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DATE News (chronologically)
03/07/07
track news
St. Pete GP news
Michael Andretti Foundation Gala to Benefit the Children of St. Petersburg

The Michael Andretti Foundation will host a gala event on Friday, March 30 to benefit a number of children’s charities in the St. Petersburg area.  Among the drivers expected to attend the event are Marco Andretti, Bryan Herta, Dario Franchitti, Tony Kanaan, Danica Patrick, David Brabham, Stephan Johansson, Duncan Dayton, Ryan Briscoe and Bill Auberlen.

The event will feature a live painting performance by renowned motorsports artist Bill Patterson and the live auction will include a Danica Patrick racing suit and an original piece of artwork from acclaimed glassworks artist Dale Chihuly.  A silent auction will include a number of unique motorsports items donated by teams competing in this year’s Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

“It was important to all of us that we find a way to give back to this great community,” said Michael Andretti.  “We wanted to do something for the children of St. Petersburg and we were inspired by the work Racing for Kids has done with local organizations.  We hope this can become an annual event in St. Petersburg.”

The local charities that will benefit from the Gala include The Bayfront Baby Place, All Children’s Hospital Pediatric Trauma Center, the Pinellas Education Foundation and the Children’s Education Programs at The Arts Center and the Salvador Dali Museum.

Presented by Progress Energy, the Gala begins at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 30, and will be held at the Mahaffey Theater at the Progress Energy Center for the Arts.  Tickets are $150 each.  For more information and to purchase tickets, call 727.562.5634.

Drifting Exhibition to Return to the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

After last year’s huge success, the WDC World Drift Championship’s drift exhibition team will return to the Honda Grand Prix to entertain the crowds once more with spectacular displays of car control and copious amounts of tire smoke.  Drifting is your favorite car video game come to life, a youth oriented full-throttle, tire-smoking, sideways sliding action-motorsport pioneered by the Japanese kids in the mountains above Tokyo. This spectacular sport is now taking America by storm. It’s the hypothetical collision between motor racing and the X Games in that you don’t race your car in as much as you are surfing it, sliding the car full throttle through the corners claiming points for style.

The drifting exhibitions will be held all three days of the event.  On Friday, March 30, the exhibition will take place from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.  Saturday’s show is set for 11:45 a.m. until 12:45 p.m. and the Sunday, April 1 performance will be from 8:50 a.m. until 9:45 a.m.  The WDC St. Petersburg drift exhibition will air on OctaneTV this spring.

Danka Added As Official Business Equipment Provider

Danka Business Systems PLC (NASDAQ:DANKY) will be the official business equipment provider and an associate sponsor to the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.  This is Danka’s first year as a marketing partner of the event.

A.D. Frazier, Danka’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “For 30 years, Danka has established a best-in-class product portfolio with partners like Toshiba America Business Solutions and others. The Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is a best-in-class event that is important for the Tampa Bay area. It's an opportunity for Danka to celebrate with our people, our customers and the community. We are proud to be a part of this celebration.”

“We are fortunate to have a strong team of corporate partners working with us on this year's Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and welcome Danka as an official supplier and an associate sponsor. We are fortunate to have a company so active in the St. Petersburg/Tampa area as part of the event,” said Tim Ramsberger, Vice President and General Manager of the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

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