Motorsport unites for bushfire fundraising

With bushfires causing significant devastation across parts of Australia, Motorsport Australia has outlined its fundraising activities to ensure those in need receive the help they require.

Motorsport Australia can today announce that for a period of 12 months from 1 February, with the support of apparel supplier, S-Trend Sportswear, 15 per cent of all Motorsport Australia merchandise sales will go directly to bushfire fundraisers, while priceless motorsport memorabilia will also be auctioned off at selected Motorsport Australia events during 2020, including the National Awards dinner.

The new online Motorsport Australia estore will be live in early February and will also feature specific bushfire fundraising merchandise supporting volunteers across the country.

This ongoing fundraising effort will ensure two selected charities will receive support over the coming year, according to Motorsport Australia President Andrew Papadopoulos.

The chosen charities are, the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund and the RSPCA National Bushfire Fund.

“We are eager to assist in whatever way we can and we believe offering a percentage of our merchandise sales for the next 12 months will allow everyone in motorsport to do their bit and continue to support those impacted by these tragic recent events,” Papadopoulos said.

“We are also pleased to be able to offer some unique motorsport memorabilia for auction at selected events including this year’s awards evening, which will be another way to add to our overall donation tally.

“This is on top of a number of donations and initiatives that have already been made, including at the 2019 Kennards Hire Rally Australia event, which was itself cancelled due to the bushfires near Coffs Harbour. Through that event, we were able to ensure more than $300,000 was donated to the Red Cross by teams, drivers, FIA and Rally Australia, a subsidiary of Motorsport Australia.

“It has been truly heart-warming to see the way our motorsport community has rallied so generously around those in need and we’d like to thank our newest partner S-Trend Sportswear for coming on board with this initiative too.”

Papadopoulos said the global motorsport community had shown significant support, with a number of large donations made by those involved in the sport.

“We’ve seen some truly wonderful donations, including from our own Ambassador Daniel Ricciardo who donated to a number of charities and will also auction off his race suit from this year’s Grand Prix, and a number of WRC drivers provided us with a number of unique items to auction for the bushfire appeal which was extremely generous,” Papadopoulos added.

Other donations from those in the motorsport community include:

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Champion Scott McLaughlin, who auctioned off one of his race helmets for $92,400
  • Kelly Racing, who are auctioning off their first ever passenger lap in their new Ford Mustang Supercar
  • Walkinshaw Andretti United will auction their six crew and two racing suits from the 2020 racing season, along with the winning bidders name or company to be displayed inside Chaz Mostert’s car, plus a weekend experience at this year’s Bathurst 1000 with the team
  • Toby Price is currently accepting bids on an auction to win his starting jersey & pants from Dakar 2020
  • Lewis Hamilton donated $500,000 to various charities
  • Max Verstappen also donated to a number of charities
  • Holden, who donated $1million
  • Triple Eight Race Engineering, who donated $25,000
  • A number of Peter Brock items, sold for auction via Lloyds Auctions
  • Alan Jones, who donated a pair of signed gloves and an FIA Steward shirt worn during his time as a steward to be auctioned off
  • Molly Taylor auctioned her race suit worn during her 2016 Motorsport Australia Rally Championship title winning season as the first ever female to claim the crown
  • Thomas Randle, who auctioned off his race suit used in his 2019 Pirtek Enduro Cup Supercar drives, including a first ever podium finish at Sandown

“When you put all these donations together, it’s certainly very touching to see how much our motorsport community cares,” Papadopoulos said.

“We would of course encourage anybody who would like to donate to do so through the Red Cross or RSPCA.

“Motorsport is, by its nature, often conducted in regional towns and communities. Many of these communities have been impacted heavily, so we will make sure we support them as best we can. We will ensure that any events held in these regions can also provide an opportunity for further donations and we will work with event organisers to make sure this happens going forward.”

Motorsport Australia will continue to work with a range of motorsport organisations to ensure significant donations are made to the various bushfire appeals across events and through our motorsport community, including Supercars, the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, ANDRA, Karting Australia, Speedway Australia, Motorcycling Australia and the FIA.

Tax deductible donations can currently be made at the following sites: