Drive for Good: An unforgettable Laureus day on the track with David Coulthard
How does it feel to drive a high performance car alongside a Formula One legend? Andrew Newsome of Staffordshire can tell you all about it.
Last week, Andrew joined Formula One icon David Coulthard in a high performance Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT, while raising funds for underprivileged young people at the same time. David Coulthard said: “it is great for me to get back on the track and even better to be able to share it with enthusiastic people who support Laureus and really got behind it by being the winning bid”.
The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation joined forces with CharityStars, a new platform dedicated entirely to the auction of prizes from the world of celebrity, and offered the winning bidder the chance to witness at first hand the incredible speed and handling of this super car as it is tested to its limits by one of the best drivers in the world, and test their own driving skills in the car afterwards.
This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to race around the Mercedes-Benz World, a unique facility at the historic Brooklands motor racing circuit in Weybridge, Surrey, was all Andrew could think about all week.
“It took me five days to realise this was going to happen but last night it all sort of kicked in.” he said following the experience. “I don’t really know how to describe what driving next to an F1 legend feels like. You think you can drive a car yourself but he’s quick! He’s very very quick! It was absolutely amazing, and he had so much information to pass on as well! Just incredible knowledge which you see when he is on TV: how a car works, how the tyres work, just everything, all incredible information. Too much to absorb really!”
From its AMG 6.2 litre V8 engine, the SLS AMG, a 21st century reincarnation of the legendary 300 SL, did not fail to impress. With a top speed of 197 mph and 0 - 62 in just 3.8 seconds, Andrew seemed to experience the drive of his life. “The Mercedes-Benz SLS? I want one! It is just absolutely fantastic! It feels really special when you get in it, with the gullwing doors, and just sitting in it. The engine sounds incredible and the brakes are superb. I would definitely like one.”
Laureus Ambassador David Coulthard, who won 13 Grand Prix in a career which lasted 15 years, also had a fantastic time: “It was great! For me it doesn’t matter whether it is a F1 car on a F1 race track or whether it driving a performance Mercedes-Benz around a handling circuit, to be in a car is always a big pleasure. It is nice to meet people who are passionate about the Foundation and about driving and to be able to share all that together and have a learning experience is really great.”
David Coulthard and all the other Laureus Ambassadors volunteer their time to act as global ambassadors for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, whose mission is to use sport as the means to combat some of the world’s toughest social challenges facing young people today, a cause that David holds very dear to his heart:
“What is really inspiring about it is that, as sportspeople and ex-sportspeople, we have been incredibly lucky to be able to follow our dreams. I think for everyone to come together and to give the less fortunate that opportunity, that inspiration, that feeling of self-worth that comes from achievement within sport, is incredible. It doesn’t matter what sport it is whether it is motor-powered, whether it is running or skiing, it takes hard work, it takes commitment, it takes teamwork, it takes inner-strength and focus. All of those qualities, in the end, are life skills.”