DAYTONA BEACH, Florida – The Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF) Racing4Research program kicks off its sixth consecutive season of racing with a purpose at this weekend’s annual Roar Before the Rolex 24 At Daytona where drivers Daniel Graeff, Patrick Long, Spencer Pumpelly, Patrick Lindsey and Jason Hart drive the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports/Racing4Research Porsche GT3 in preparation for the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, January 26 – 27.
“I can’t wipe the smile off of my face,” Long said. “Not much to report. The car is running really well and everybody is getting seat time. I’m just excited to be here for Park Place Motorsports and the Children’s Tumor Foundation.”
The Children’s Tumor Foundation is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by Neurofibromatosis (NF), a common yet under- recognized genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body. The disorder can lead to blindness, bone abnormalities, cancer and excruciating and disabling pain. Found in one of every 3,000 children born, NF is a more common disorder than many more widely known illnesses, including cystic fibrosis and Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
The unique CTF Racing4Research program raises funds and awareness for the fight against NF through a busy and diverse racing program that is annually anchored by a Rolex 24 at Daytona effort. A highlight of each race event is the on-site presence and support of a large group of courageous youngsters and their families who have been nicknamed “NF Heroes” for their generally tireless efforts in fighting the disorder. Last year’s Rolex 24 CTF/R4R campaign raised over $600,000 and the team’s goal is to exceed that amount later this month. Donations to CTF Racing4Research can be made directly at www.Racing4Research.org.
“We’ve been working for the last five years to build this program and raising the donation level to the highest level possible,” Graeff said. “Our goal this year is a lofty one, but I think we can reach it given the opportunity this team provides for us.”
Saturday afternoon’s second fastest practice of the day was equally as productive as the sun began to appear for the first time this weekend. The warmer conditions, however, did little to slow the No. 73’s pace and the team ranked third in the early afternoon run with a lap time of 1:49.550 (116.988).
“This is a great team, Park Place Motorsports,” said Graeff, who has driven for R4R since the program began in 2008. “John Horton is an awesome engineer and this whole group of people who have put this together are really world class. I think it shows in our times and how the car is running today, which is very strong.”
Saturday’s Rolex Roar schedule continued with final afternoon practice before this evening’s only night practice of the weekend from 6:30 - 8 p.m. local time. The Roar concludes Sunday with the final pair of GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Cars Series practice sessions that morning and afternoon.
Park Place Motorsports