Arc members join pit crew at Long Beach Grand Prix

DOWNEY - Fifteen members of The Arc - Los Angeles and Orange Counties will get a taste of what it's like to be part of a fast-paced professional race crew at this weekend's Long Beach Grand Prix.The opportunity was made possible through The Arc Audi Racing Program, a new partnership between Arc and Istook's Motorsports. The program provides a unique opportunity for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to work with a professional pit crew during the 2012 Pirelli World Challenge Series. "It's a wonderful opportunity to participate in the auto racing world through the Audi Racing Program," said Kevin MacDonald, executive director of The Arc. "It is another affirmation that given the opportunity, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities can be employed in many professions." Arc consumers will be honorary crew members at the race. The event will give Arc participants a unique race day experience while raising awareness about Arc and intellectual and developmental disabilities among race fans in California, organizers said. This year, the Arc Audi Racing Program is scheduled to compete in Utah, Michigan, Ohio, three races in California, and one in Canada. Professional race team owner Don Istook and his wife, Laurie, have a personal connection to the cause. Laurie's two brothers, Mark and Tyson, have Fragile X, but this does not stop them from being an active part of Don's professional race pit crew. Inspired by their success, Don and Laurie contacted the national office of The Arc to propose a program to give select chapters of The Arc across the country an opportunity to be an integral part of seven races this year. Participants will talk to the crew and play a hands-on role in preparing the cars for a race.

********** Published: April 12, 2012 - Volume 10 - Issue 52