A growing tradition continues next week in St. Petersburg as almost half of the NTT IndyCar Series field will come together and start the season by donating their time and racing memorabilia to benefit a local children’s hospital.
The Kart4Kids event, held Wednesday, March 6, 2019, on the Firestone Grand Prix circuit, has become a passion project for many friends of the late IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon, who was a generous donor to the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Pete.
Defending race winner Sebastien Bourdais and Porsche factory sports car driver Patrick Long spearhead the event, which features a one-hour kart race in which amateurs can donate to create a kart team where they have IndyCar and sports car pros as teammates. A secondary fundraising element involves online bidding to buy driver’s helmets, racing suits, and other memorabilia that benefits the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.
Among the drivers in attendance, many of whom will take part on the pro-am karting race, Bourdais and Dale Coyne Racing teammate Santino Ferrucci, defending IndyCar champion Scott Dixon and his teammate Felix Rosenqvist from Chip Ganassi Racing, A.J. Foyt Racing’s Tony Kanaan and Matheus Leist, Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsport’s James Hinchcliffe, Andretti Autosport’s Zach Veach, DragonSpeed’s Ben Hanley, Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud, Harding Steinbrenner Racing’s Colton Herta, and his former teammate Patricio O’Ward will be present.
The format is a pro-am kart race with the pro starting, the amateurs in the middle stints, and a pro finishing. There are still a few teams available for those who want to come race. There’s also an auction at the event where helmets, firesuits, and other cool stuff that can be had. They’re also available with online bidding.