Four-time Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais and all of people behind the Kart 4 Kids charity head into the opening NTT IndyCar Series race of the year with another Pro-Am karting event and auctions designed to raise funds for St. Petersburg’s Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.
The March 1 event set for Andersen Race Park in nearby Palmetto, Florida, marks the event’s 12th anniversary where top IndyCar and sports car stars race with fans who’ve donated to the charity and reserved karts to share with some of their heroes. Last year’s event saw the likes of Bourdais, Scott Dixon, Alex Palou, Felix Rosenqvist, Pato O’Ward, Kyle Kirkwood, and more join in to take part in the Pro-Am kart race which features a racing memorabilia auction onsite.
“It’s grown massively,” Bourdais told RACER. “It started with raising $5000, and last year we got it to $300,000.”
Beyond supporting the hospital directly with funding, a new research endeavor has made positive progress.
“Collaboration between Kart 4 Kids Concussion Initiative, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and IndyCar has already led to some incredible discoveries that will change motorsports for the better,” said Kart 4 Kids executive director Chris Russick. “Findings were presented at a global concussion conference in 2022 and this initiative has the potential to help a lot of people worldwide.”
The Kart 4 Kids online auction features signed racing gear from Bourdais, Dixon, Romain Grosjean, and other drivers, along with a variety of other items, including hot laps around the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg circuit with Bourdais and Mario Andretti.