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Karting stars with nerves of steel take to the tarmac at Buckmore Park

If you were anywhere near Chatham in Kent today, you may well have heard the deafening sounds of dozens of vehicles taking to the tracks on a racing circuit. But it wasn't car or bikes whizzing round, it was go-karts. And the drivers, reaching speeds of up to 85 miles an hour, were all under eighteen. Andrea Thomas reports.

Driver's family say she died of her injuries

Maria de Villota's family have claimed her death on Friday was as a directconsequence of the testing accident she was involved in last year.

A statement issued by the family read: "Maria left us while she was sleeping,approximately at 6am (on Friday), as a consequence of the neurological injuries she suffered in July of 2012, according to what the forensic doctor has told us.

"Maria is gone, but she has left us a very clear message of joy and hope, which is helping the family move on in these moments."

The body of former Marussia test driver De Villota, who was just 33, was discovered at the Hotel Sevilla Congresos in Seville early on Friday.


  1. Anglia

Blundell: 'Maria would have been next female F1 driver'

María de Villota's manager, Mark Blundell, believes that the Spaniard would have been "the next female Formula One driver".

De Villota was found dead in a hotel room in Seville earlier this morning.

The 33-year-old's racing career was cut tragically short when she lost an eye in an accident at Cambridgeshire's Duxford Aerodrome last year.

However, Blundell believes that De Villota had the talent to become the first female driver to enter the Formula One World Championship since Giovanna Amati back in 1992.

Racing driver found dead in hotel room

Maria De Villota was found in her hotel room in Seville, Spain Credit: PA Wire

Oxfordshire based Formula 1 racing driver Maria de Villota has been found dead in a Spanish hotel room.

The 33-year-old was found at around 7am this morning in a Seville hotel room.

Police have said: "We are assuming it was a natural death, but we cannot confirm anything."

Maria was seriously injured last year when she collided with a lorry in Cambridgeshire whilst test driving a car for Banbury's Marussia team.

She suffered serious head injuries and lost her right eye in the crash but given a health all-clear to continue with her driving career.

  1. National

Formula 1 teams lead tributes to test driver De Villota

Formula 1 racing teams Red Bull and Sauber have issued tributes to test driver Maria de Villota, who has died at the age of 33.

Sauber tweeted: "We are shocked to hear about the death of María de Villota. Our sincerest condolences and sympathy to her family for this tragic loss."

Christian Horner, team principal of Red Bull, said: "We were extremely saddened to learn of the loss of Maria de Villota.

"On behalf of everyone in the team, we send our sincere condolences to Maria’s family at this difficult time"


'Very, very important car' fetches £19m at auction

The auctioneers who sold the most expensive car ever to be sold at public auction have said that they always knew it would be a 'very, very important car'.

The Mercedes-Benz W196 went for £19.6m in an auction held by Bonhams at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2013 in Chichester.

The former Formula 1 racing car was driven by the F1 world champion Juan Manuel Fangio in 1954 when he clinched the second of his five titles.

The Argentinian drove the car to victory in the 1954 German and Swiss Grand Prix races.

A private buyer bought the car over the telephone.

"At £19.6 million inclusive, it's a new world record by some distance.

"We had eight telephone bidders at the start of the bidding and we had three people in the audience, so we had more than 10 people who were prepared to spend. Of those 11 bidders, only five got the chance to bid.

"Our own personal record of £5 million was achieved last year for a Bentley. The price that we achieved today is over three times that, so it's extraordinary.

"We always knew that it was a very, very important car."

– James Knight, group motoring director at Bonhams

Historic Grand Prix racing car goes under the hammer

1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 Formula1 Grand-Prix racing car Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A historic Grand Prix racing car ever offered at public auction goes under the hammer in West Sussex.

The 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 was the race car driven by five-times F1 world champion Juan Manuel Fangio when he clinched his second title in 1954.

Fangio drove the 2.5-litre car to victories in the 1954 German and Swiss Grand Prix races, the first successive triumphs achieved by the factory Mercedes-Bent team in its post-war comeback.

Although no guide price has been disclosed, the car - chassis number 00006/54 - is set to sell for millions of pounds when it is sold by Bonhams at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in Chichester.

The auction house has described it as "not only one of the most significant motor cars of the 20th century, but also the most important historic Grand Prix racing car ever offered at public auction".

After being presented to the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, Hampshire, in the 1970s, it was sold to a private collector in the 1980s and then into the ownership of a German businessman.

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