Sir Patrick Stewart is gearing up for a return to motor racing this July, when he will strap himself in behind the wheel of an Austin A35 to compete against other celebrity racing enthusiasts.
This won’t be Stewart’s first time racing; he competed in the same Celebrity Challenge trophy race at the Silverstone Classic in 2012, when he piloted a Morgan to ninth place.
He told Autosport he had “a lot of fun” re-qualifying for his racing licence in advance of this summer’s event, which will be staged once again at Britain’s historic Silverstone racetrack.
Stewart says he has followed auto racing since his teen years, and while he stops short of calling himself a speed freak, admits that negotiating Silverstone’s more challenging corners “is just such a thrill.”
Stewart, who is famous for his roles as Star Trek’s Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Professor Charles Xavier in the X-Men movie franchise, is arguably the best-known driver taking part in the celebrity race, at least outside of the U.K.
He’ll be lining up against a number of Olympic gold medallists, a couple of bike racers, a former cricket captain, and a star of the original British Dragon’s Den TV series.
According to the Silverstone Classic web site, once the field of drivers has been confirmed, they’ll be sorted into teams representing their professions – TV, sport and music, for example – with each team getting training and mentoring from a “renowned” race driver.
The Silverstone Classic race goes the last weekend of July.