Racing For Kids kicked off the holiday season with two special visits one to Children’s Hospital of Michigan and the other to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. Both visits were Christmas gift “drop offs” to help brighten a hospital stay for many metro Detroit and Kansas City children. In the Detroit visit, a couple […]
Detroit is the birthplace of Racing For Kids® and so the annual Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix is a big deal with it being a hometown race and a very busy weekend. This year was no different.
Racing For Kids® (RFK) activities began Thursday on the front lawn of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan’s (CHM) Specialty Center; progressed on Friday the Firestone Belle Isle Hospitality Chalet Friday’s for the annual “Kids At The Track Day” program and then to the track itself for entertaining Racing For Kids VIP Race Package auction winners.
Thursday morning, talented IMSA Racer Christina Nielsen, of Denmark, and young upstart TransAm Driver, Jordan Bernloehr, welcomed several dozen out patients at the CHM Specialty Center. With a Detroit Grand Prix IndyCar show car surrounded by Grand Prix decorations, the two greeted each child, their siblings and often their parents with lively talk of the Belle Isle weekend racing, the skills it takes to be a professional racer, and the twists and turns of the Belle Isle race course.
Nielsen, defending champion of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, drives a Ferrari and is very the first female to race on the historic LeMans course. She also is very comfortable with young children, so it wasn’t long before the event was bursting with smiles, laughter and excited chatter and the youngsters hopped in and out of the IndyCar showcar.
They eagerly gripped the steering wheel and for a moment imagined the thrill of piloting an IndyCar that could achieve speeds of 240 mph.
Bernloehr, who has off-road racing experience, was on his rookie Racing For Kids visit and warmed quickly to the little tykes, some in wheel chairs, who asked for his autograph and cherished the red Racing For Kida baseball caps that he and Nielsen were handing out.
All the while TV cameras from Fox TV 2 and ABC TV 7 captured the front lawn excitement and interviews with several kids and their parents.
A Detroit Free Press photographer was busy recoding the activity, which appeared in Friday’s newspaper and online.