HIGHCROFT LAUNCH JAPANESE EARTHQUAKE APPEAL AT SEBRING

#01 Highcroft Racing Honda Performance Development ARX-01e: David Brabham, Marino Franchitti, Simon Pagenaud
#01 Highcroft Racing Honda Performance Development ARX-01e: David Brabham, Marino Franchitti, Simon Pagenaud

Photo by: Rainier Ehrhardt

Highcroft Racing has launched an appeal to help the victims of the Japanese earthquake disaster in conjunction with Network for Good.

The team’s Honda Performance Development ARX-01e will feature signage at this weekend’s opening round of the American Le Mans Series and Intercontinental Le Mans Cup directing fans to the website – http://www.highcroftracing.com/help-japan.

The on-car graphic - which also incorporates a Japanese flag - will be displayed on the sidepods and rear wing of the new HPD prototype.

Network for Good makes it easy to donate and volunteer as it is to shop online – creating a world where every time you are inspired to help someone or something, you can – with just a few clicks of a mouse, anywhere online.

By visiting the Network for Good link via the Highcroft site, race fans can choose to donate money to any of 21 different charities including the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Save the Children and World Vision.

The American Le Mans Series has also thrown its weight behind the fundraising efforts with signage placed around the Sebring track to direct fans and viewers to donate by texting REDCROSS to 90999 in order to make a contribution to the relief efforts in Japan

Like everyone throughout the world, the team at Highcroft Racing were shocked and saddened by the horrific earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on Friday, March 11.

The 9 magnitude quake resulted in a tragic loss of life on an enormous scale. Thousands more have had their lives torn apart - losing their homes, their loved ones and their livelihood.

“It is with great pride that we have represented Honda since 2007 in international sports car racing - we have many many fans from Japan and we hope and pray that they, and the entire country, can stay safe and stay strong at this terrible time,” team boss Duncan Dayton said.

“We thank our fans for their support and urge them to not only donate what they can, but to take time to do as we are doing this week - taking a few moments to reflect on how lucky we are to have the love of our families and the warmth of our friendships. We get to go racing this week, while people in Japan are trying to rebound from having their entire lives shattered”

Highcroft Racing’s back-to-back ALMS champion driver David Brabham has joined the appeal to urge fans to contribute. Brabham is no stranger to Japan, having won the 1996 Japanese GTC GT500 Championship in a McLaren F1 GTR sportscar.

“At the moment for most people it is really difficult to absorb and comprehend what is actually happening over there,” Brabham said.

“The scale of the tragedy is so huge that it takes a while for it to sink in. You really can’t get your head around it.

“Everyone around the world is focusing on Japan right now and they need all the help, love and support that they can get.

“For sure the human spirit has been severely tested right now. We all know people who either work in Japan or Japanese people who we work alongside with through our relationship with Honda.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected and we hope the fans of Highcroft Racing can help with this campaign.”

Brabham’s teammates Simon Pagenaud and Marino Franchitti are equally shocked at the sheer size of the disaster.

“The tragedy that has happened and continues to unfold is just terrible and my heart goes out to everyone in Japan,” Franchitti said.

“It is a country I love and have visited many times and I have dreams of racing there one day.

“It is hard to watch a country suffering as they are and it is important that the rest of the world does its best to support them.

“I’m happy that we have been able to put this campaign together for the Sebring race. Every dollar that we are able to raise is going to a very good cause.

“With each day that goes by, it seems the story in Japan is getting worse not better. So, we all need to get together and help as much as we can.

“We’re asking all the fans of the team and the American Le Mans Series to come and help us out.”

The team’s Japanese Earthquake appeal campaign will also use Highcroft’s social media outlets including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and FourSquare to promote the cause.

“What’s happening in Japan is something we are all greatly concerned about. We have to think about everyone who have been so badly impacted by the disaster,” Pagenaud said.

“This appeal is something that I really urge all the fans of the team and the series to get behind.

“The devastation is just incredible and it makes you realize how lucky we are to be safe and sound. We obviously have many friends through our relationship with Honda who have been affected, but it is not just about them.

“The entire country is suffering at the moment and we just hope we can help in some small way.”

Saturday’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring will be broadcast live online on ESPN3 in the US with a two-hour highlights package aired on ABC on Sunday, March 20.

Highcroft Racing and series organisers are also looking to launch on-track fundraising auctions this weekend to help the cause.

-source: highcroft racing