Published: 10:19, 03 October 2019
| Updated: 10:29, 03 October 2019
The countdown has already started to the third annual Crazy Jeans soapbox kart racing event in Tunbridge Wells.
A launch event was held at the Grange Bentley showroom in Dowding Way to encourage entrants to sign up to take part in the family fun kart race to be held at Dunorlan Park on Saturday, June 27, next year.
The Crazy Jeans event, which sees competitors racing downhill on a track protected by straw bales, was initiated in 2018 by Garry Jeffery and Nicole Piesse Turner, as a means of raising money for the Hospice In The Weald and remembering Nicole’s father Michael and Garry’s mother Jean.
The first two events raised more than £50,000 between them, and at the launch event representatives from the 2019 charities, Taylor Made Dreams and Hospice In The Weald, received their cheques for £30,000.
The organisers hope and expect next year's event to be even bigger and better, after securing the services of ex-Formula One star and IndyCar driver Max Chilton and TV chef Rosemary Shrager to act as celebrity ambassadors for the race.
There will be an additional inter-schools contest next year, after the eight senior schools of the West Kent Independent State Schools Partnership committed to putting kart-building on their Year 9 curriculum before racing their creations at the Crazy Jeans event.
They include The Judd, Skinners, Beechwood, Kent College, Mascalls, Skinners' Kent Academy, Oakley and The Malling School.
Jon Wood from The Judd School, Tonbridge, said: “We are really proud that in a diverse education system such as we have in Kent this chance to bring children from all the different school types together to do something fun.
“This is a great thing to get involved in, the children racing their karts and probably smashing the adults’ race times as well … we’re very excited to be there on the day.”
Co-founder Nicole Piesse Turner said: "We have lots of plans for next year but the biggest thing is schools are now getting involved and we couldn’t be more excited.
"They will be making and designing their own chassis. It’s phenomenal and amazing – imagine being in Year 9 and racing down the hill in front of all those thousands of spectators."
Chef Rosemary Shrager said: “I am going to go down in my own kart – with Max Chilton - in the first session. I always wanted to be a racing driver. When I was young I had a little dream and when my children were young, I used to say ‘let’s go racing!’ and so this is it!”
The main charity for 2020 will be Hospice In The Weald, but each team will be allowed to choose a second charity to support.
To sign up a team or for sponsorship opportunities, visit www.crazyjeansevents.com
Spectator tickets are £10 for adults and £5 for children from https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/tickets
More by this authorAlan Smith