1996 Formula 1 world champion Damon Hill will return to racing for the first time since his final grand prix in 1999 when he contests the Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup race on the DTM support bill at Brands Hatch on May 18-19.
Hill will be reunited with a host of his junior racing rivals for the event, with Mark Blundell, Perry McCarthy, Martin Donnelly and Julian Bailey also getting guest drives, along with David Brabham. The first four were nicknamed "the rat pack" as they rose through Formula Ford, Formula 3 and Formula 3000 together in the 1980s, and though Brabham's career was not quite in parallel, he will be given 'honorary rat pack status' for the event. McCarthy has organized the on-track reunion to raise money for Hill's Halow charity.
"We are all really good friends," said McCarthy, "and we have regular reunions. This one will be a bit more serious but we are all looking forward to it. I haven't actually sat in a racing car for eight years, so I don't expect great things, but it will be a lot of fun and we will be ready for a party when the checkered flag is waved."
Hill admitted he would be rusty but was thrilled to have the opportunity to race against his old rivals again.
"Perry, Julian and I are coming out of retirement for this race," said Hill, "so we are sure to be pretty rusty. But it promises to be a great weekend for all friends and family to get together and a great way to draw attention to the aims and objectives of the charity. I am looking forward to it."