Oli teams up with fellow racers to raise £50,000
14.01.09 | 23:37

Oli joined a star-studded line-up at Autosport International - the world's biggest motor racing show - at Birmingham's NEC, on Friday 9 January.

He was appearing for the first time in the televised race that has become a highlight of the annual event, after being invited to take part in a team representing leading weekly motor racing newspaper, Motorsport News.

The two-hour endurance race had attracted 16 teams, consisting of established and up-and-coming drivers from motorsports various disciplines, members of the public - who had paid £300 each for the privilege of going wheel to wheel with their heroes - and a team of glamour models, appropriately named 'Bangers and Crash.'

Despite being allocated a lowly grid slot (13th) for the start, Oli's team quickly began to move up the order. Given the closing stint, Oliver faced an almost impossible task of making up a 5-lap deficit to the lead kart - but he gave it a damn good go.

"The kart was a bit of a dog to be honest. It handled reasonably well but lacked power compared to the other karts."

As if to illustrate his point, Oli was easily passed by Riki Christodoulou driving the winning team's kart and putting yet another lap's advantage over the Motorsport News squad as the chequered flag was readied.

He eventually brought the MN team's kart home in 6th place but was keen to point out that where he finished wasn't important. "Naturally I wanted to win but the key issue was raising nearly £50,000 for charity. I'm delighted to have been part of an event that generated that amount of money."

The proceeds from the race entries and post-race auction will go to the Richard Burns Foundation (the World Rally Champion who succumbed to brain cancer in 2005), the Christie Cancer Hospital in Manchester and Emmaus Hampshire which supports the homeless.

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