintage funfair rides, air shows, car club displays as well as a host of other family-friendly demonstrations, activities and entertainment.

Full ticket details and all the latest news is available on the official website and via the event’s social media platforms.