Drivers Gear Up for Seaside LeMans Race

COURTESY OF THE DAVENPORT COMPANIES

MASHPEE – Participants in the upcoming Seaside LeMans took to the practice course this week as they get ready to put the pedal to the metal for charity.

This year marks the 17th year the race has been held and organized by The Davenport Companies. The Seaside LeMans pits up to 20 teams of drivers against each other in a four-hour European-style Formula 1 go-kart race.

Drivers honed their skills behind the wheel on the F1 Outdoor Track in East Bridgewater to prepare for the September 9race at Mashpee Commons. Participants familiarized themselves with the high-speed go-karts, practicing around tight corners and on straightaways.

The go-karts can reach speeds of up to 55 miles per hour. The teams are made up of drivers from local business sponsors.

“It’s really a unique type of fundraiser,” said Beth Patkoske, the Director of Communications for the Davenport Companies. “A lot of folks participate in bikes and runs and walks, but this is the only kart-racing event on the Cape.”

Since its inception in 2001, the event has raised over $5.5 million for local charities and non-profits. Organizers expect to break the $6 million mark in total donations after this year’s race is complete.

“It’s really amazing that it’s grown so fast,” said Paul Rumul, the President of the Davenport Companies. “It’s so much fun, it’s for a great cause, but it’s competitive. It’s not just a walk in the park out there on the course.”

This year’s beneficiaries are the Cape Cod and Islands Major Crisis Relief Fund, the Cape Cod Healthcare Heart and Vascular Institute, the Lower Cape Outreach Council, the Mass Audubon Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary, and Special Olympics Massachusetts.

Crews construct a quarter-mile long track in the Mashpee Commons parking lot with more than 2.250 feet of plastic shrinkwrap, a series of plastic barriers, and 750 bales of hay.

The event draws thousands of spectators each year.

There is no cost of admission. Attendees can watch the race from the infield or trackside.

Race day activities began at 9 a.m. with the Cape Cod Healthcare race, a shorter, 45-minute event. The main event begins at noon.

By MATT McCARTHY, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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