The Hardpoint Paddock Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, announced today that it has begun distributing emergency financial assistance grants to ‘fly-in’ and contract sports car crew members who have been left without a job due to the racing event cancellations caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The foundation launched its #RealRacingHeroes campaign two weeks ago and has gathered donations from individual donors, through its gofundme page, and through its line of Flatten The Curve merchandise.
Crew members in need have been encouraged to apply for consideration for a grant through its website, and today the first wave of qualified applicants received one-time emergency grants of $1,500.
“From the moment we announced the campaign, the response has been overwhelmingly positive,” said foundation president Rob Ferriol.
“We’ve seen people from all corners of the race economy rally together to support the campaign – gentleman drivers, pro drivers, fans, and even other crew members.
The foundation, founded by Ferriol, a team owner/driver in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge competition, will continue raising donations throughout the shutdown and plans to continue issuing grants to qualified applicants every week, as funding allows.
“Since my very first start in IMSA, I’ve been in awe of the men and women that make up the crews around the paddock,” Ferriol added.
“They’re a hard-working, resilient bunch who love racing as much as the rest of us.
“You’ve heard me say it before: first ones in, last ones out. They work long days and nights to ensure drivers and team owners have competitive cars to field for our fans, so I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to put the shoe on the other foot and help them during this crisis.
“To anyone still on the fence, I can think of no better way to help ensure the resiliency of our sport than to stand behind the men and women who help make the sport possible. The simple fact is the more funding we raise, the more people we can help, so every little bit counts.”