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Elgin Steps Up For Grand Prix Celebrity Challenge

Elgin Steps Forward For Grand Prix Celebrity Challenge

Paralympic champion Don Elgin is the latest Australian sporting legend invited to drive in the Celebrity Challenge race at the 2008 FORMULA 1™ ING Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

Elgin will be joined in the Celebrity Challenge by an all-star list of sporting heroes from a broad range of sports including netball, cricket, ALF, rugby, athletics, cycling, tennis and surfing.

"I've always wanted the chance to take a spin on a GP track - this is a once in a life-time opportunity", said Elgin, who was born without the lower portion of his left leg.

"I've never let my difference be a barrier - having been brought up in a sports mad family I was happy to give anything a go," said Elgin, whose sporting history includes success in discus, long jump, 400m and 100m sprints, "I'm looking forward to competing against the other recruits - no doubt the field will be extremely competitive".

Winner of three Paralympic medals at the Athens Paralympics in 2004, and bronze at the Sydney 2000 games, Elgin has inspired many with his passion, determination and drive to succeed.

Making his make his first Australian team at 18 years of age, Elgin went to the 1994 World Championships in Berlin, where he won a gold medal as part of the 4 x 100m relay team. Following this event, Don's focus moved from the sprint events to the Pentathlon.

Entertaining and an all-round larrikin, Elgin represented Australia for 10 years and now is a regular corporate and motivational speaker. The use of a prosthetic limb will help Elgin on his way around the track as he races to beat the other contenders for pole position.

Drivers announced in the Celebrity Challenge line-up include:

Nathan Buckley - 280-game Aussie Rules superstar (20 games with Brisbane; 260 games with Collingwood); Brownlow medallist (2003); Norm Smith Medallist (2002); All Australian team (1996, 1997, 1998, 2001)

Luke Darcy - 226-game Aussie Rules champion with the Western Bulldogs; All Australian team (2002); Charles Sutton Medal (Western Bulldogs Best & Fairest - 2001).

Glenn Archer - 311-game Aussie Rules hero with the Kangaroos (North Melbourne); Players' Choice Shinboner (selected as the player most epitomizing the heart and soul of the Kangaroos); Norm Smith Medallist (1996); All Australian team (1996, 1998, 2002)

Ben Tune - Australian Rugby Union winger; member of 1999 World Cup winning Wallaby squad.

Nicole Pratt - icon of women's tennis; Australian Federation Cup team (1998 - 2007); fourth round Australian Open (2003 - first Australian woman to reach the fourth round in ten years); second round Sydney Olympics (2000); third round Athens Olympics (2004)

Stephanie Gilmore - Women's surfing world champion. Gilmore; first rookie in the history of the sport to take the world title.

Michael Slater - cricket legend; individual highlights including his 219 against Sri Lanka in Perth in 1995-96; and his brilliant home series against New Zealand in 1993-94 (which netted him 305 runs at 76.25) and England (623 runs at 62.30) in 1994-95.

Nick Green - Olympic rower and member of Oarsome Foursome; dual Olympic Gold Medalist (Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996); winner of four world titles.

Zoe Goss - Women's cricketgreat; best remembered for taking the wicket of Brian Lara in the Don Bradman charity match at the SCG in December 1994.

All drivers will take to the wheel of the new Fiat 500, winner of 2008 European Car of the Year and the most sought after vehicle in Europe. Australian and New Zealand production has already been snapped up for the first three months of supply, even without prices and specs announced.

The introduction of the new car for this year's celebrity race is one of many fresh innovations announced by the Australian Grand Prix Corporation in recent months, all aimed at ensuring the 2008 event will be the most exciting in its thirteen year history.

The ever-popular V8 Supercars will return, racing in an exciting new format will seek to determine once and for all, which is the best - Holden or Ford.

The four-day premier motor sport event will conclude with a full concert from rock legendary rock band Kiss for all race-goers on Sunday, 16 March.

Kids aged 12 and under will receive free admission to this year's GP, when accompanied by a paying adult.

The 2008 FORMULA 1™ ING Australian Grand Prix . Albert Park . 13 - 16 March

For bookings or more information, visit www.grandprix.com.au

ENDS

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