Contact: Jesse Ghiorzi, 513.461.1514 (cell), jghiorzi@midohio.com

Graham Rahal Foundation and Mid-Ohio renew partnership to benefit the Columbus Zoo

LEXINGTON, OHIO (February 28, 2013) – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and the Graham Rahal Foundation have once again partnered on a fundraising effort to help the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

Centered around The Honda Indy® 200 at Mid-Ohio on August 2-4, Mid-Ohio will sell special race tickets with partial proceeds benefitting the Zoo. Fans can order these tickets at midohio.com/zoo immediately. Additionally, the first 1,000 of these tickets come with free admission to the Columbus Zoo in 2013 and a Graham Rahal-autographed hero card. All fans that purchase these tickets will be entered to win a VIP experience at the Columbus Zoo and a meet and greet with Rahal during the August 2-4 weekend at Mid-Ohio.

“We are extremely proud to be partnering with Graham and The Columbus Zoo again in 2013,” said Craig Rust, president of Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. “The Zoo is truly a family favorite and one of Ohio’s treasures which makes it very rewarding for us to help support their efforts.”

The Zoo weekend tickets for The Honda Indy® 200 at Mid-Ohio start at $65, with race day admission beginning at $45 when ordered through May 3. Tickets are available at midohio.com/zoo or by calling 800-MID-OHIO (643-6446) Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Fans who have already purchased tickets or only want to donate can do so by calling Mid-Ohio. During the event weekend, fans also have the opportunity to donate on site at various locations.

Rahal will be driving the No. 15 Midas / Big-O Tires Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing on August 4 during The Honda Indy® 200 at Mid-Ohio. Rahal has always had a strong interest in animal conservation efforts stemming from his close family relationship with godfather, animal expert, Jack Hanna. Bolstered by last year’s response to the Mid-Ohio and Columbus Zoo partnership, Graham has expanded his desire to raise awareness and funds for zoo and aquarium conservation efforts by working with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and their local accredited facilities at Honda-sponsored events this season.

“I love the Zoo and I love Mid-Ohio so I’m thrilled we’re able to work together again this year,” said Rahal. “Getting a head start on this program this season should help us raise more money through the Foundation.”

The Columbus Zoo, Graham Rahal Foundation and Mid-Ohio will work together on some other aspects of this partnership leading up to the event. More information will be released as it comes available.

About the Graham Rahal Foundation
The Graham Rahal Foundation was created to continue the work started by Graham’s former race team owner and friend, the late actor and philanthropist Paul Newman – helping children with medical conditions. The foundation has a close relationship with the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Jack Hanna, Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, is Graham’s godfather.

About the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is home to more than 10,000 animals representing over 575 species from around the globe. The Zoo complex is a recreational and education destination that includes the 22-acre Zoombezi Bay water park and 18-hole Safari Golf Club. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium also operates the Wilds, a 10,000-acre conservation center and safari park located in southeastern Ohio. The Zoo is a regional attraction with global impact; contributing more than $1 million annually to support over 70 conservation projects worldwide. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Columbus Zoo has earned Charity Navigator’s prestigious 4-star rating. www.columbuszoo.org

About Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
A comprehensive motorsports facility, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course features a permanent road-racing circuit with two primary configurations: a 2.4-mile, 15 turn, and a 2.25- mile, 13-turn circuit. The park-like, 330-acre complex is located in Lexington, Ohio, near Mansfield, 60 miles north of Columbus and 75 miles south of Cleveland. The track has been called the most competitive course in the U.S. and annually hosts a diverse lineup of locally, regionally and nationally sanctioned racing events for amateur, club and professional drivers and riders. Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course opened in 1962 and is owned and operated by Green Savoree Mid-Ohio, LLC.