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Sep 22, 2021 / news


 Effort to Raise Relief Funds for Hurricane Ida Victims

The IMSA grid will feature a new driver line-up in the No.76 Compass Racing NSX GT3 at the Acura Long Beach of Grand Prix, thanks to a unique collaboration in support of Hurricane Ida victims between Acura and CMR Construction & Roofing, the nation’s 10th largest roofing company.

Acura junior factory driver Matt McMurry and factory driver Mario Farnbacher will pair in the NSX GT3, as they did in 2020 when the combination scored two wins, one pole and six podiums enroute to the IMSA GTD Championship with Meyer Shank Racing. This time, though, they will run together for the first time with Compass Racing. 

CMR CEO Steve Soule and team have been providing relief work in hard-hit South Central Louisiana is an all-hands-on-deck endeavor that began less than 48 hours after the storm hit. CMR specializes in emergency response, as well as high-end, specialty, historic restoration, and new-build roofing projects for commercial and residential properties across the U.S.

“Within 12 days of Ida hitting we had responded to 30 schools, homes and government facilities with mitigation services. We deployed a major operation and our staff have literally camped without electricity, and they’ve even assisted in getting food to victims,” said Soule. “In the next few days, we’ll announce a major fundraising effort to take our response to another level.” 

The main path of devastation left by Ida – a category 4 hurricane and the 5th most powerful storm to ever hit the U.S. – occurred between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, in largely lower-resourced, rural areas like Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes. 

The fundraiser will be promoted across all of CMR’s racing sponsorships for a total of 18 events through Oct. 17 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, including RSS Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Kalitta Motorsports in the NHRA, Shaun Torrente Racing in Powerboat P1, Compass Racing in GT World Challenge America and Forbush Performance in GT4 America.

“The platform that the racing community provides, and its history of coming together to help others is well documented,” said Soule. “We knew that reuniting Matt and Mario would garner attention that we hope motivates fans to help people in rural Louisiana.” 

As for the Acura drivers, they had a lot to say about sharing a seat again for a great cause. 

“Before Ida was even a thing, I heard there might be a possibility of something coming together. I was really excited about it. Then Ida hit and created a mess that we’re hoping to help fix with donations and a great performance at Acura’s home race,” said McMurry, who is racing with Compass in the GT World Challenge America – and is coming of a win and double podium weekend at Watkins Glen – while also working on the engineering team for Acura’s LMDh and DPi prototype programs. 

Farnbacher has experience with recovery efforts. He recently raised funds for last month’s massive flooding in western Germany. “Around 200 people died and whole towns were destroyed in my country. So many people stepped up to help and I wanted to be one of them then and now with the hurricane,” added Farnbacher who is racing with Compass in IMSA.

Long Beach will be a new circuit for both Farnbacher and McMurry, though both are familiar with street circuits; Farnbacher won the GTD class at Belle Isle in Detroit in 2019, whilst McMurry noted, “I can’t even begin to tell you how many laps I have on the HPD sim at Long Beach.” Both are looking forward to the challenge.