V8 drivers make important visit to sick kids

Speedcafe.com

Wednesday 30th November, 2011 - 11:16am

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Shane van Gisbergen and James Courtney with two children at Westmead Children's Hospital

Shane van Gisbergen and James Courtney with two children at Westmead Children's Hospital

A collection of leading V8 Supercars drivers have made an important pit stop ahead of this weekend’s Sydney Telstra 500.

Reigning V8 champion James Courtney, along with Stone Brothers Racing trio Alex Davison, Shane van Gisbergen and Tim Slade brightened the day of some seriously ill children and their parents at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney today.

The four drivers were joined by a Ford Performance Racing Ford Falcon, allowing the kids a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with a real V8 racing car.

Courtney, a father of two children, says that he is inspired by the brave children and their parents.

“What a great way to spend the morning,” the factory Holden driver said.

“It was so special to meet these children and their parents. We hope we provided them with some light relief and a welcome break from the routine of hospital life. I only hope they got as much out of this morning as we did.

James Courtney holding Xavier Stamatakis

James Courtney holding Xavier Stamatakis

“The strength, courage and determination that these kids demonstrate on a daily basis in the face of such a personal challenge is a real reflection of the strength of the human spirit, and a definite inspiration for me both on and off the track.”

The drivers also made special bedside visits to kids who were too ill to make it outside.

V8 Supercars’ Community Projects Manager Dominique Burgess said that visiting the sick children was a great way to bring the race track to the kids.

“The visit to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead is part of our ongoing off-track community engagement program and we were delighted to be able to come out to Westmead to visit with the children and their parents,” Burgess said.

“As these children are not well enough to come to the track, we couldn’t resist bringing a little bit of the excitement of the sport of V8 Supercars to them this morning.

“We were so impressed with the hospital and all of the staff who work hard to create a friendly and safe environment for the kids. We would like to pass on our sincere thanks to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney for their assistance in ensuring this visit could happen and we look forward to making this a regular activity in the future.”

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