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A group of racing enthusiasts have swapped their driving gloves for microphones as part of a charity fundraiser and are steering their way to success up the iTunes charts.
The Autograss Allstars are 75 dirt track car racers from across the country who have stepped out of their comfort zone on the race track to enter the recording studio to raise vital funds for Cancer Research UK.
The project was founded by lottery winner Susan Herdman, who famously won £1.2m on the National Lottery in 2010.
At the time of her win she was working as a hairdresser in Hereford, but the win enabled her to sell up and move to be with her partner on his pig farm near Boroughbridge in North Yorkshire.
The win also allowed her to pursue her passion for Autograss racing, becoming a national champion.
Susan said: “Both my parents were racers and I was born and bred on the race track. I had my first race at 14.”
Now with the support of her fellow autograss drivers, including Gareth Jones from Bancyfelin, West Wales, she has recorded a hit charity record that is driving its way up the charts and raising thousands for the charity at the same time.
Susan said: “Myself and Gareth had talked about the idea of a charity single many years ago, but then last summer I thought now is the time to get the idea off the ground.”
Within three weeks the Autograss Allstars project was up and running and fellow autograss racer and Musical Director Lewis Richards, from Carmarthenshire, South Wales, was persuaded to take the 75-strong supergroup under his wing.
Practice tracks were sent via email to participants across the county and the group met for the first time in October in Walsall to put their vocal chords to the test.
Lewis, a primary school teacher who has had previous successes with choirs including winning the BBC Songs of Praise Choir of the Year in 2015, said: “ We rehearsed two songs in full, and as organisers we all agreed the sound was great. Members of the group were then invited to record solo lines and we realised just how much talent we’d discovered.”
They decided on recording two tracks with the group, See You Again from the film The Fast and the Furious and Josh Groban’s To Where You Are. A third song was also recorded this time a duet by Lewis Richards and Gareth Jones called This Is The Moment.
Susan, who recorded her own solo line as did her son Jake, said: “The songs are sensational. Who would have thought that 75 mudslinging clutch bleeding drivers who can’t sing would end up with a three-part harmony and a single in the iTunes charts.”
Since the Autograss Allstars picked up their song sheets they have raised over £25,000 for Cancer Research UK and all three singles broke into the Top100, with See you again hitting number 57 on the iTunes charts, and breaking the top 40 in Ireland.
Susan added: “I lost my nan to cancer and thanks to research my dad is currently recovering from the disease. Everyone in the Autograss Allstars knows someone wo had been affected by cancer, including a lot of our own racing family.
“In light of that, we are delighted to have smashed our original target of £5,000 and then the next of £20,000 and are now the songs are available on iTunes we hope to smash the £30,000 mark, but we need help to get there.”
The Autograss Allstars’ charity singles can be bought on limited edition CDs at www.AutograssAllstars.co.uk/Store or available for download on iTunes.