Photo thanks to Steve Loader, L-R: Air Ambulance paramedics Lewis Allam and Ben Macauley, SGMW Chairman Sue Baker and Paramedic Charles Leahy
A team of Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance paramedics swapped their flight suits for racing leathers as they took part in a karting Grand Prix to raise funds for the life-saving charity.
Ben Macauley, Charlie Leahy and Lewis Allam pitted their driving skills against a group of motoring journalists as they tore around the three-storey twisting course at TeamSport Karting in Crawley.
The crew from the Redhill-based helicopter finished sixth overall at the annual high octane event held by the Southern Group of Motoring Writers earlier this month.
But the air ambulance was the winner on the night as a grand total of £4,350 was raised for the cause, beating last year’s cash injection of £3,325.
Each callout of the charity helicopter costs about £2,500 so the sum raised so far will fund three potentially life-saving missions.
Lewis said: “We all enjoyed the racing and found it fast-paced and challenging as we were driving alongside professional go karters and racing teams.
“The money raised and the support from the organisers was absolutely fantastic and we felt very welcomed.”
Charlie added: “The SGMW clearly relish this event and their hard work and word of mouth regarding the success of last year meant this year it was sold out.
“The night was a brilliant mix of fun, competition and fundraising for a charity that has a clear relevance to their industry.”
More than 20 teams of drivers took part with three of the top four separated by just a single point on a night of thrills, spills and spins.
The overall winners were Team Peugeot on 142 points, followed by Renault (137), Audi (136) and Ford (135), Last year’s winners Fiat finished a lowly fifth this time out. The top drivers were Bradley Philpott (Peugeot), Paul Rivett (Renault) and Jake Cassetta (Ford).
Southern Group of Motoring Writers decided to support the air ambulance because half of its callouts are to road traffic collisions.
Chairman Sue Baker said: “The karting event was staged at the same time last year as a one-off fun event to entertain the SGMW’s valued contacts in motor industry PR.”
If you would like to find out more about the Air Ambulance or make a donation please go to www.kssairambulance.org.uk