When my friends in the Austin area told me that the Center for Child Protection here in Travis county was hosting a fundraiser at the Circuit of the Americas, I thought I should give it a look and figure out what this event was all about. When I arrived at Ride.Drive.Give I was blown away by the scale of the event, and how charitable the Austin automotive community really is. Great cars, an amazing track, and a cause that no one can argue isn’t noble and just. The event was one of the best I have ever experienced, and I think it needs to be highlighted for the benefit of the cause and organization.
When I first arrived I noticed the class of car and person at the event. Race drivers, hypercars, and the sort of people that we need in this community. From folks that had never been to COTA, to the sort of people that are here every weekend, the pits were lit up and vibrant with cars, all ready for a day of hard running in beautiful spring weather.
The event was not the first time that the Ride.Drive.Give event had descended on the track, and as the third annual event was underway it was apparent what a success it has become. With two Porsche 918 Spyders, a McLaren P1, and several other cars for donors to ride in, the field was stacked in a way that couldn’t be understated. But before I get to that, lets talk about what the event benefited. The Center for Child protection is a service center here in Travis county for our most vulnerable citizens. The center is a nationally accredited center for children who are enduring trauma. All services are provided free of charge thanks to events like this one. The event itself here raised $161,000 for the center, assuring it was another slam dunk.
In addition to the rides being given, the Longhorn Racing Academy was on hand with their fleet of cars to let people out onto the track with an instructor. From a humble Miata, all the way up to a brand new McLaren 650S, LRA is a service letting people attack tracks here in Austin. And they were out for the cause as well, with donors being able to book laps in cars if they didn’t have one of their own to lap. I had never seen so many smiling people out there. With sessions coming and going and people either embracing or coming into their love of track time, I couldn’t help but smile too. It was a happy time at COTA, and if all of it was helping kids? Well, that just made it better.