James Hinchcliffe blood drive

For the second year, Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver James Hinchcliffe is partnering with the American Red Cross to host a series of blood drives across the country in conjunction with NTT IndyCar Series races to boost summer blood supplies. The first blood drive this year takes place Monday, May 20 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during a practice day for the 103rd Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge.

The Hinchcliffe Hundred Blood Drive runs from noon-6 p.m. ET in Legends Row at IMS adjacent to Gasoline Alley with a goal to collect 130 blood donations. The first 100 people who come to give blood will receive a free access pass to the Gasoline Alley garages area (must be at least 18 years old) and free parking in Turn 3.

Anyone attending the blood drive must have a gate ticket to enter the IMS property. A free gate ticket will be sent to each donor by email after their donation appointment is scheduled in advance. On the day of the blood drive, those without an appointment to donate are welcome to attend the blood drive and purchase their own gate ticket to enter.

Hinchcliffe suffered severe injuries after a 2015 crash during Indy 500 practice. He needed 22 units of blood to survive, about twice an average person’s blood volume. His experience led him to realize how important blood donation really is and he’s been an advocate ever since.

“What happened to me was a real eye-opener,” Hinchcliffe said. “I understand now how blood can be needed in a moment’s notice and how much can be used to help just one person. I’m partnering with Red Cross to encourage more people to give blood so that patients can have another shot at life, just like I did.”

To schedule an appointment for the Hinchcliffe blood drive, visit RedCrossBlood.org and use the sponsor code HinchcliffeHundred.

103rd Indianapolis 500 official program features souvenir Mario Andretti cover

2019 Indy 500 program coverAn adaptation of a painting of Mario Andretti’s 1969-winning Brawner Hawk III/Ford car is featured on the cover of the 2019 Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge official souvenir program, which is on sale now.

British artist and racing helmet livery designer Jason Fowler painted the original artwork of the famous Day-glo red car on metal with airbrush and bristle brush techniques, and that piece was adapted for the cover of the 224-page program. The cover was unveiled during a ceremony Tuesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

The program cover features metallic gold ink, three different textured varnishes and Kalidocolor inks with true Day-glo rocket red as the color of Andretti’s iconic car. The program is available for $15 from shop.ims.com and at IMS gift shops. Every online or retail purchase includes a free, black-and-gold Hot Wheels diecast Indy car featuring Andretti’s 50th anniversary logo and the 2019 Indy 500 logo, while supplies last.

A story on Andretti’s Indianapolis 500 win 50 years ago is among the many features in the race program. Two separate pull-out items also are included: A replica of Andretti’s thank you letter and photograph to Firestone after his 1969 victory and a poster listing the names of all Indianapolis 500 customers who have purchased reserved seats for the race for the last 25 consecutive years or more.

Bourdais filling in again for hand in Ganassi Ford GT

Sebastien Bourdais has been called into emergency racing action once again for Chip Ganassi Racing in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship action this weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The full-time driver for Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan in the NTT IndyCar Series, Bourdais is filling in for the second straight sports car race for Joey Hand, who continues recovery from a virus that also kept him out of the race at Long Beach, California, on April 13. Bourdais is teaming again with Dirk Mueller in the No. 66 Ford GT in the GT Le Mans class.

“It’s really been a rough few weeks dealing with this very strong virus,” Hand said. “Under doctors’ orders, I’ve had to rest with no physical activity whatsoever. Only this week have I felt well enough and been given the OK to do light training and resume preparation for driving again. Having missed my home race at Long Beach and now effectively out of the drivers’ championship points chase, my main priority and focus is to be 100 percent for Le Mans.”

Bourdais, whose 37 career Indy car wins rank sixth all time, has been a co-driver with Hand and Mueller in the Ganassi Ford GT for endurance races since 2016, when the trio teams to win the LMGTE Pro class at the fabled 24 Hours of Le Mans.