Greetings!
  OPERATION MOTORSPORT ends 2019 North American racing on a high note with SRO Motorsports Gala.
Operation Motorsport made it’s final 2019 appearance at GT World Challenge at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. What started out, at VIR in April, as a collaborative cooperation with the series, has quickly become a regular stop for beneficiaries in 2019. As Operation Motorsport witnessed a genuine desire by teams to participate in the programs and the willingness by teams to welcome and immerse beneficiaries to the limit of their abilities. The only restrictive factor in program growth and delivery was a self imposed limit in order to maintain the highest level of recovery programs opportunities. After a very positive and productive full season, plans are underway for bigger and better start to 2020 at the first GT event at CTMP.
THEO BRUULSEMA
In his second year with OpMo Theo progressed to the Engage Program and joined Alegra Motorsports for the season, as well as TWOth Autosport in CTCC competition. Theo has since enrolled himself in a Masters Degree Program in Aerospace Engineering at Carlton University and had this to say about his time with Alegra, "I was very excited to do a full season with a team, and at the first test day I knew Alegra was an awesome place to be. I was nervous to be in a technician role for the first time, but the car chief Jeremy (and really the whole team) was super helpful in getting me up to speed and helping me learn my role. The atmosphere with Alegra is great, and working in such a fulfilling role and supported by teamwork and friendship was an awesome way to get out of the house over the summer."
2019 Motul Petit Le Mans
Operation Motorsport is celebrating a successful year of helping injured and wounded service members become ingrained in the motorsport community after the IMSA season finale at Petit Le Mans this past weekend.

While we have enjoyed helping our beneficiaries this year through our Excite, Engage and Empower program, we are also sad the 2019 racing season has come to an end and will be saying goodbye to some them and our partner teams until the 2020 IMSA season picks back up in January.

It’s difficult to complain about how our final event of the IMSA season went, though. The event was won by Action Express Racing, with which beneficiary DeWayne Crawford has been embedded with at certain events this year. The team took the overall win, with the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R and drivers Felipe Nasr, Pipo Derani and Eric Curran putting an excellent drive to beat the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing entry across the finish line by less than a second.

In addition to DeWayne Crawford, Operation Motorsport also had beneficiaries in the way of Will Babineau with KoHR Motorsports, Scott Paul with Paul Miller Racing, Cody Reinecker with PF Racing and Chad Failing with Park Place/Volt Racing.

Last but certainly not least, Katrina Williams was with LAP Motorsports, who offered her a job with the team for the 2020 racing season.

Elsewhere in the paddock, we had Operation Motorsport volunteers Janet Polasek and Nancy Cooper auctioning off Chevrolet and Corvette-themed items that had been donated by generous supporters of the organization, the proceeds of which (totaling $5,500) will directly benefit us on our missions to Excite, Engage and Empower our beneficiaries.

“Our friends in the Corvette Corral bid generously on special items including, a prototype Mobil 1 oil drop introduced by Cam Bower,” said Janet Polasek. “There were highs and lows with many of the teams for the final race of the season,” she added. “But it is obvious that OpMo has terrific partnerships and is certainly Exciting, Engaging and Empowering wounded veterans through these Motorsport experiences.”

We were also happy to welcome our U.S. Operation Motorsport Program Foundation board members, Lynn Friedman and Hector Martinez to Road Atlanta during the Petit Le Mans weekend, along with fellow U.S. board member and noted artist Fabio Napoleoni and his wife Nikki.

Chad Failing recounts his experience as a beneficiary and team member of Volt Racing. The experience was a lot of ups and downs with the Operation motorsports team the first day, we had great laughs well finding our rv and let us get back into the flow of being together again sharing experiences from the last races we had been at. The team at Volt Lighting welcomed me back in with open arms and threw me right into work after having a quick talk of what they expected of me this weekend with them. I really enjoyed the fact that when I made a mistake they treated me like a mechanic who could've cost them a race and showed me what I had done wrong and how to correct that mistake to avoid it down the road.
 
This time at the races helped with getting to know our team of Operation Motorsports better and hear each other's struggles and how we are there for each other and not alone when our hardships hit us. These briefs moments over a weekend remind me how the doubt of getting out and worrying about making it into a job and finding a place are just thoughts we tell ourselves with no proof. We adapt and overcome that's what these times with these teams that take us in Remind us of every moment we have with them.


