Operation Motorsport is a sim racing community with a unique story and mission. Recently joining the long list of hosts at SimGrid, ‘OPMO’ is in fact a proper non-profit foundation focused on assisting veterans through motorsport. They work alongside professional racing teams and drivers and on the true simulators we all love as well – iRacing in particular.
The origins of Operation Motorsport
Operation Motorsport started hosting online races in 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic. Behind this project, there are currently four main figures: Jason Leach, the Operation Motorsport COO, who started the program, Diezel Lodder is the co-founder and CEO of the organization, while Tiffany Lodder is another co-founder and the Executive Director of the organization. We had the pleasure to share some words with the eMotorsports Program manager of the foundation, Chris Ramirez.
Chris explained to us how Operation Motorsport works. “Operation Motorsport is a non-clinical recovery program that empowers medically retiring or retired service members through active participation in motorsport. We work with professional racing teams and series to embed program participants across the SRO North America, IMSA, and FEL Motorsport paddocks”.
The mission of the community
So, how does the collaboration between OPMO and motorsport professionals concretely take place? “The beneficiaries will work in crew member positions, race control, fan engagement, photography/videography, and a variety of other positions depending on the need”, Chris told SimGrid.
This project helps veterans understand that their military skills are transferable and needed, giving them a team, identity and purpose. “Through Operation Motorsport they get that needed adrenaline fix and sense of teamwork while focusing on the goal to win”, Chris added. “They engage and contribute while participating in actual hands-on experience”.
A pretty awesome way to help them feel valued and connect with other people with whom they can let down their guard. Most importantly, this is a process that helps them in forgetting about disability, while focussing on going forward in a context where they are valuable.
Simracing activity and plans for the future
Currently, based on iRacing, Operation Motorsport has a lot of plans for the imminent future. The Operation Motorsport Summer Fun Series came to a close just a few days ago, but there is more to come. They are planning to organize an endurance race on the same weekend of the 2022 Race of Remembrance at Angelesy in November.
Operation Motorsport beneficiaries not able to attend the real-life race in the UK will have a way to still be involved. OPMO is also working behind the scenes to develop a sim racing team with their beneficiaries so that they can have fun and at the same time promote the foundation.
The future is bright for Operation Motorsport.