If you’ve ever raced cars, you understand this: in the pits, or united by a common cause, most racing teams will go to extraordinary measures to help one another out. When the green flag drops, it’s all about being the first guy across the finish line; until then, it’s about supporting the sport, the community or some other worthy cause. In this case it’s the relief effort for Japan, which has been back-burnered in the news by the conflict in Libya and the pending shutdown of the United States government. At this weekend’s Grand-Am race at Barber Motorsports Park, several Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development teams will be sporting Red Cross graphics on their cars, encouraging fans to text a $10 donation to REDCROSS at 90999. The Mazda Foundation USA has already contributed $150,000 to the American Red Cross Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Relief Fund, and has encouraged their dealers to contribute as well. Mazda Motors in Japan has donated 30 million yen to the Japanese Red Cross Society’s relief efforts.
Look for the graphics on the RX-8s of Dempsey Racing, Speedsource and Team Sahlen. Speedsource, in fact, is going above and beyond the placement of graphics on their cars. Sylvain Tremblay, who came up with the idea of promoting the relief effort via on-car graphics, has agreed to donate all race winnings from the #70 RX-8 to the relief effort. If you can’t make it to Barber Motorsports Park for this weekend’s event, you can watch the highlights at noon (Eastern) on Speed.