One of our most notable success stories of 2019 is Katrina Williams who spent the last season with Luis and LAP. Just before the last round Katrina informed us that she will be returning to active duty this fall after many years of battling with a potentially career ending illness. We were both overjoyed and saddened by the news as this meant Katrina's journey with OpMo would come to an end. Katrina had this to say about her experience, "LAP is an amazing team that I had the honor and pleasure working with. A great group of guys and gals. It’s more then just a race team it’s a family."
Hero cards for Heroes
This year we decided to do something a little different to recognize our heroes. Individuals who have had their team, identity and purpose taken away from them through no fault of their own. They take a leap of faith and join our program and trust that their new team and family will be there in their journey of recovery. So in true motorsports fashion we have created our own hero cards for our heroes to share with their friends, family and new teams.
Operation Motorsport volunteer and ambassador Charles L. Buchanan IV in his own words;
What a glorious time as the Event Coordinator with Operation Motorsport at the Road Atlanta Petit LeMans race. Getting to see all the veterans in a difference element was great. While talking to everyone and seeing how closely motorsport team mimic military units. It is just a natural fit. They talk smack, play jokes on each other and do their jobs really well as a team. All the veterans felt at home with the teams and it was wonderful to see how the team excepted them as one of their own. I myself am a 26 year veteran of the US Army so I get it. The other great aspect of the event was some of the down time with all of them. Like the night we sat and talked for hours about our worst airborne jumps then realizing it was 1:30 in the morning and we all were going to have an early morning.
 
As this season end I look forward to volunteering in the future as Operation Motorsport continues to grow. It is amazing to see in person how well it works.
Scott Paul
Will Babineau
Katrina Williams
Chad Failing
Canadian Armed Forces Appreciation night with Craig Anderson and the Ottawa Senators

As a season ending treat from our partners at TWOth Autosport and compliments of Ottawa Senators Goal Tender and Race-car driver Craig Anderson (Anderson 41 Racing), some of our Canadian beneficiaries were guests of Craig Anderson for the Ottawa Senators home game against the Detroit Red Wings on October 23rd. Beneficiaries were hosted in a 1st level suite for the game that the home team won and were later invited to meet Craig and tour the locker room and ice surface.
Next Stop.... Race of Remembrance 2019, Anglesey Wales, UK 8-10 Nov
Operation Motorsport is returning to the Anglesey circuit for the 2019 Race of Remembrance, which commemorates the sacrifices made by service personnel and their families. This unique endurance race features a Heroes dinner, night racing, and a track-side service of Remembrance. In true Operation Motorsport style, the weekend is about more than just the racing. The off-track action means a great social weekend at the end of the season, while on track there is a unique interruption to an endurance Motorsport event. At 10:45 on Sunday morning, the track will fall silent as the race pauses to hold a service of Remembrance. 
Recently medically retired OpMo beneficiary Megan Martinez joins our Media and Public Relations team for this years Race of Remembrance and had this to say before heading across the Atlantic with the team, "OpMo has taught me that my condition doesn’t have to hold me back from my dreams. They gave me the sense of purpose I lost when I got hurt and the motivation to keep pursuing my goals. It’s been a life changing experience, and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to work with the OpMo media team at the Race of Remembrance."
Thank You
As we close out the official programs portion of 2019, we’d all like to share a heartfelt thanks to all the teams that worked alongside us, and believed in our programs. To Alegra who always makes us feel welcome and gave Theo a shot; Paul Miller Racing who was always willing to take a beneficiary last minute; to LAP who took care of Katrina like she was their own; Kohr Autosport and Dean Martin for standing by us through and through; PF Racing for jumping in with both feet and giving us a livery we won't soon forget; Park Place Motorsports Mike Johnson for trusting us enough to open up any opportunity where a beneficiary could fit in, no matter what their personal challenges were; to Action Express racing for believing in what we do and helping us make a difference; and to TWOth, our Canadian motorsports operations partners, always there for us as partners and friends who continue to move forward with us. Thank you to everyone at SRO Motorsports for taking a chance on this new partnership and helping us to grown within the GT America paddock. Thank you to the staff at SIR, WGI, VIR , RA and CTMP who supported our requests for help, as we grew the programs. Thank you to our staff, trustees, supporters, volunteers, ambassadors and everyone involved for realizing that motorsports can provide a recovery path and an avenue for our medically releasing soldiers and wounded veterans to learn new ways to use their transferable skills. #oneatatime
About Operation Motorsport - Operation Motorsport is a veteran-operated not-for-profit based in Brighton, Ontario and was founded on the basis of three simple words – Excite, Engage and Empower. Its mission is to engage, through motorsport activities, ill and injured service members and disabled veterans, affected by military service, leading to aiding in their recovery and rehabilitation. Visit: http://operationmotorsport.org/