Ex-F1 champion Johnny Herbert and current driver Marc Gene have accepted former president Nelson Mandela’s invitation and booked their seats for the two-seater F1 grand prix set for Kyalami in August.

Ex-F1 champion Johnny Herbert and current driver Marc Gene have accepted former president Nelson Mandela’s invitation and booked their seats for the two-seater F1 grand prix set for Kyalami in August.

The Altech South African F1 two-seater Grand Prix will be held at the Kyalami F1 circuit to raise funds for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and the Unite Against Hunger charities. The retired statesman last month extended an invitation to participate in the event to current and former F1 drivers.

"Not only will this event be a landmark for South Africa, which last heard the sound of Formula 1 engines 10 years ago, but also we will be able to support the children who benefit from the charities," Madiba said.

The event will be staged on August 7, 8 and 9, culminating with the main race on the ninth. An F1 driver, along with his passenger, will in two heats of 12 laps each reach speeds of up to 300 km/h. Passengers meeting the race criteria have been preselected and will undergo thorough medical examinations before the race.

CARtoday.com reported last month that the Minardi Cosworth two-seater F1 team (including F1 driver Zsolt Baumgartner, test driver Bas Leinders and South Africa's F3000 star Alan van der Merwe) wowed a crowd of 12 500 onlookers and 20 breathless passengers at the Kyalami circuit.

Herbert and Gene will be joined by Leinders and Van der Merwe for the event. Minardi’s Gianmaria "Gimmi" Bruni, and 2003 race driver, Nicolas Kiesa, will also be in attendance.

Minardi's team boss, Paul Stoddart, who has agreed to send his fleet of eight two-seater F1 cars to the event, said: "The Altech South African F1x2 Grand Prix has all the makings of truly remarkable event. I'm sure it is going to be hugely successful, and I will be asking all of my colleagues in the F1 paddock to attend and lend their support to this most worthwhile of causes."