The SRO Motorsports Fund collected from fines issued during the 2019 racing season has been shared out among a selection of worthy causes.
Each year, competitors receive fines for a variety of reasons. Drivers may be penalised for infractions such as speeding in the pit lane or unsporting behaviour on-track, while teams can be disciplined for failing to adhere to working guidelines during an event.
Among the causes chosen to receive a portion of the 2019 fund is The Womanity Foundation, which seeks to create equal rights and opportunities for women and girls across the globe. Working closely with local experts, its international initiatives focus on long-term investment that create lasting equality.
The French foundation ICM (Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Epinière) has also been selected. Working from Paris, its remit focuses on the understanding and treatment of brain and spinal cord injuries. By bringing together expert doctors and researchers, ICM aims to give real hope to both patients and their families across the globe.
The SRO Motorsports Fund will also contribute to Amouti Autisme, a non-profit association created in January 2018 to change the outlook on autism. It seeks to help children living with the condition by ensuring quality services adapted to their needs. Amouti Autisme also places emphasis on the families who undertake the day-to-day work of supporting an autistic child.
A further contribution has been made to Legado Maria de Villota, a movement that continues the legacy of the late Spanish racing driver by raising money for worthy causes. Its work was highlighted during last year's Blancpain GT Series finale at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, when Maria's friend and former competitor Andy Soucek led a fundraising effort that helped Fundación Ana Carolina Diez Mahou.
Help will also be provided to Enfants Copilotes, which brightens the lives of children facing challenging circumstances. Young people living with medical problems and those from deprived backgrounds are strapped into the passenger seat of a sports car and taken for a ride around a circuit, allowing them to experience the thrill of speed. Above all, the organisation aims to bring happiness to those who need it the most. The fines from the 2019 GT4 European Series are going to Enfants Copilotes.
Finally, as announced in April 2019, SRO has contributed towards the reconstruction of Notre-Dame de Paris following the fire that ravaged the historic cathedral last year. Group founder and CEO Stephane Ratel spent much of his youth in the French capital, while the SRO Paris office remains vital to the company's domestic and global efforts. It is hoped that this gesture can play a role in returning the cathedral to its former glory and restoring the Paris skyline.
With the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour launching the new Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli campaign last weekend, the SRO Motorsports Group 2020 racing season is already underway. A host of other championships will stage their opening events over the coming weeks, beginning with the GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS curtain-raiser at Circuit of the Americas on 7-8 March.