Emmerdale star Kelvin Fletcher dominated the Celebrity Challenge event at Silverstone Classic powered the AA, converting his pole position easily into a race win in an event raising money for Birmingham Childrens' Hospital, the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK and the RPJ Chron's Foundation.
Fletcher, who admitted before the race to having raced in Mighty Minis earlier in the year took pole position by over ten seconds but was unable – or unwilling – reproduce the same pace in the race, with a trio fighting for second place helping to keep the gap down lapping several seconds faster than their qualifying pace.
Fletcher's fellow Soap actor Tony Hirst had qualified second but was pulled back into a fight with both Jay Kay and AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson, for whom the field of Morgan Lightweights must have seemed under powered after racing in the Rolex 24 at Daytona earlier in the year.
For the first four laps the trio exchanged places on a regular basis, Hirst and Jay Kay swapping third place before Hirst leapt ahead of both Jay Kay and Johnson in a single move in the twists of the Arena section.
Throughout the race Fletcher was just ahead and once Hirst had fallen back into fourth place into the twelve second void between the podium fight and former Wolves footballer Steve Bull.
Jay Kay – taking an extremely wide line out of Club on most laps – briefly led on track but fell back to third place by the end of the race behind Johnson and Fletcher, who eased away in the final lap of the race for an eventual winning margin of 4.2 seconds.
“It was really good fun,” said Fletcher. “The race was harder than qualifying, but I had an amazing time and a good battle with Jay Kay before edging away. Everyone came back unscathed which was the main thing. It's been a great day and we've raised awareness for three great charities.”
“It was fantastic,” added Johnson, who will also share a car with Roberto Moreno in the World Sportscar Masters race later in the weekend. “The crowds were awesome as were the guys who loaned us these magic cars. This is the best event on the planet and, what's more, it's right here on our doorstep in the UK. I've had a wonderful time. It was terrific fun.”
Spinner Hirst was fourth ahead of Bull. 'Comedy' Dave Vitty was unable to reproduce his 2011 form and finished sixth more than a minute adrift at the end of the eight lap race. Heston Blumenthal, Andrew Castle, Sir Patrick Stewart, Nicola Stapleton and Vicky Gomersall completed the eleven competing celebs.
Brendan Cole, expected to a front runner, was unable to race after an accident while practicing on the Stowe circuit before qualifying seriously damaged his Morgan car.