September 5, 2008

Audi Teams Up with Celebrities for Second Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle
Source: Audi of America

  • Audi supports people with intellectual disabilities through title sponsorship
  • Honorary Chairperson Maria Shriver to ride alongside Clint Eastwood, Rob Lowe, and David Spade
  • Team Audi will join 100 mile ride for first time

    Audi, in conjunction with Best Buddies International, today announced the anticipated celebrity attendees at this year’s Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle on September 6. Audi is honored to join forces with Best Buddies for the second year in a row as the Title Sponsor and Official Vehicle of this annual charity bicycle tour. Last year’s ride raised $3 million for Best Buddies, making it the most successful fundraising initiative in both Best Buddies and Audi’s history.

    Audi of America’s Western Region director Michael Cagle, and other senior executives will welcome celebrity guests and riders, including Maria Shriver, Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis, legendary actor and director Clint Eastwood, Rob Lowe from Brothers and Sisters, Saturday Night Live’s David Spade, Musician Kenny G, David Hasselhoff from Knight Rider and Baywatch, Joey Lawrence from Dancing with the Stars, Kelly Hu from The Scorpion King, and MAXIM model Donna Feldman, among others. The ‘Friendship Fleet’ formed by Audi customers and their vehicles will lead the peloton through a challenging 100 mile ride along the Pacific Coast Highway. For the first time, ‘Team Audi’ composed of employees, dealers and agencies has raised additional funds to the corporate contributions and will join the 100 mile ride.

    The Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle is a bicycle tour taking riders from Château Julien in Carmel to the Hearst Ranch in San Simeon. California’s First Lady, Maria Shriver, will serve as Honorary Chairperson for the fifth year in a row and will also ride in the event. Notable cyclists such as Bobby Julich, Axel Merckx, Aaron Olsen, Kimberly Baldwin and Kim Anderson will join Audi and Best Buddies, as well. Olympic medalist and former world champion Mari Holden will return to the Audi Best Buddies Challenge for the fourth straight year.

    “Audi’s sponsorship of this event means that every dollar raised by riders directly benefits Best Buddies,” said Johan de Nysschen, Executive Vice President, Audi of America. “Since the inception of our relationship just over a year ago, we are so proud to have helped Best Buddies raise more than $9 million in funds to benefit those with intellectual disabilities. Audi’s commitment to social responsibility is continually renewed by our relationship with this revolutionary charity, and we’re excited to be even more active in this event with our own Audi team cycling.”

    Founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver, Best Buddies is a nonprofit that provides opportunities for one-to-one friendship and integrated employment to people with intellectual disabilities participants in 40 countries around the world. Audi and Best Buddies proudly announced their new partnership in June of 2007. For the next four years, Audi will continue to be the exclusive automotive sponsor of Best Buddies within the Americas and support numerous projects and fundraising events in Europe and overseas.

    “Best Buddies is incredibly grateful for Audi’s support, which has grown and enhanced our mission of friendship and inclusion,” said Anthony Kennedy Shriver. “Audi shares our goals and our desire to turn visions into realities. With Audi’s incredible vehicles leading the way for the dedicated cyclists, this year’s challenge is sure to be a major success.”

    Riders depart Château Julian at 6:30am on September 6th. An exclusive post-ride celebration held at the Hearst Castle Ranch will feature a barbeque cookout and private concert by the Black Eyed Peas for all ride participants and special guests.

    About Audi of America, Inc.

    Audi of America, Inc. offers a line of luxury vehicles that include the Audi A3 sport compact; the sporty A4 sedan, Avant and Cabriolet models; the high performance S4 sedan, Avant and Cabriolet models, the high-revving RS 4 sport sedan and Cabriolet; the all new A5 Coupe with FSI direct injection technology; the S5 Coupe with 354 hp; the design-leading A6 sedan and Avant; the V-10 powered high performance S6 sedan; the Audi Q7 performance SUV; the new all-aluminum Audi A8 and A8L; the new S8 with V10 power; the all-new 2008 TT Coupe and Roadster models; and the all-new, all-aluminum R8, one of the most exclusive mid-engine sports cars in the world. Upcoming Audi vehicle launches in the USA include the updated A3 with quattro all-wheel drive (Sept. 2008), all-new A4 sedan/Avant (Sept. 2008), TTS coupe and Roadster (end 2008), new A6 with the new 300 hp 3.0 TFSI supercharged V6 engine (Jan 2009), Audi Q7 3.0 TDI (Q1 2009), and Audi Q5 (Q1 2009). For more information, please visit or

    About Best Buddies International

    Founded in 1989 by Anthony Kennedy Shriver, Best Buddies is a vibrant, international organization with more than 1,400 chapters in 40 countries. Our six formal programs – Best Buddies Middle Schools, High Schools, Colleges, Citizens, e-Buddies and Jobs – positively impact more than 350,000 individuals annually. Learn more at or

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