Celebrity Star Power Turns Up the Heat as the Full Grid is Unveiled for the Mazda6 Celebrity Challenge
VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA – Marc 8, 2013: There is very little that a fashion designer, a celebrity chef, Britain’s greatest ever Olympian and a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model have in common, except for an extreme passion for motorsport and a burning desire to be crowned King or Queen of the Mazda6 Celebrity Challenge.
The full grid for the prestige celebrity showcase event was unveiled today with actor Jonathon LaPaglia, flame haired songstress Sarah DeBono, former Australian cricketer Brad Hodge and TV presenter Scott McGregor taking up the final four spots in the celebrity race, which returns as a key support category of the 2013 Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix weekend entertainment.
Twenty-one Mazda6 Celebrity Challenge drivers will descend on the city from all corners of the globe from Sunday as they prepare to undergo three days of intensive CAMS (Confederation of Australian Motorsport) driver training at Sandown Racecourse, under the careful tutelage of V8 motorsport legend Mark Skaife.
Key match-ups for the race have already been identified including what is being touted as a pre-Ashes showdown between six-time Olympic Cycling Gold Medallist Sir Chris Hoy and Australia’s London Olympics Golden Girl Anna Meares.
Network10 media personalities Hamish MacDonald and Magdelena Roze are another duo to watch as the two colleagues battle for office bragging rights when they take to the spectacular Albert Park street circuit.
Trainer Mark Skaife’s job will be not only to prepare the celebrities for the rigors of motor racing, but help them control what professional drivers call ‘red mist’ or uncontrolled aggressive behaviour.
“Those involved in the Mazda6 Celebrity Challenge will be, by nature, quite competitive,” said Skaife. “They all want to do well, and it is our job to teach them how to stay safe and enjoy the experience while keeping them under control - which can be quite a challenge at times.”
The Mazda6 Celebrity Challenge at 2013 Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix is a core part of the launch activities for the All-New Mazda6, the Japanese manufacturer’s new flagship family car. The race will also mark the first time that a diesel engine has been used.
The All-New Mazda6 features the ‘KODO – Soul of Motion’ design theme and SKYACTIV Technology featuring ‘i-ELOOP’ a unique capacitor-based brake energy regeneration system which will be standard across the entire All-New Mazda6 range.
Mazda Australia national marketing manager, Alastair Doak said that the Mazda6 Celebrity Challenge is shaping up to be one of the most exciting categories at the event.
“With driver training due to commence on Monday it’s great to have a full roster of celebrity drivers lined up to take to the track in the All-New Mazda6. Brad Hodge, Sarah De Bono, Scott McGregor and The Slap star Jonathan LaPaglia complete an excellent field.”
CEO of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, Andrew Westacott said the return of the Celebrity Challenge in 2013 provides a great entertainment offering for both veteran and first-time race attendees.
“The 2013 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix is a marquee event on the Australian sporting calendar and therefore it’s only fitting that we have assembled twenty-one of the most passionate and enthusiastic celebrities for the Mazda6 Celebrity Challenge.”
The Mazda6 Celebrity Challenge will feature 21 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 2013 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix.