Sterling, VA – Ray Phillips will start his second F1600 Formula F Championship Series season in a Van Diemen/Honda in 2013, having moved over from Formula Vee in 2012. What makes the 47-year-old unique is his partnership with the Fisher House Foundation, a charity that provides a "home away from home" for military families to be close to a loved one during hospitalization for an illness, disease or injury.
“I'm really excited about this partnership because obviously our servicemen and women have given a lot for our great country and some have given more than their fair share,” said Phillips, who plans to race at VIR, Road Atlanta, Mid-Ohio and Summit Point, four out of the six 2013 weekends on the F1600 Series calendar, and is looking for sponsorship to make it a full season.
Fisher House also has the Hero Miles program, Hotels For Heroes, and other programs to help military servicemen/women and their families.
Dave Coker, President of Fisher House Foundation said: “We very much appreciate all that Ray has done for military and veterans' causes and are honored he chose Fisher House to be the beneficiary this year. We are grateful for his efforts and look forward to a great racing season.”
“I'm privileged to be able to participate in racing and it is great to be able to combine what I do with raising awareness for those who need it most,” continued Phillips. “The better I do on the track the more people will learn about Fisher House and the great things that they do for our military personnel and their families.”
In the last seven years, Phillips has raised over $30,000 in support of our military by taking his various race cars to shows and other events.
Phillips logged a best finish of ninth last year in the pouring rain at Summit Point, and hopes to better that this season, despite being up against the latest and greatest generation of aspiring drivers.
“Racing is my passion but at the age of 47 I'm obviously not trying to make a career out of it,” he added. “My main focus is to learn about driving this kind of car and continue to improve.”
And he is doing that with a relatively small team, including wife Terry, as the crew member, and advice from F2000 Masters Class Champion Tim Minor.
About Fisher House
Fisher House Foundation is best known for a network of comfort homes where families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment. These homes are located at major military and VA medical centers nationwide, close to the medical center or hospital it serves. Fisher Houses have up to 21 suites, with private bedrooms and baths. Families share a common kitchen, laundry facilities, a warm dining room and an inviting living room. Fisher House Foundation ensures that there is never a fee. Since inception, the program has saved military and Veteran families an estimated $200 million in out of pocket costs for lodging and transportation.
Fisher House Foundation also operates the Hero Miles Program, using donated frequent flyer miles to bring family members to the bedside of injured service members as well as the Hotels for Heroes program using donated hotel points to allow family members to stay at hotels near medical centers without charge. The Foundation also manages a grant program that supports other military charities and scholarship funds for military children, spouses and children of fallen and disabled Veterans.