INDY 500 CHAMPIONS HIGHLIGHT INAUGURAL CARA CHARITIES "CARS & STARS AT HIGH SPEED" EVENT FRIDAY AT AUTOBAHN COUNTRY CLUB
Helio, Rahal, Rutherford and Unser Participate To Raise Money For Charity
JOLIET, ILL. (SEPT. 9, 2006) -- It looked like a "Who's Who" of racing champions Friday Night (Sept. 8) in the inaugural Cara Charities "Cars & Stars at High Speed" automobile event at the spectacular Autobahn Country Club.
Indianapolis 500 champions Al Unser (1970, 1971, 1978, 1987), Johnny Rutherford (1974, 1976, 1980), Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002) and Bobby Rahal (1986) were among the crowd that participated in the new charity extravaganza set just a few miles from the IndyCar Series finale at Chicagoland Speedway.
The champions who combined for ten Indy 500 titles were involved in giving celebrity rides, signing autographs and judging the concours of fabulous automobile machinery at the picturesque private road racing facility that is located on 320 acres outside of Joliet. Former Indy car racer Tom Bagley, an Autobahn official, also participated in the evening.
The affair raised more than $21,000 for local and national charities including George Werden Buck Boys & Girls Club of Joliet, the official charity of Chicagoland Speedway, and the Lamb's Fold Women's Center in Joliet. A special "Soap is Hope" collection also will be donated to Lamb's Fold Women's Center.
Rutherford and Bagley drove a special Ferrari, donated by John and Lisa Weinberger of the Continental Motor Group, for attendees around the newly-designed road circuit and collected more $1,500 for the special celebrity rides.
In addition, a special silent auction of racing memorabilia including items from the IRL, Champ Car, NASCAR and sports car communities as well as the sporting world helped raise thousands of dollars. A signed Lance Armstrong Discovery Tour of France racing jersey recorded more than $1,500.
A host of valuable vehicles were on display with the four Indy 500 champs looking over the machinery as judges. The winner was a 1954 Maserati A6GCS also owned by John and Lisa Weinberger. The car has been a classic around the world including five appearances in the famed Mille Magilla rally in Italy and numerous U.S. vintage races and rallies.
"We were elated that Helio, Al, Johnny and Bobby could be involved during our first Autobahn event," said Vicki Faivre, president of CARA Charities. "They added so much to the festivities and the crowd enjoyed the rides, auction and the 'close-up' of some exceptional cars. The facility is tremendous too. We want to thank the staff of the Autobahn Country Club and the sponsors who helped in the creation of this new event, Honda and Performance Tire. We expect this night at the Autobahn to continue to grow."
Founded in 1981, CARA Charities has benefited numerous children's hospitals, scholarships, racing ministries and other causes. Its "Buckle Up Baby" children's car seat program, which is supported by the Bridgestone/Firestone Trust Fund, provides funds for infant car seats to needy families in major cities where open wheel races are held.
For further information, contact CARA Charities at (317) 299-2277 or go online at www.caracharities.org.