Texas based Godstone Ranch Motorsports is sole IRS approved non-profit race team
Motorsport is a pulse racing, blood pumping, and sometimes heart stopping sport, and one Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series team is utilizing the sport to raise heart health awareness.
Godstone Ranch Motorsports in conjunction with Risi Competizione and the American Heart Association will race a Ferrari 458 GT Grand Am in the Rolex series as the only IRS approved Texas 501(c)(iii) non-profit racing team in the country.
All of the money we raise, aside from the cost of putting the car on the track, goes to our charity.
The team unveiled their "Heart" car Saturday at the Formula Expo in Austin, Texas.
Godstone Ranch Motorsports plan to participate in at least one race in 2012 and could race a full season in 2013.
"All of the money we raise, aside from the cost of putting the car on the track, goes to our charity," Pro-Am racing driver and marketing executive John McCutchen II said.
“I think it’s an extremely innovative idea and will prove to be successful,” said Don Pierce, Operations director of Risi Competizione, Ferrari of Houston and Ferrari of Austin. “They’ll do a race this year as a proof of concept, with the idea to race a full season in 2013.”
The concept was well received by Giuseppe Risi, Owner of the race team and Ferrari of Houston, when McCutchen brought him the idea, Pierce said. The project has been in development, and it could be just a couple short months before the “Heart” goes racing.
McCutchen founded Godstone Ranch Motorsports in 2010 with his wife Karen Garret. Their goal was to utilize motorsports to promote causes that are geared toward the betterment of society. They chose the Rolex Grand-Am racing program as their marketing platform because it has NASCAR backing, great racing and a great TV audience. In that equation McCutchen saw a form of advertising that delivered maximum viewership for the best value.
"[Advertising] is very expensive," McCutchen said. "We are often on the screen for minutes at a time. Grand-Am makes sure to show us on TV whether our pit is on fire or not. We do a lot of public appearances. We'll do anything to help the American Heart Association."
Godstone Ranch Motorsport's professional driver is 1996 24 Hours of Le Mans and 1990 Daytona 24 Hour winner Davy Jones. Jones also said he should have won the 1996 Indianapolis 500, but finished second behind Buddy Lazier.
Jones joined Godstone Ranch Motorsports in 2010, but this year will be special.
“In all the racing that I’ve done through my career, you know I’ve raced for some of the best teams in the world,” Jones said. “But I have yet to race for Ferrari. I’ve won Le Mans with Porsche and Daytona with Jaguar…but it’s good to say I drive for Ferrari.”
The blood red Ferrari 458 that Godstone Ranch Motorsports and Risi Competizione will campaign can run up front, which would help secure the necessary funds for 2013, Pierce and McCutchen said.
“We love the car. It’s an incredibly forgiving car,” McCutchen said. “I can’t wait to race it.”
Pierce said the team would not race until after the Brickyard Grand Prix July 27.
“That event is a one day event, and the goal is to have a full weekend in the car.”
The team has not yet decided which event it will debut at.
The car is a carryover from Risi Competizione’s debut at the 2012 Daytona 24 Hour.
The No.63 Ferrari finished fifth on its first race outing, which was looked at as a success, Pierce said. He believes the 24-hour race allowed the team to build up important knowledge and experience in the Rolex series.
Risi Competizione decided not to race in the American Le Mans Series in 2012 in order to restructure its racing program, which opened the door for Godstone Ranch Motorsports and its Grand-Am program, Pierce said.