Dayton to visit Children's Hospital of Oakland

OAKLAND, Calif., Sept. 2 - Hospital stays can be frightening - and boring - for children. American Le Mans Series race car driver Duncan Dayton of North Salem, N.Y., will try to make them less of both for the patients of Children's Hospital ...

OAKLAND, Calif., Sept. 2 - Hospital stays can be frightening - and boring - for children.

American Le Mans Series race car driver Duncan Dayton of North Salem, N.Y., will try to make them less of both for the patients of Children's Hospital & Research Center at Oakland on Thursday morning, Sept. 4 when he makes a special appearance there prior to racing in the Fry's Electronics Sports Car Championships at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in nearby Monterey, Calif., Sept. 5-7.

The visit will begin at 10:30 a.m. in the courtyard of the hospital, located at 747 52nd St. in Oakland.

Dayton, a star of the LMP 675 class in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), and Steve Ivankovich, who competes in the GT class, will make the visit as part of a promotional program for the not-for-profit Think First National Injury Prevention Foundation, the official charity of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS).

The drivers will visit with the children, sign autographs, show them the safety gear they wear while competing, stress the importance of always trying to "think first" about safety, and encourage them to always use seat belts and bicycle helmets.

Think First will provide safety coloring sheets and temporary tattoos for them to distribute. Ivankovich's Hazardous Apparel Porsche will be available for them to examine, and the drivers will also play racing video games with any children who would like to participate.

Think First and hospital officials will also announce that the hospital plans to establish a local chapter of the Think First National Injury Prevention Foundation for the Bay area.

After meeting the drivers on Thursday morning, the children can cheer them on this Sunday, as the race will be broadcast live on NBC beginning at 4 p.m. Eastern time.

Dayton, one of the most popular drivers in the ALMS, is currently tied for second place in the driver standings in the LMP 675 division with his teammate, Jon Field. Their Intersport Lola, which is sponsored by Banana Joe's, Highcroft Racing and Goodyear, is affectionately called "The Junkyard Dog" due to its unique paint scheme. It is Intersport blue and red punctuated by bright MG green due to a collaboration with an English racing team after Intersport's primary Lola was damaged in a crash at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. in July.

Dayton competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France earlier this year, and he was part of Intersport's class-winning efforts at Road Atlanta Motor Sports Center in Braselton, Ga., in June and at Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada last month. In addition to those two victories, Dayton has a second (Sebring, Fla.); a fourth (Elkhart Lake, Wis.); and a fifth (Mosport, Ontario, Canada) so far this year.

Dayton is also a star of vintage racing and he owns and drives several very famous race cars of the past. One of those cars is the car that Mario Andretti drove enroute to winning the Formula 1 world championship in 1978.

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Series ALMS
Drivers Duncan Dayton , Jon Field , Mario Andretti