OPERATION MOTORSPORT and SRO Motorsports America announce a colabrative cooperation to advance the Excite, Engage and Empower recovery programs and expand into Blancpain GT World Challenge America!
Operation Motorsport is working in cooperation with SRO Motorsports America to assist military veterans with their recovery and rehabilitation. During each round of the Blancpain GT World Challenge America beginning April 26-28, 2019 at Virginia International Raceway, Veterans in the Operation Motorsport Immersion Program will be partnered up with various teams to learn new abilities and share the transferable skills they have picked up from their service.
This partnership will give Veterans from the Canadian and United States militaries the chance to work with teams to see how they can use their skills from military service and transfer them to useful skills with the race teams and potential civilian jobs. The first teams taking part in the collaboration and accepting veterans are; Alegra Motorsports, KohR Motorsports, JCW Mini and Wright Motorsports.
“Looking back to how I felt at this time last year, I am so thankful we took that leap and entered into partnerships with teams in World Challenge. I was nervous about entering into a new series, but we have had nothing but warm welcomes, and absolute commitments from the teams we're working with.”, said Tiffany Lodder, Executive Director, Operation Motorsport. “I'm proud of the opportunities we've been able to provide for our injured soldiers and veterans as we work together to share opportunities for them to be able to use their transferable skills and know there is a place for them in the civilian world.”
“It’s been remarkable to see the success the Operation Motorsport program has had with Veterans in our paddock,” said Greg Gill, president and CEO, SRO Motorsports America. “We’re excited to work closer with the team and grow the opportunities within our series this season.”
"The time and opportunity spent with Operation Motorsport and it's Beneficiaries has been quiet eye opening and great for all involved. The personalities, hard work, and team ethic runs strong between both the team and beneficiaries alike. We are thankful and hopeful to be of great help to these outstanding military service men and women, that have endured so much, to spend the time with us to engage and excite them in our motorsports program. We hope it provides them with they need to excel and opens them to a whole new world of opportunity in the motorsports world, to help their personal healing process. All the beneficiaries that we have had to date have been amazing individuals that bring something special and each unique to our team. We hope to keep this partnership with Operation Motorsport going for many years to come, and we hope to keep learning from one another to take the program to a place the beneficiaries see as a helping moment in their lives that they will never forget. Alegra Motorsports is very proud to be a part of this program and will never forget each of the awesome individuals that have come to work with us."
Operation Motorsport is excited to announce it has renewed its partnership with Alegra Motorsports and TWOth Autosport, which will both be participating in the Blancpain GT World Challenge America series for the 2019 racing season.
Alegra Motorsports will serve as a Premiere Partner of Operation Motorsport in 2019, with Team Manager Tony Ditto taking Canadian Armed Forces veteran Theo Bruulsema under his wing as he shadows the championship-winning team's engineers for all seven GT3 rounds of the Blancpain GT World Challenge America season. Bruulselma will garner invaluable experience throughout the season that will help him achieve his eventual goal of becoming a full-time race engineer.
Second-Lieutenant (retired) Theo Bruulsema joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 2011 as an Aerospace Control Officer and was posted to CFB Trenton before experience medical issues during training that eventually led to his release in August 2018. After becoming familiarized with the world of motorsports through our Excite program, Bruulsema has now moved into the Engage program and will be working directly with a professional race team.
Bruulsema is in Austin, Texas this weekend for the Blancpain GT World Challenge America season opener at Circuit of the Americas, where Alegra will be competing with its two Porsche 911 GT3Rs. Wolf Henzler and Marco Holzer will pilot the team's Pro-Am entry this season, while Michael de Quesada and Daniel Morad will share the Pro-Am class entry.
While Alegra Motorsports will continue as Operation Motorsport's Premiere Partner for 2019, TWOth Autosport will remain its Motorsport Operations Partner for this year. The team's Audi RS3 TCRs, which it will race in the Blancpain GT World Challenge America's TCR class, will carry an Operation Motorsport banner and the two organizations hope to eventually send beneficiaries to the team's headquarters at Calabogie Motorsports Park in Calabogie, Ontario.
