|Pirelli was proud to support the Richard Burns Foundation on the rally that now bears the name of the 2001 World Rally Champion, which was sponsored by the Italian tyre firm for the 22nd year last weekend.This year, the Pirelli Rally carried the name of the Richard Burns Foundation for the first time: a charity that aims to keep the name of Richard Burns alive and support those who suffer from brain illnesses or injuries.Richard Burns won the 2001 World Rally Championship with Subaru and Pirelli, before being diagnosed with an astrocytoma – an aggressive form of brain tumour – two years later. The Englishman succumbed to his illness in 2005, exactly four years to the day after winning his world title.Since then, the Richard Burns Foundation has raised funds to help those afflicted by similar illnesses and other brain injuries. The trustees of the charity include Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery – who was a close personal friend of Richard Burns – and Prodrive’s technical director David Lapworth.
Richard Burns’ co-driver Robert Reid, one of the founders of the charity, joined Lapworth and renowned photographer (as well as Richard Burns’ former housemate) Colin McMaster in a Q&A session and charity raffle at rally headquarters, together with Pirelli’s operations manager Matthew Corby. The event was held on Saturday night at Carlisle racecourse, staffed entirely by volunteers from the Cumberland Car Club who generously donated their time and facilities.
Competitors as well as fans came to the event, all getting a chance to put their own questions to the distinguished panel.
The 25 prizes, which were drawn by Richard Burns’ father, Alex, included a Pirelli scale model Formula One wind tunnel tyre, a Pirelli watch, a 2013 Pirelli calendar, and other Pirelli merchandise. Other unique prizes included a tour of Prodrive conducted by David Lapworth and Sebastien Loeb’s driving gloves.
In total, the charity raffle raised £5000, which will go directly towards the projects supported by the Richard Burns Foundation. These include the ‘Brain Bus’: a travelling unit that will open up to a wider audience the issues and treatment needed for brain and spinal disorder.
Throughout the two days of the Pirelli Richard Burns Foundation Rally, other fund-raising operations throughout the route concentrated on raising more money for the charity. Fittingly, Burns and Reid won this rally themselves back in 1993 in a Subaru Legacy equipped with Pirelli tyres.
Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery commented: “Richard was a great champion and a great friend; a fantastic ambassador both for the sport of rallying and for Pirelli. Now that he is sadly no longer with us, it’s so important to honour his memory and to try and help as many people as possible who find themselves afflicted in a similar way. We’ve been delighted to support the brilliant work of the Richard Burns Foundation and we’d like to thank everyone who so generously donated some amazing prizes, bought tickets for the raffle and attended the charity Q&A. Our joint efforts have resulted in a fantastic commemoration and we’ll definitely be looking at ways to improve on and extend our collaboration with the Richard Burns Foundation into the future.”
For more information about the Richard Burns Foundation, please visit www.richardburnsfoundation.com
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