The Hardpoint Paddock Foundation, founded by IMSA racer and team owner Rob Ferriol to provide financial assistance to crew members during the coronavirus shutdown, has started to distribute funds to its first series of applicants.
Through its #RealRacingHeroes campaign launched in March, the non-profit charity has generated income through the sale of merchandise and via a GoFundMe page, which has reached nearly $10,000 in donations that are being rerouted to the paddock.
On Wednesday, one-time $1500 grants were released to an unspecified number of crew members.
“From the moment we announced the campaign, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. 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,” Ferriol said.
With more support received for the initiative, Ferriol hopes to distribute additional emergency checks.
“The fundraising has definitely been encouraging, though I’ll say it hasn’t paced quite as quickly as the apparel sales,” he added. “That said, I think it’s a function of timing — the apparel was rolled out first, with the fundraising site shortly after, so it’s not unanticipated. The GoFundMe page has definitely picked up in recent days, and we’ve received a number of mail-in donations as well, so that’s been exciting to see. My hope is that it continues to gain momentum as the weeks go on, and more people learn about the program.
“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. 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.”
Learn more about the program at: