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Backup Kartfest 2017 raises massive £21,000

Backup Kartfest 2017 raises massive £21,000
Backup Kartfest 2017 raises massive £21,000

UK – This year’s Backup Kartfest was fast, furious, full of thrills and a few spills and, with its Hawaiian luau theme and music from house band Under Cover, which features White Light’s Roger Dean on drums, was tremendously good fun. But the best thing about the adrenalin-fuelled day was the incredible £21,000 it raised for the charity, which provides financial assistance to entertainment technology professionals, or their immediate family, who are seriously ill or injured.

Thirty-three industry teams, with six drivers per team, took part in the Le Mans-style three-hour endurance race and the pit stop challenge to become the quickest team to change the tyres on a Formula One car.

“As always, Kartfest was a fantastic, team spirited event, made all the better by everyone joining in the fun and banter whilst racing ultra-competitively for three hours in the sunshine,” says new Backup trustee, Medialease’s Paul Robson. “It took a lot of organising by the Lee Dennison, Jim Dugan from Unusual and the production team, who did an absolutely stunning job.”

First place went to the Brilliant Stages / Production Park team, who completed 202 laps of the circuit, with Really Useful Theatres in second and DiGiCo taking up third place. Fastest lap went to Ed Ward from Production Park, with DiGiCo’s Tim Shaxson awarded slowest lap after an eventful drive threw him out of his car. He was, somewhat ironically, awarded a pair of driving gloves donated by Yamaha as his consolation prize.

“I'm really pleased to see the Backup charity growing so much and to watch the industry really get behind the cause,” says Duncan Bell from first prize sponsor Autograph. “The Backup charity offers an amazing support system to the technical entertainment world, and everyone at Autograph is very proud to contribute to the cause, and to sponsor the Kartfest Autograph Cup. The Kartfest days have got better and better thanks to the hard work of Lee and his team, which is demonstrated by the amazing sum raised on the day.”

"Backup was there for me and my family after I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of high grade Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma of the central nervous system,” says lighting technician Mark Pritchard. “Although I hadn’t been too aware of Backup before, a couple of colleagues suggested I contact them and see if they could help.

“After a couple of conversations and an application we were honoured to be awarded a financial contribution since I was self-employed and my wife Helen wasn't working, as she was waiting to start her university degree. The contribution was to help us with mortgage and childcare costs for our two toddlers that we simply couldn't have met, as I haven’t been able to work since I was diagnosed in October.

“Since then, I've done my best to promote Backup and contribute back as much as I can. In April I ‘got the band back together’ to do a gig and raised £2,500 for the charity and I've supported the golf and karting days. Backup are a tremendously friendly and approachable group of people who can't do enough for those that need it."

“Kartfest was hugely enjoyable, despite my first-time duties as a co-host with the ever so professional luvvie, Lee Dennison and raising £21,000, which was made up of £18,000 from sponsorships, team donations, and raffles, plus another £3,000 from the sale of Bryan Leitch’s Ford Victor, which acted as pace car for the day, was truly amazing,” concludes Paul. “On a personal note, I’m delighted to be invited to become a trustee of Backup and am looking forward to working alongside my other experienced trustees in this role, which is quite a departure from my usual day job. I’ll be taking the role and the responsibilities it holds very seriously, and I’m looking forward to more fundraising opportunities coming up in 2017, as some good ideas were aired by enthusiastic volunteers during the day.”

One such opportunity is Comfest, an evening of stand-up comedy, which is being scheduled for this coming October, of which details will be announced shortly. To be surenot to miss them, subscribe to Backup’s newsletter at

Any companies who would like to work more closely with Backup should contact Lee Dennison for further information

Backup Kartfest 2017 raises massive £21,000Backup Kartfest 2017 raises massive £21,000

18th July 2017

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