TWOth Autosport, owned and operated by brother Trevor and Travis Hill, is participating in all TCR rounds of the Blancpain GT World Challenge America this year. It is in Austin at Circuit of the America's for the season opener this weekend, racing with a single entry piloted by Edward Killeen.
TWOth Autosport will also continue to operate its two-car Honda Civic ChampCar effort in 2019 and take on Operation Motorsport beneficiaries, allowing them to learn the ropes of motorsport and also work in a more relaxed constructive team environment.
"We're eager to get the 2019 season underway alongside our partners at Operation Motorsport as we open the TC America calendar at COTA," said Travis Hill, co-owner of TWOth Autosport. "This marks our second year together with the incredible military veteran organization, bringing ill and injured servicemen and women into sportscar racing with our TC America, Canadian Touring Car Championship, and ChampCar Endurance Series racing programs. It also calls for celebration as we see Theo, our 2018 'Excite' beneficiary, begin his 'Engage' program this with Alegra Motorsports across the paddock in the Blancpain GT World Challenge!"
ABOUT ALEGRA MOTORSPORTS:
Alegra Motorsports is a championship-winning team, competing in race series across North America. With a 20-year motorsport history, Alegra Motorsports is not just committed to winning races, but also to preserving the history of vintage Motorsports.
ABOUT TWOth AUTOSPORT:
With a home base at Calabogie Motorsports Park, TWOth is only steps away from one of North America’s most technical race tracks. The perfect location, paired with valuable experience and strong industry partnerships, allow the Hill brothers to manage every aspect of the motorsport experience, giving them the logical tagline: Develop, Build, Support, Drive. Visit http://www.twothautosport.com/racing
It is with much anticipation, pride and hope that we are honored to announce the release of “In the Spirit” by world renowned artist Fabio Napoleoni. This is Fabio’s second limited Edition original artwork in support of Operation Motorsport, where 100% of the proceeds directly benefit ill, injured, wounded and sick service members and disabled veterans through the Operation Motorsport Excite / Engage / Empower motorsports opportunities.
After the brilliant success of the original “We Are One” which fully captured the purpose and aims of the organization, we are over the moon with Fabio’s interpretation of "capturing the living spirit through Motorsport" with “In the Spirit”. This limited edition captures the imagination of those who love Motorsport and those who support our living heroes.
For those who appreciate the originals in Motorsport, know that the best way for a fledgling auto company to make a name for itself is to go racing and so became the Auto Union (Audi) type D. These are fitting memorials to those who built these beasts and to the brave souls who dared to tame them.
In Fabio's words;Over the last year I have had the pleasure of attending a few races where Tiffany and Diezel from Operation Motorsport graciously hosted myself and Nikki. During these visits I got the pleasure of meeting and hearing first hand from several veterans who benefit from this great charity. I encourage you to hit the link below and take a moment to read up on what these guys do... they make a difference.
Fabio's journey, from the hopelessness he experienced when his daughter was born with a life threatening heart disease, to the present day, where after multiple risky procedures and much worry, she has grown into a beautiful 14 year old, has been the source of inspiration for his paintings. Her story of triumph over tragedy was a life altering experience and it is central to themes in his work, resulting in the creation of some extraordinary characters and images.
Returning to the Anglesey circuit, the 2018 Race of Remembrance commemorated the sacrifices made by service personnel and their families. This unique endurance race features a Heroes dinner, night racing, and atrack-side service of Remembrance. In true Mission Motorsport style, the weekend is about more than just the racing. The off track action means a great social weekend at the end of the season, while on track there is a unique interruption to an endurance Motorsport event. At 10.45 on Sunday morning, the track will fall silent as the race pauses to hold a service of Remembrance, which this year falls on the 100th anniversary of the Great War armistice.
This is our story...........
