INDIANAPOLIS, (June 8, 2006) — Group Michelin is organizing a series of fan appreciation events during the upcoming U.S. Grand Prix in Indianapolis, including a fund-raiser for area Boys & Girls Clubs involving local dealerships.
The company—which distributed 20,000 tickets to this year's event as part of its public relations effort following last year's flawed Grand Prix when tire problems forced all 14 Michelin-shod competitors to withdraw—also will hold an autograph session and a “fan press conference” on June 29 featuring 2005 Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso.
The Boys & Girls Clubs event will raise money for the Race Against Drugs program, which is designed for children ages 9 to 12, according to Michelin, which said it will donate $5 for every tire sold at participating Michelin dealers during the May 29 to June 25 promotion. The race takes place July 2.
Race Against Drugs captures the color and excitement of racing and the commitment by America's racing heroes to convey to youth that there is no such thing as “harmless” drug use, Michelin said. The program provides young people with creative options in group or individual activities to handle the drug issues they face daily.
Representatives of the Boys & Girls Clubs and participants in the Race Against Drugs program will be hosted by Michelin at various U.S. Grand Prix activities.
Michelin offered refunds last year to fans who attended the 2005 U.S. Grand Prix after it advised the seven teams using its tires not to race when it determined it could not guarantee its tires would not fail in one critical, banked turn.
As a public relations gesture, Michelin bought 20,000 tickets to the 2006 U.S. Grand Prix and distributed them to fans who bought tickets to the 2005 race.