As the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina continues to affect lives throughout the Gulf Coast region of the United States, the Champ Car World Series is initiating a number of different programs to aid victims of one of the nation's worst natural disasters.


The September 23-24 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford event at the 1.5-mile LVMS superspeedway will be known as the Champ Car Hurricane Relief 400, with Champ Car proceeds from the race going to the Red Cross Hurricane Relief Fund. Champ Car presenting sponsors Bridgestone and Ford are contributing to the relief effort in a number of ways over the race weekend, with Bridgestone also donating monies that include a portion of the event's Bridgestone Pole Award to the fund.


Additionally, the series will be running online auctions of one-of-a-kind items on its official website,, with proceeds from the sale going to the Red Cross Hurricane Relief Fund. Auction items range from driver-autographed memorabilia and race tickets to the opportunity to ride in a pace car or the Champ Car Two Seater with one of the series drivers. Teams are offering hospitality packages and other memorabilia as part of the auction, while items from throughout the racing community have been donated as well. Haymarket Publishing has offered subscriptions to RACER and Autosport magazines as well as autographed copies of Alex Zanardi's recent book, donated by the two-time Champ Car champion himself.


"We feel a sense of duty to contribute as much as we can to help the many victims of this devastating event and we believe that these initiatives will allow us to do that," said Champ Car President Dick Eidswick. "We considered a number of ways to give aid to those affected and we wanted to make sure that we came up with a plan that would have the most impact."


Donations for the auction have come from Champ Car along with its teams and drivers, as well as from its sponsors and corporate partners. In addition, Championship Auto Racing Auxiliary (CARA) Charities donated a large parcel of racing-related items for the auction.


CARA Charities is also working to provide more than financial relief to those affected through its long-time Buckle Up Baby Program. A quarter of all proceeds earned through the Champ Car auction will go to the Buckle Up Baby Program, which will in turn use all of those funds to purchase car seats for infants and children of needy families. The seats will be distributed by the all-volunteer Samaritan Center based in Louisiana.


Champ Car has also been collecting donations of clothing, non-perishable food items and cash as well as items for children at its Indianapolis headquarters, with all proceeds going to the Red Cross.


"The devastation along the Gulf Coast has been incredible," said Chris Powell, LVMS general manager. "Las Vegas Motor Speedway continues to collect money during events throughout September for Red Cross aid, and we'll continue that collection with the Las Vegas Double Down in the Desert. We're proud to join with our friends at Champ Car in organizing a measure of relief to the people in the affected region."


The Champ Car Hurricane Relief 400 is part of the September 23-24 Double Down in the Desert at LVMS in a unique doubleheader format where the Champ Cars and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will each run Saturday night events under the lights at the 1.5-mile superspeedway. The Champ Car event can be seen Sunday, September 25 beginning at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time on SPEED Channel.