From spirited racing on the track to high spirits among spectators, the fourth Race of the Stars over the weekend at Autodrome Tocancipa near Bogota, Colombia, was a resounding success for the Formula Smiles Foundation.
The event, hosted by Juan Pablo Montoya and his wife Connie, featured fellow Verizon IndyCar Series drivers in two karting races. Carlos Munoz, the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series’ Sunoco Rookie of the Year, won the first race and finished second in the second. Andretti Autosport teammate Marco Andretti placed second and Montoya, who completed his first season with Team Penske, was third.
“It was an amazing day,” said Munoz, 22, of Colombia. “We had fun. There were fights on the track and that was good for the show. Thank you very much to all who were there and hope you had a great time. I also want to thank Juan Pablo Montoya and Connie Montoya for the invitation and congratulate them for this great event.”
Gabby Chaves, the 2014 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires champion, won the second race. Carlos Huertas, who drove for Dale Coyne Racing in his first Verizon IndyCar Series season, finished third. New Team Penske driver Simon Pagenaud was fourth in both races.
Proceeds from the event benefitted the non-profit Formula Smiles, which the Montoyas founded in 2003. The program uses sports to help Colombian youth achieve the Millennium Development Goals and thus reduce poverty and violence in the country.
"We had a good time and wanted to show what the foundation is about,” Montoya said. “We thank the fans and all the sponsors.”
Also competing in the event were 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship runner-up and three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves, fellow Verizon IndyCar Series driver Sebastian Saavedra, TUDOR United SportsCar Championship driver Memo Rojas of Chip Ganassi Racing and MotoGP rider Yonny Hernandez.