As everyone in motorsports knows, every event contains a lot of moving parts; race cars, people, accommodations, meals, transportation, etc. Add into that mix nine wounded soldiers and medically released veterans, all with their own specific physical and mental health needs who haven’t all met each other, a race car that needs to be acquired and then outfitted with a sequential gear box so our wounded veteran can drive it. Bundle that all together, and it’s almost a hot mess. Consider that all nine beneficiaries don’t know each other, the OpMo support personnel are also strangers, throw them all on planes departing from locations all over North America to arrive in London for on the of the greatest endurance races in Britain. Let the adventure begin!
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Operation Motorsport empowers disabled veterans through their post-service lives by welcoming them onto racing teams to drive cars and work on pit crews.
Operation Motorsport Joins Forces with Motorsport Teams at the Michelin GT Challenge at VIRginia International Raceway
Alton, VA. (Aug 23, 2018) - Operation Motorsport, a non-profit organization that provides recovery, retraining and rehabilitation opportunities to injured service members and disabled veterans through motorsports. Operation Motorsport invited ten Soldiers to the Michelin GT Challenge at VIRginia International Raceway with the intent to; EXCITE, ENGAGE, EMPOWER.
CEO, Diezel Lodder, and Executive Director Tiffany Lodder started the motorsport weekend on Aug. 15, with a briefing at the Fort Bragg Warrior Transition Battalion. There they spoke to six on-coming beneficiaries one a veteran and the other five U.S. Army service members assigned to the WTB. During the brief old-timer beneficiary retired Chief Warrant Officer 3 Dewayne Crawford who has been with OpMo since 2017 and traveled to Anglesey, Wales for the Race of Remembrance; spoke from honesty that not only is this a chance to help them recover but a chance to rewrite their future. “When you’re out there your writing your resume because these guys are watching. I speak from my own experience, get involved, have fun meet new people, and have an open mind,” said Crawford. Crawford emphasized to the group about taking full advantage of the weekend, “You’ll probably experience and see things you’ve never seen in your life and have your battle buddy sitting next to you, I highly recommend you get involved it makes the process more comfortable, it is your transition, make it count.
Tiffany speaks with a loving, caring, heartfelt yet candid voice when talking to troops about what they may encounter at the raceway this weekend., “Understand these are professional race teams, in big competitions this weekend. So, they are there to win; they have a purpose, they won’t hold your hands, they aren’t there to make sure you are okay, they may ask you, I’ll ask if you are okay, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, said Lodder. “You’ll probably be given the smallest task, same as when you were a private, sweeping the garage is important, cleaning out the tires is very important, polishing the car is very important, every job has a purpose. The tires cannot be returned to Michelin or Continental until they’re cleaned, so if they tell you ‘I need you to clean inside that tire,’ know it is an important job.” With that the briefing end with discussing the timeline for the weekend.
Thursday the beneficiaries met their teams, Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 team, KohR Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4, MINI JCW Team, and the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Hospitality Lounge. Yes, not all of the soldiers were in the pits and paddocks getting dirty. Sgt. Maj. Wayne Davidson, also an enlisted member at the WTB had the pleasure of greeting distinct spectators at the lush Lambo Lounge. There is a saying some veterans have heard throughout their days in service that goes, ‘The leaders take care of the soldiers, but who takes care of the leaders.’ In this instance Operation Motorsports steps in and brings two together, “It was a very eye-opening experience where senior enlisted and junior enlisted worked together as a team to accomplish the mission and in a relaxing environment. I would love to work with operation motorsports again.
Operation Motorsports does more than bring these veterans and Soldiers to motorsport events across the globe; they help push them toward a goal. Whether that goal is in motorsports, car enthusiast, engineering, returning to active service, journalism, social media management, or just healing one’s mind and body. They bring a closeness that is gone when you leave the service, leave your battle buddies, leave your structure, leave a daily purpose. They give you that power back, remind you that you have the strength to continue to grow as that strength never went away, it was just hiding.
