Sir Jackie Stewart And Silverstone Classic Working To Battle Dementia Using F1 Technology
The Silverstone Classic, the world’s biggest classic motor racing festival, has announced that at this year’s event it will be raising money for a scheme set up by racing legend Sir Jackie Stewart, which seeks to battle dementia using Formula 1 techniques. The Classic event has confirmed that Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia charity, will be its official charity partner for the next three years. It also has confirmed that all funds raised by the charity from this summer’s meeting will go directly to Race Against Dementia Fellowships. Race Against Dementia was set up last October by Sir Jackie after his wife, Lady Helen Stewart, was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, and it aims to fund outstanding development opportunities for early career scientists working towards a cure for dementia. The Fellowships are administered by Alzheimer’s Research UK and seek to apply Formula 1 technology and philosophies to propel earlier dementia solutions.
Sir Jackie will also be attending this year’s Classic to mark the 50th anniversary of the first of his three F1 world championship titles as well as the first of his two British Grand Prix wins, both coming at Silverstone. His near race-long battle with the late Jochen Rindt in the ’69 race—Stewart in a Matra, Rindt in a Lotus—has gone into racing folklore. This year’s Classic, taking place on July 26-28, also comes just after Sir Jackie’s 80th birthday, which is on 11 June.
Dementia is the UK’s biggest killer and, of the major causes of UK deaths, is the only condition for which numbers are still rising. It affects 850,000 people in the UK as well as more than 50 million internationally. Activities planned by Alzheimer’s Research UK and Race Against Dementia at the next three Classics will focus on raising awareness of dementia, raising funds to support research and encouraging more volunteers to get involved with supporting the charity. Visitors to the 2019 Classic will get their first opportunity to donate to Alzheimer’s Research UK when buying their tickets online or, alternatively, by using this dedicated fundraising link.
“Race Against Dementia is very grateful and proud to be working with Alzheimer’s Research UK at one of Britain’s most important motor racing events, with some of the finest cars of past years,” Sir Jackie said. “Silverstone is Britain’s most prestigious motorsport circuit and it is a great privilege for me to have won at Silverstone in several different categories of the sport and to celebrate those victories at this Classic event.”
“I must thank all the very laudable organizations which tendered some very compelling submissions to be associated with our world class event,” added Silverstone Classic CEO Nick Wigley. “It was far from an easy decision to make but, after much deliberation, we felt that—as we all grow older—so the urgent need to find cures for dementia becomes more critical. The vital work being undertaken by Alzheimer’s Research UK and Race Against Dementia is very important and we wholeheartedly support Sir Jackie in finding much-needed solutions to this growing issue.”
Images courtesy of Silverstone Classic