Mark Webber is leading a fundraising effort for injured Superleague Formula racer Chris van der Drift.

The title contending Red Bull driver is taking time out from his preparations for the Italian Grand Prix to help raise funds for 24 year-old van der Drift’s rehab. The New Zealand-born driver survived a terrifying shunt at last month’s Superleague round at Brands Hatch, suffering a broken ankle, cracked ribs and broken fingers in the process.

van der Drift someone escaped a horrific accident at Brands last month. © Danny Dzenis -

And in aide of the injured Kiwi a charity karting event at the Daytona indoor track in Milton Keynes will take place next Tuesday (September 7th). Webber will wave the race off, and though he won’t be competing- fair enough being as he has a rather important grand prix to contest the following Sunday- Hispania’s Karun Chandhok and Lotus test driver Fairuz Fauzy will both be on track.

Along with the current Formula One men there are also some seriously talented junior series drivers who may well be F1-bound in the next few years, with Red Bull protégées Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne and rising British stars Alexander Sims and Oliver Webb all set to take to the track.

Members of the public have the opportunity to bid to race as a teammate to some of the drivers (see below for details), with the chance to join Ricciardo and Vergne’s team looking particularly tempting. Both are Red Bull lads, and both have enjoyed dazzling success in their junior careers. We’d put good money on at least one of them making it to F1 in the next few years, so if you want to be brag that you once teamed up with a Formula One driver get bidding!

In addition to karting the event will also feature a number of professional race simulators, allowing attendees to test their skills against real racing drivers.

“It’s really humbling to see so many good friends from within the industry support me through this difficult period,” said van der Drift, who claimed the International Formula Master title in 2008. “I am really looking forward to the kart fundraiser. I am sure it will be a fantastic event and I really cannot thank everyone enough for their efforts.”

Webber himself is no stranger to nasty injuries, having suffered a broken leg in a bicycle accident late in 2008. Badger would like to express mighty respect for Mark, Karun, Fairuz and all of the drivers and organisers involves in this event, and also wish Chris van der Drift a very speedy recovery from his injuries.

And if you’re going do be sure to drop Badger a line and let us how how it went.

© Craig Boon / Octane Photos

Event details:

The Milton Keynes based event will be open to a limited crowd of the general public on a first-come, first-served basis at a cost of £10 per person. Each of the successful auction winners will be given three free spectator tickets to the event.

  • Date: Tuesday 7 September 2010
  • Location: Daytona Karting, Milton Keynes, UK
  • Time: 17:30 (race start 18:30)

There are two spots open on each of the following three teams. To bid for the chance to race alongside the young drivers simply copy and paste the corresponding codes in to ebay’s search box.

TEAM RICCIARDO AND VERGNE – eBay auction search id’s: 320583514270320583515943

TEAM SIMS AND HARTLEY eBay auction search id’s: 320583510196320583512183

TEAM WEBB AND BLOMQVISTeBay auction search id’s: 320583517872320583519676