Operation Motorsport team races in the Lifeline 24hr at VIR with support from Mazda
Operation Motorsport’s entry into the ‘Lifeline 24 hour Classic’ race run by the Champ Car Endurance Series was made possible with the kind support of Mazda Racing. The Mazda Global MX-5 Cup race car, fielded by McCumbee McAleer Racing was adapted to sequential shift to enable Staff Sgt. (Ret.) Liam Dwyer to make his return to motorsport following major surgery in 2017. Liam has undergone osseointegration surgery which inserted a titanium rod into the bone in his stump to attach to his prosthetic left leg, and he was joined by 9 veterans and serving military members who filled roles on the Operation Motorsport team, and in the TWOth Autosport team two car sister entry alongside.
Cruel fate intervened after the team led the race outright for over 6 hours
A field of 100 cars began the race at Virginia International Raceway’s 3.27 mile full course and the Operation Motorsport car moved fast through the field with Liam at the helm to quickly establish a class lead. The driver line up included British Major (Ret.) James Cameron the CEO of Mission Motorsport, Tom Long the Mazda prototype and Le Mans star, and team boss and team principal Chad McCumbee. The Global MX-5 Cup car was leading the race outright by the time that night fell, running strongly through the dark hours, allowing Liam to chalk up more than five hours of hard racing on a challenging and exciting road circuit. The retirement of the car as the sun rose through mechanical failure of a component not shared by the spare car was a cruel blow – denying the team the trophy so richly deserved. The real goal, however had been emphatically achieved. Liam’s comeback was emphatic, and the 10 beneficiaries each took great strides in their personal recovery journeys. Bonds had been formed, confidence restored, networks extended, inspiration given. Things move fast. Two serving military members will return to VIR this weekend to take up their roles on IMSA professional teams.
Brighton, ON. (June 27, 2018) – Operation Motorsport, a non-profit organization that provides recovery, retraining and rehabilitation opportunities to injured service members and veterans through motorsports, is partnering with IMSA race teams at both Watkins Glen International, NY and Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, ON, on the two weekends that bookend the 1st of July Canada & July 4th USA birthday holidays, providing opportunities to 11 medically releasing Canadian and US service members.
The 11 day two country / two race stretch marks a new milestone in the short but rich history of Operation Motorsport. It marks the pairing of the highest number of Excite "Motorsports Immersion" Program embedded beneficiaries, in a race event activation, with an all time high number of participating host teams; Action Express Racing, Bodymotion Motorsports, CJ Wilson Racing, Core Autosport, Land Motorsport, Paul Miller Racing, Park Place Motorsports and Winward Racing.
Teamwork and organization are concepts service members know better than most, and while the teams are providing a first opportunity for US Army SPC Alexander Herrera, SGT Timothy Bernard, SSG Andrew Ostman, SSG Len Salmi, from FT Drum, NY, and Cdn Cpl (Retired) Mark Spiteri, who are being embedded as crew members in top level race teams, working side by side with the other team members and gaining exposure to a new set of responsibilities, where they now hope to benefit from the skill sets that military training has provided.
"Today’s vets are unlike most vets from years past, each of them joined voluntarily. They made the decision to serve their country by their own accord and of their own free will. What we have asked of these young men and women is nothing less than we asked of the young men who stormed the beaches at Normandy. The risks are equally as great," says Paul Miller Racing Team Manager, Mitchell Simmons, "Many of these young men and women have witnessed or succumbed to horrors beyond our belief. As they rotate back to civilian life many find it difficult, mentally or physically, to readjust. Many have difficulty finding work or staying employed due to these issues. We believe there is no greater sacrifice than to serve ones country only to return to life worse than when they left. That’s why we support Operation Motorsport 100%. The focus on the well being of veterans and giving them the opportunity to get in a motorsports environment is a perfect transition from military structure to civilian structure. The teamwork they are accustomed to blends seamlessly into a race team environment. It’s simply a perfect fit for our team and Operation Motorsport."
