Team Seattle @ Daytona 24hours
The start of the 2011 Grand-Am Rolex Series is a momentous occasion for any race team. For Team Seattle the 24 Hours at Daytona marks the 14th year of their philanthropic endeavor to raise money for Seattle Children’s Hospital; an endeavor that has raised in excess of four million dollars over the years.
2010 was a landmark year with a record $540,000 raised. It was the first full season campaign for the team raising money throughout the season partnering with Dempsey Racing and JG Sport.
This year, the team aims to beat that record and it all begins at Daytona. Out of the entire season, this race is very special; it is the race upon which the original Team Seattle premise was created. Get a car to a 24 hour race and raise money per lap for the Hospital. While things have changed a lot since the team’s first running in 1997 some things stay the same. Daytona is still a huge percentage of the year’s contribution and it’s the premiere event for Team Seattle fans and supporters.
In previous years, names of donors or faces of loved ones have been adorned to the car in efforts to raise money. For 2011 the team embarked on a new program. Simple in concept, the “Buy a Heart. Save a Life” campaign opened up the opportunity to all donors by giving them the chance to buy a 1 ¼ inch by 1 ¼ inch heart character that would be stuck to the car for the race.
The response has been fantastic. As the team heads out to Florida the number of hearts sold (at a minimum donation of $50) has exceeded 300. The hood and roof will be covered in little hearts and with the chance for Daytona race fans to buy hearts at the track; the number could well exceed 500!
Couple this with the stalwart Team Seattle fan and donor base and this year’s tally, while secret until the race itself, looks to be as healthy as any year previous with the potential to accumulate throughout the year with the running of the 2011 Grand-Am Season.
The question for many is whether the Dempsey Racing/JG Sport/Team Seattle Mazda RX8 will be competitive in the race? Only time will tell and while other manufacturers dominated the “Roar Before the 24” practice weekend earlier in January, there is one thing for certain in a 24 hour race and that is the fact that nothing is certain. In addition to the sheer unpredictability of the race, the team has both experience and raw talent driving and while out paced by the likes of Porsche and BMW earlier this month, Car No.41 was the fastest Mazda RX8, showing great promise for the grueling vigil this coming weekend!
To keep up to date with the team this weekend, the following is available to race fans.
TRACK (In Person)
- Come find Team Seattle in the garage and interact with us (the supporters and team are very nice!)
- Make a donation and buy a heart at the garage from Thursday until Sunday
- If your timing is right, stick your heart directly to the car (or have your child do it!)
- Come meet the drivers at the autograph session and get your hero card signed
- Mobile live timing and scoring available at http://m.grand-am.com
ON TV AND ONLINE
- SpeedTV are covering 14 hours of the 24 Hours at Daytona
- Team Seattle will have a team updating Twitter all weekend. Follow us @TeamSeattle
- Team Seattle will regularly post to Facebook with photographs, videos and fan dedications
If you haven’t done already, there is plenty of time to buy a heart, make a donation or just drop us an email of support.
Team Seattle would like to thank each and every one of their supports, patrons and fans for the continued support, donations and good will as we enter another year of raising valuable funds for Seattle Children’s Hospital.