Motor racing attracts people from all walks of life – and Hollywood stars are no different. Over the years, I have seen many actors make their way to racing circuits, dreaming of a career swap – from a lifestyle of the Rich and the Famous to that of the Fast and the Furious. But every now and again, an actor does indeed pull on the helmet and take the the circuit in competitive racing.
Sir Patrick Stewart OBE will take part in this years Silverstone Classic in July, driving an Austin A35. This isn’t Stewart’s first appearance at the event, he previously competed in 2012 at the wheel of a Morgan, finishing a very respectable ninth. The former Captain of the Enterprise wasn’t able to ignite the warp drive and finished behind the eventual race winner, Emmerdale actor Kelvin Fletcher – who went on to race in the BTCC.
The Hollywood A-lister, a spritely 76 years of age, is most famous for playing Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation, as well as Professor Charles Xavier in the X-Men series of films. To qualify for the race, Stewart has recently retaken his ARDS test ahead of joining the celebrity section of the HRDC Academy Austin A35 race.
Speaking to Autosport, Stewart said “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.”
“Speed is not a particularly big passion of mine,” he said. “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 Silverstone Classic very much. Everybody has got a little bit of competitiveness and aggression about them, so it will certainly be entertaining!”
Stewart will be joining a raft of famous names on the grid including 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, Wheeler Dealer’s Ant Anstead and adventurer Charley Boorman.
The Silverstone Classic will be held on the weekend on July 28 – 30.
(Original article at Motorsport.com)