Kendall Hyundai sponsors first annual Miami 500 Road Race

Kendall Hyundai Pace Car Driver and professional racer Al Rocca hugs the road.
Kendall Hyundai Pace Car Driver and professional racer Al Rocca hugs the road.

Kendall Hyundai will be sponsoring the Formula Automobile Racing Association’s (FARA) First International 500K Road Race at Homestead Miami Speedway on Dec. 16. In advance of the race, a special open house took place at the dealership, 15895 S. Dixie Hwy., on Sunday, Dec. 2.

Guests received two complimentary tickets for the Inaugural FARA Miami 500 Road Race. Attendees also got a chance to mingle with international professional race car drivers like Miami Grand Prix 1989 third place finisher and Kendall Hyundai Pace Car Driver, Al Rocca.

The 2013 Hyundai Pace Cars: the Genesis Coupe 2 Door Sports Car Track Model with six cylinders and over 300 horsepower, and the 2013 Veloster Sensation three door (non-hatchback) also were on site.

Beyond the road race sponsorship, the Kendall Hyundai team and FARA are donating 1,000 tickets to a local elementary school in honor of first grader, 7-year-old Evangeline Nieves.

Evangeline was diagnosed with leukemia two and a half years ago and currently is in remission after recently completing her chemotherapy treatment.

“This is our way of saying thank you to the community that supported the Nieves family during one of the most difficult times of their life,” said Steve Gutstein, Kendall Hyundai general manager. Gutstein, a father of four, has been with the Potamkin Auto Group for over 15 years.

“Evangeline will be our honorary guest on race day. We also will be making a donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. They have been an incredible resource for the Nieves family and for children everywhere struggling with blood cancers,” Gutstein said.

The philanthropic spirit of the event matches the goals of Kendall Hyundai and FARA executive director Tico Almeida and assistant director Alberto de las Casas to offer a family-friendly community event for all to enjoy.

With more than $25,000 in contingency money for the first place finisher, more than 40 teams and over 100 racers from North America, South America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe already are registered.

“Nothing like this has ever been done before,” said de las Casas. “FARAis a sanctioned body that can present races nationally. We have been doing so since 2007. We wanted to offer an international event that showcases the diversity of South Florida.”

More than 30,000 tickets have been distributed. The Miami 500 will open with a parade and car club corrals followed by four hours of racing by the “best of the best” for the grand prize.

“We appreciate the support of the community, the City of Homestead, and the tremendous support of Kendall Hyundai,” said former racer and instructor Al Rocca. “We hope to see as many people as possible at the track.”

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