Fresh from the Sochi snowfields, Aussie snowboarding World Champion Alex “Chumpy” Pullin is hoping his career successes in the snowboard cross will translate to a podium finish at the 2014 Mazda3 Celebrity Challenge, but not if pocket rocket radio presenter Maz Compton has anything to do with it.
Pullin and Compton have been named as the final two drivers to complete the celebrity race, which returns as a key support category of the 2014 Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix.
The pair will go head-to-head against fellow winter Olympians Lydia Lassila and Torah Bright, radio presenters Dave Thornton and Tommy Little, amongst a host of other big name celebrities.
Twenty Mazda3 Celebrity Challenge drivers will descend on Melbourne from all corners of the globe from Sunday as they prepare to undergo three days of intensive Confederation of Australian Motorsport (CAMS) driver training at Sandown Racecourse, under the careful tutelage of V8 motorsport legend Mark Skaife.
Trainer Mark Skaife’s job will be to prepare the celebrities for the rigors of motor racing.
“When it comes to teaching a celebrity how to drive a race car, they need to learn the key competencies such as car handling, braking and understanding line and length to reach requisite racing driver status." said Skaife.
“Once they begin racing, adrenalin and competitiveness can take over and cloud the driver’s judgement which is why learning the key skills and safety over the three days of driver training is paramount.”
Mazda Australia director marketing, Alastair Doak said he was looking forward to seeing the All-New Mazda3 hit the track after months of Grand Prix planning.
“What better way to kick-start the launch of All-New Mazda3 than having 20 of them racing around Melbourne’s own Albert Park during Grand Prix week. I’m confident that this year’s talented field of celebrities will relish their time behind the wheel of the All-New Mazda3 and enjoy the fun that comes with driving a Mazda. I’m sure the racing will be exciting, not to mention entertaining.”
Australian Grand Prix Corporation CEO, Andrew Westacott said the Mazda3 Celebrity Challenge is always a crowd favourite, and with a great line-up of international and home-grown talent taking to the grid, 2014 will be no exception.
“Our drivers come from a range of backgrounds – we have musicians, adventurers, Olympic athletes, models and TV personalities – it’s an eclectic mix of people who are sure to provide an entertaining battle on the track, adding a lot of colour to the event.” Westacott said.
“It’s a sensational group, I’ve already met with plenty of them and they can’t wait to get behind the wheel of the All-New Mazda3.”
The Mazda3 Celebrity Challenge will feature 20 vehicles and will bring together celebrities from a wide variety of backgrounds and disciplines to compete at Melbourne’s Albert Park street circuit during the 2014 Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix.
Confirmed drivers for the 2014 Mazda3 Celebrity Challenge include:
- Lauren Phillips
- Rob Mills
- Charley Boorman
- Tim Robards
- Torah Bright
- Lydia Lassila
- Dave Thornton
- Alex “Chumpy” Pullin
- Robbie McEwen
- Tommy Little
- Adam D’Sylva
- Scherri Lee Biggs
- Megan Washington
- Clint Stanaway
- Nathan Brown
- Sam Mac
- Brett Emerton
- Dave Thornton
- Catroina Rowntree
- Maz Compton
Now on sale in Australia, All-New Mazda3 adopts the stylish ‘KODO - Soul of Motion’ design language and efficient SKYACTIV Technology to deliver a car that’s expected to be a favourite with Australians.