Honda R&D Associates Race for Charity

R&D Charity Autocross
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A one-of-a-kind race gave associates at Honda R&D Americas, Inc. the opportunity to put their personal vehicles to the test—for the purposes of giving area students the very best.

More than 100 associates, along with their family and friends, attended the 6th-annual Charity Autocross on Aug. 11, at the Transportation Research Center (TRC), located near Honda’s Ohio operations.

Autocross events are low- to medium-speed races typically held on parking lots. One at a time, drivers navigate a course created by cones to see how quickly they can complete it. Winners are those with the fastest times in their class.

Roughly 100 associates participated in the event, which was able to raise a total of $6,080 for the PAST Foundation of Columbus, focusing on STEM education.

“Autocross is an inexpensive, safe way to experience racing,” said Chris King, Materials Research Engineer at Honda R&D and lead organizer for the event in recent years. “It really helps you discover your car’s capabilities and limitations, making you a better, safer driver on the road.”

At the beginning of the event, safety meetings and inspections were held to ensure drivers are protected, while also giving them the dos and don’ts of the race. With first-time drivers, instructors ride along as in-car passengers. And for all drivers, personnel are flanked throughout the course with walkie-talkies and flags. Onsite health professionals are also available if need be.

Their safety measures are just a precaution forwhat is considered a step between go-carting and road-racing. Still, the course is challenging, particularly because drivers won’t know the route until they arrive the morning of and do their initial walk-through.

“It’s a new experience every time,” King added. “That’s what makes it so much fun.”

Charity has also been a part of Honda R&D’s Autocross races since the beginning, always geared toward STEAM-related support—R&D’s focus for community engagement.

There was plenty to do at Charity Autocross besides racing. Organizers invited food trucks to the event and encouraged attendees to bring folding chairs, stand-up tents, coolers, and any other outdoor resources needed to enjoy a day at the race.

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