Star Trek actor takes command of vintage racer on Silverstone track
But Sir Patrick Stewart, 76, has rather sportier ideas and is planning to race a classic Austin around the famous Silverstone circuit.
The Mirfield-born star of Star Trek and X-Men is not doing it by halves. He has passed a special competition driving test to take part in the event this summer.
“It was a lot of fun,” said a delighted Sir Patrick, who passed written and driving tests required to obtain a MSA (Motor Sports Association) competition licence at Silverstone.
“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.”
His race at the Silverstone Classic will be on Saturday, July 29, and Sir Patrick will take part in a special Celebrity Challenge Trophy Race at the world’s biggest classic motor racing festival.
Surprisingly for a self-confessed motor sport fan, the Hollywood actor claims he rarely puts the pedal to the metal. “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 Classic race meeting very much.
“Everybody has got a little bit of competitiveness and aggression about them, so it will certainly be entertaining.”
Other famous faces lining-up on the star-studded grid include Olympic gold medal winners Mark Hunter, Jason Kenny, Greg Searle, Jonny Searle and Amy Williams, bike racing world champions Wayne Gardner and Freddie Spencer, former England test cricket captain Mike Gatting, 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.
All of the participants will be helping to raise funds and awareness for the Classic’s official charity partner Prostate Cancer UK.
The celebrities will be racing competition-prepared Austin A30 and A35 saloons, which hark back to the 1950s. Crowds of 100,000 or more are expected.