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Bahrain announce pro-celebrity race 02 Mar 2006

Nick Mason (GBR). Goodwood Festival of Speed, Goodwood, England, 12-14 June 1998. World © Sutton

Famous faces from the worlds of sport, entertainment and media will make their racing debuts at the forthcoming Bahrain Grand Prix when they take part in two pro-celebrity support races.

Among the celebrities confirmed are five-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave, American sprinting legend Michael Johnson, Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason, Grammy Award-winning musician John Legend, Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt, British motoring journalist Emma Parker Bowles and Egyptian singing sensation Anoushka.

"I'm really excited,” said Redgrave. “The race represents a new sporting challenge for me and I'm keen to see I can perform as well on the track as I do off it. Of course it will be fun but I have a very competitive nature and I don't enjoy losing so I will be giving it my all out in Bahrain!"

The celebrities will race identical Chevrolet V8 SS Luminas. With 380-horsepower, the cars aren’t the easiest to drive, so each celebrity will be partnered by an accomplished race driver. Among the ‘professionals’ will be Formula One veterans Martin Brundle, Johnny Herbert and Christian Danner. Narain Karthikeyan will also be taking time out from his Williams testing commitments to take part in the event.

There will be two races: one on the Saturday and one on Sunday before the Bahrain Grand Prix. Each ten-lap event will consist of 16 cars with the professional drivers driving the first five laps. They will then pit to hand over to their celebrity partners for the remainder of the race.