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Inaugural ‘Laps for Charity’ set for January at Sonoma Raceway

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Motorsports fans who’ve always wanted to feel the excitement of experiencing Sonoma Raceway’s famous road course from the inside their own vehicle will get their opportunity next month, when the Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities hosts its first-ever Laps for Charity event.

The inaugural Laps for Charity event is slated for Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, with all the proceeds benefitting kids in need through Sonoma County youth organizations.

Since 2001, Speedway Children’s Charities, which is the charitable arm of Sonoma Raceway, has distributed more than $4.5 million to Sonoma County youth groups.

This unique experience, costing $100, will include pre-lap instruction with professional racing instructors, three lead-follow laps around the 12-turn, 2.52-mile circuit and a picture of your car on the track.

A limited number of spots in half-hour increments are currently available between 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. the day of the event. Participants must be 18 years old or older, and passengers will not be permitted.

All cars must have mufflers and pass a basic technical inspection. For more information or to register for a spot, visit sonoma.speedwaycharities.org/charitylaps or contact Diana Brennan at dbrennan@racesonoma.com.

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Sonoma Raceway’s 2014 major events schedule will again be highlighted by NASCAR, NHRA, IndyCar and World Touring weekends.

Historic car racing will open and close Sonoma Raceway’s 2014 major event season with the Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival on May 17 and 18, and the Oct. 4 and 5 Classic Sports Racing Group Charity Challenge.

The popular NASCAR Toyota/Save Mart 350 weekend takes place Friday through Sunday, June 20 to 22, followed by back-to-back drag-racing weekends, highlighted by the 27th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals the weekend of July 25 through 27, which are preceded by the NHRA Division 7 Drag Races July 18 through 20.

Making its 10th appearance on the twisting Valley circuit will be the IndyCar Series, featuring the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, taking place the weekend of Aug. 22 through 24.

The final summer major event is the third consecutive appearance of the FIA World Touring Car Championship from Sept. 20 to 21.

For details on 2014 tickets; getting an early start in renewing Toyota/Save Mart 350 tickets or sign-up for priority pre-sale; or for general Sonoma Raceway information, call 800-870-RACE (7223), or visit racesonoma.com or ticketmaster.com.