Returning Operation Motorsport beneficiaries CW3 (Retired) DeWayne Crawford and 2Lt Theo Bruulsema have graduated to the "Engage" Program, having spent time with other teams and/or other race series, they both now have an opportunity to work towards becoming contributing members of the already established cohesive teams that they join. Crawford will be joining Action Express Racing where Director of Race Team Operations, Chris Mitchum said, “Watkins Glen is a special event on our calendar every year being aligned with the 4th of July because we always have a chance to honor our soldiers on Independence Day. Both the Mustang Sampling #5 and Whelen Engineering #31 Cadillac DPi.V-R’s will be carrying special liveries honoring our soldiers. They do so much for our way of life, and to work with Operation Motorsport is one more way to give back a little. We are looking forward to working with DeWayne this weekend and expect that we will be the ones learning, how lucky are we.” and in Bruulsema's case, he brings a university engineering degree to Core Autosport and some experience gained while with Pfaff Motorsports Porsche team in PWC.
In addition to their team responsibilities, beneficiaries will mix and mingle with fellow soldiers and racers at various social functions designed to foster new social interactions and networking opportunities. The program provides respite, recovery, and rehabilitation opportunities to some of those in need affected by military service. The organization endeavors to provide the guidance, environment and tools necessary to develop new skill sets where beneficiaries embark on their recovery.
“Having the opportunity to host a veteran at Park Place Motorsports is always an honor,” Lindsey said. “These brave men and women have served our country and given so much just so we have the opportunity to live our lives however we choose. That includes the choice to go racing. The least we can do is open our own teams up to them for a fun weekend. They get to be a part of our team and sometimes they even show us how to become a better team. There is a true give and take relationship. I hope we give Mark a fun memory and I know Mark will give us a great effort in return.”
After the Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen, beneficiaries and their teams will prepare the race cars, pack up and move north to the the series only Canadian stop at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Bowmanville Ontario. This is a very unique opportunity for most of the beneficiaries as they get to experience two back to back race weekends with the same team but in different countries. Sound familiar? Well it does to the average soldier who has experienced packing up and moving over and over while on tour or exercises. This is part of the reason this works, along with a new team, a new identity and a new purpose.
Where we are today is not where I ever dreamed we would be….....," said Tiffany Lodder, Executive Director of Operation Motorsport, "In one year we’ve worked in seven series, activated at nine different tracks among 14 teams with 23 active beneficiaries of the Excite program and 12 waiting to participate. We delivered 164 recovery training days in our first year, culminating in (1) offer of employment, and (1) job placement for our beneficiaries! That is outstanding! I knew that motorsports could be restorative and used effectively as a recovery tool for our injured soldiers and wounded veterans, and I’ve been truly blessed this year to have met and worked alongside both our countries finest. It astounds me every time I think of how far DeWayne has come on his journey, and the incredible opportunities we’ve been able to help Theo participate in. As I look forward, I know that there are so many opportunities to continue to provide exposure, inclusion and acceptance as these beneficiary’s transition into the civilian world."
Bowmanville, ON. (17 May, 2018) – Operation Motorsport, a non-profit organization that provides recovery, retraining and rehabilitation opportunities to injured service members and veterans through motorsports, is partnering with Alegra Motorsports, CRP Racing, Pfaff Motorsports and TWOth Autosport at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park to provide opportunities to medically releasing Airman Theo Bruulsema and medically released veteran Soldiers Dale Newbury & Bill Carrette at the Castrol Presents the Victoria Day Speedfest Weekend.
This will be the first 2018 Excite Program activation for Operation Motorsport at the leading racing and automotive performance facility in Canada, (CTMP) during the traditional Victoria Day long weekend event. The Motorsports Immersion Program will provide respite, rehabilitation and recreational opportunities to some of those in need affected by military service. The organization endeavors to provide the guidance, environment and tools necessary to develop new skill sets where beneficiaries embark on their recovery.
As part of their new experience during the race weekend beneficiaries Bruulsema and Carrette are being embedded as crew members in Pirelli World Challenge top level race teams, Pfaff Motorsports, CRP Racing and working side by side with the other team members. Newbury will be the first veteran beneficiary to be embedded with TWOth Autosport, the organizations official Motorsports Operation partner, since the strategic partnership was announced earlier in the year. As part of its mission, Operation Motorsport finds meaningful positions for injured and disabled active service members and veterans inside motorsports to help them recuperate and use their military training in a new industry.
