Christian Mansell loves racing fast cars, but he also loves using his growing platform to create positive impact on the lives of people in any way that he can.

Recently at his home race in Melbourne, the ART Grand Prix driver wore a special one-off helmet that he would later put up for auction. The winning bid came in at $25,000 with all the proceeds going towards Cancer Research.

Speaking in the Albert Park paddock prior to the auction taking place, Mansell – who is a Type 1 Diabetic - explained how all this came about.

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“We are going to have a big auction at the end of the weekend after Sunday's Grand Prix and we are going to auction off the helmet to the highest bidder and the proceeds are going to Cancer Research,” he explained.

“Originally, I was going to do it to diabetes, but I have recently lost two friends in the last month to cancer, so it's been pretty rough for myself, the people around me, and their families.

“It's not necessarily about being selfish if I chose diabetes but it's above me and I feel like I want to try and give back and to try and get something for the families to give them a bit of peace of mind.

“We are all working so hard to try and cure this terrible thing that is cancer, it's just a shame that in my life personally that I've lost two people to it. But at the end I can try and helps as much as I can, put my best foot forward to try and get on top of it because I do believe one day there will be a cure.”

Talking through the helmet that is designed by the New Zealand-based Helmart Design, Mansell sees it as an ode to his home in New South Wales, Australia.

“It's very home inspired,” said Mansell. “I've gone for beachy vibes, I've got the seagulls, got the beach, got the Christian Mansell sandcastle, on the back is Nobbys lighthouse – my local beach’s lighthouse – so it's quite special for me.

“I've got myself looking very Australian, sitting on a deck chair having a drink. It was sort of inspired by just having a chill day, going to the beach, doing very Australian things and a nice touch is obviously the green and gold.

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“I personally love the sandcastles so much and just on top of it, the water effect, the seagulls, this helmet is going to be hard to beat, it's going to be hard to top. I've seen some of the helmets in the F1 paddock and I'll be honest, I think this one tops it.”

On what having this helmet at his home weekend in Melbourne meant to him, Mansell said: “It's just such a special feeling. To share this with other people and to get the message across, it's so much more than a helmet.

“There is such a deeper meaning behind it, with all the stuff we are doing behind the scenes with cancer research and globally I am glad that it has been able to be showcased here this weekend.

Mansell wearing the special one-off helmet at his home weekend in Melbourne
Mansell wearing the special one-off helmet at his home weekend in Melbourne

“Obviously, it's a shame that it's only for one weekend, I wish that I could do it for more than one weekend but that's not to say that I am going to stop pushing for research into diseases, it's not just a one weekend thing.

“Families miss birthdays, they miss Christmas', it's not just it happens for one year and it's gone. So, if I can sort of have my imprint into finding a cure, that would make me the happiest man in the world.

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“I mean you can win all the Championships; you can win anything but making the families sleep better at night because they are one step closer, you can't replace that feeling with anything.

“I drive race cars because I love it and I love doing what I do, and I don't think I could be anything else but when I am able to contribute to something much bigger than me it's the best feeling in the world.”

You can catch a glimpse of the auction and see who got the winning bid here.