What, the Enterprise isn’t fast enough for Patrick Stewart? Oh, yeah, it’s not REAL. That may explain why Stewart, Star Trek: The Next Generation’s heroic Captain Jean-Luc Picard, will – according to the Coventry Telegraph newspaper in England -- compete later this summer in a special Celebrity Challenge race at the Silverstone Classic powered by the AA, regarded as the world’s biggest classic motor racing festival.

Stewart had previously raced, just once, in a Pro-Celebrity Toyota race on the Long Beach Grand Prix course in California, but that was more than a decade ago. And, for the Silverstone Classic, Stewart had to pass written and driving tests required to obtain a MSA competition license.

“It's such a fast learning curve from the moment you first step into the car,” Stewart said, referring to his driving test. “At one point it was raining quite hard out there; I could hardly see out of the windows... and you really do need to be able to see out of the windows when you're driving fast!"

"I've watched too many professionals at work on the race track over the years to feel that I can now call myself a fully-fledged racing driver,” Stewart added. “But it was exhilarating, that's for sure. I'm looking forward to putting my new skills into practice."

The Silverstone Classic powered by the AA will be held July 20-22 at the Silverstone circuit in Northamptonshire, which is the birthplace of the FIA Formula One World Championship and home of the 2012 Santander Formula 1 British Grand Prix. The Celebrity Challenge event is set for July 21. Funds raised will benefit the Birmingham Children's Hospital, the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK and the RPJ Crohn's Foundation. Stewart’s competition will include AC/DC’s Brian Johnson and chef Heston Blumenthal, as well as other figures from the worlds of movies, television, sports and music.

Keep an eye on StarTrek.com for a follow-up story on how Stewart fares.

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