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Racing To Keep Hope Alive

Two ambitious young racing drivers are setting out on the road to motorsport glory – while also raising money for our charity. Friends Josh Young, aged 19, from Hereford and Connor O’Brien, 20, from Atherstone in North Warwickshire, have launched their own racing team called Agouti Motorsport. They’re aiming high and want to make a real impact on the high-octane world of motor racing – but they want to spread the word about the Children’s Air Ambulance at the same time.

This weekend (Jan 14-15) they are launching their official partnership with the national Children’s Air Ambulance at the Autosport International show at the NEC near Birmingham.nnThe pair will be taking part in the Super Mighty Minis championship for the first time this year. The season starts in March at Silverstone.nnThe partnership will mean the motorsport team will be raising funds and promoting the charity during races and other events. Their specially adapted Minis both have Children’s Air Ambulance branding on them.nnThe Children’s Air Ambulance is a national charity which flies seriously ill children between hospitals so they can get the specialist care they need.nnJosh, who already has two years of Mini racing under his belt and won the Novice Championship in his first year, said: “I’ve always loved cars ever since my 11th birthday when I went go karting. I’ve always wanted to race and also have my own business so I’ve got a great enthusiasm for this and the Children’s Air Ambulance is a really good cause to fight for.nn‘’For us it’s about bringing in people who can all help each other and taking the charity into a different industry. The opportunity to break into motorsport is huge. ’It’s quite unusual for a team to be allied to a charity in this way but it seems like a great fit.’’ Ultimately the pair want to go on to compete in the British GT Championship.

Emma Jones, national partnership manager for the Children’s Air Ambulance, said: ‘’This exciting new partnership will raise our profile and enable us to reach a new audience. There’s a definite synergy between us and Agouti in that we’re both about getting to the finish line as safely and as quickly as possible.’’ The national Children’s Air Ambulance, which operates from Coventry Airport, transfers critically ill children between hospitals so they can get the specialist treatment they need. It also relies on speed as travelling by air can be four times as fast as by road. Appropriately the pair met at the home of British motorsport Silverstone. They got talking and hit it off. Connor works with his uncle Alan Ball at his family transport firm based in Atherstone called Ball Trucking. Alan has always supported the Children’s Air Ambulance and some of his trucks carry a huge picture and logo of the charity. As they chatted about launching a racing team the idea of doing it for the charity was born. Connor, who went to Queen Elizabeth School in Atherstone and now works in transport management at Ball Trucking, hasn’t raced before. He said: ’It’s my first year racing but I love cars and I’m really looking forward to it. We have such a great opportunity here with Agouti Motorsport and the Children’s Air Ambulance charity. It really is very exciting.”