In partnership with the American Red Cross, NTT IndyCar Series driver James Hinchcliffe is hosting a blood drive on May 31 at the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear. The local event is one of six scheduled stops for the Race to Save Lives Blood Drive, a traveling campaign that first started visiting races across the country last year.
The blood drive will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Belle Isle Boathouse, which guests can get to by taking the Grand Prix shuttle. May 31 is Comerica Bank Free Prix Day, so there is no cost to access Belle Isle or attend the Grand Prix on this day. Appointments can be made prior to the blood drive by downloading the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting the organization’s website, or calling its phone number and providing the sponsor code “grandprix.”
Those who donate will receive a voucher — while supplies last — to attend the Grand Prix on either June 1 or June 2 at no cost. They will also be entered into a raffle for the opportunity to win a souvenir autographed by Hinchcliffe, who will participate in the Grand Prix’s 2019 Chevrolet Dual in Detroit races.
Last year’s campaign visited five races and acquired just over 260 donations. This year, Hinchcliffe, a blood donation recipient himself, seeks to connect with even more donors. In 2015, the driver sustained severe injuries after crashing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during a practice run. He needed 22 pints of blood to survive the accident and says the experience taught him the importance of donating.
“What happened to me was a real eye opener,” says Hinchcliffe, who first started hosting blood drives in 2016 in hometown of Indianapolis. “I understand now how blood can be needed in a moment’s notice and how much can be used to help just one person.”
In Michigan, representatives with the Red Cross say the organization needs about 650 blood donors a day to support local hospitals. For more information on donor eligibility, what to expect when donating blood, and more, visit redcrossblood.org.