Teamwork and organization are concepts service members know better than most, and while the teams are providing Bruulsema, Abeling, Newbury and Carrette exposure to a new set of responsibilities, they hope to benefit from the skill sets that military training has provided. In addition to their team responsibilities, beneficiaries will mix and mingle with fellow soldiers and racers at various social functions designed to foster new social interactions and networking opportunities.
Operation Motorsport provides respite, rehabilitation and recreational opportunities to those in need affected by military service. We endeavour to provide the guidance, environment and tools necessary to develop new skill sets where beneficiaries embark on their recovery.
Still reeling from the Pirelli World Challenge 27-29 April, slumber was my friend that week. When my alarm went off at 0400 May 5, I knew it was going to be another exciting weekend with Operation Motorsports. Fellow beneficiaries Dewayne, Hairam, Alex and I were all meeting at the Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Crash and Burn course. NaroEscape Motorsports President and Lead Program Manager, Nadine Saville joined us, as she and her husband Bob Saville, Owner/President of NaroEscape Motorsports made it possible for us veterans to attend.
Operation Motorsport is partnering with Sebring International Raceway to provide opportunities to U.S. Army Warrant Officer 3 DeWayne Crawford and retired U.S. Marine Corp Staff Sgt. Jonathon Reid during the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Advance Auto Parts.
As part of their responsibilities during the famed race, Crawford, 43, and Reid, 29, are working with the Sebring marketing and hospitality staff to serve corporate guests. As part of its mission, Operation Motorsport introduces meaningful positions for injured and disabled active service members and veterans inside motorsports to help them recuperate and use their military training in a new industry.
Calabogie, Ontario, January 8, 2018
OPERATION MOTORSPORT and TWOth Autosport declare partnership to advance the Excite , Engage and Empower recovery programs and expand into the ChampCar Endurance Series!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ORLANDO, FL – October 2, 2017 – Renowned artist Fabio Napoleoni announced today the official release of the new art piece “We Are One”. It’s been released in limited quantity, for purchase on Fabio’s’ website only. Fabio Napoleoni is an international artist who is known for his splendid colors and engaging characters in his art work. What the Heart wants and the Heart needs can be found in a Fabio Napoleoni painting. Nostalgia, sorrow and moments that lift the soul are all there for the world to see and experience along with him. The vivid colors and captivating characters invite you into an emotional ride that is welcomed by the mind and the Heart all created by Fabio Napoleoni.
Fabio Napoleoni’s art “We are One” celebrates the use of motorsport in recovery and the strength and common bond of our military’s. Created to signify the brotherhood of our Allied troops through the bonds created in times of conflict and war, and now through Motorsports, they will hold each other up and heal together as One.
There will be a limited run of Artist’s proofs (11) signifying Remembrance Day, November 11th, and SN’s (signed and numbered) 22 prints, signifying the number of soldiers / veterans who take their lives every day.
Proceeds from the sale of this limited edition will benefit Operation Motorsport. This organization helps provide relief to veterans who are ill, injured or wounded by using motorsports. They present these veterans with educational and industry opportunities to aid in their retraining, recovery and rehabilitation. Fabio is proud to support this worthy cause, and is excited for the official release of this art in support of Operation Motorsport and what they do to help deserving veterans.
About Artist Fabio Napoleoni: Fabio lives and works in Florida. His artwork is sold in galleries across North America, and loved by all those who connect with his heartfelt brush strokes and animations. He has been involved in the art world since he was a small child, but the passion in his art work comes through because of his own fatherhood anguishes of his daughter when she was first born, and the sickness and surgeries they overcame as a family. “What we do in life echoes an eternity”
About Operation Motorsport: Operation Motorsport is a Canadian Veteran operated Not for Profit, based in Brighton, Ontario. Founded on the basis of 3 simple words; Excite / Engage / Empower. The premise is to engage, through motorsports activities ill & injured Service Members and disabled Veterans, affected by military service, leading to aiding in their recovery and rehabilitation.
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