One of racing’s top trainers turns 50, rowed 50,000 meters for charity

Photo: PitFit Training

Chances are, if you live in Indianapolis, been involved with the Verizon IndyCar Series or the Mazda Road to Indy or been on any sort of training regimen related program in that general area, you’ve heard of Jim Leo and PitFit Training.

And when you have IndyCar drivers noting that Leo is a boss and killing it like he did over the weekend, when he turned 50 and rowed 50,000 meters (50 km) for charity, you take notice.

Leo, owner and founder of Indianapolis-based PitFit Training, celebrated his 50th birthday by shooting to raise $1,000 for the Children’s Research Hospital through “Birthdays for St. Jude.”

But the motorsports community joined together to raise more than $4,000 as a result – $4,005 in total – with all proceeds going directly to the hospital.

Scott Dixon, who won his fourth IndyCar championship in August, took a timeout from his January schedule of preparing for the Rolex 24 at Daytona to join Leo in rowing that same amount. They completed the rowing in three hours and 32 minutes, and burned roughly 2,500 calories.

“I thought Jim was kind of crazy when he brought it up,” Dixon said. “Obviously people don’t do this kind of stuff on their birthday. Jim is a hell of an athlete in his own right, and he always tries to set milestones for his birthdays, especially the big ones.

“50,000 meters is definitely a feat for most people. I’m not even sure how many have done it at one time on a rower. I thought all I could do was come join along and help out, if I could. It was a lot of fun. He’s a machine. At 50 years old, it’s crazy.”

“It’s very special to celebrate your 50th birthday doing something that you love, raising money for a tremendous cause, and doing it alongside your best friend,” an exhausted Leo added.

“Having the support of the racing community and having your best friend and everyone you care for near you is the best present anyone could receive. As painful as it was, I’m extremely proud to have achieved this with Scott.”

Here’s an assortment of social media posts from the event, as others such as James Hinchcliffe and Pippa Mann were also present:

Formula E announces Portland, Oregon as US race in 2023

Formula E Portland 2023
Andrew Ferraro / LAT Images

The American date for the 2023 Formula E schedule will move from Brooklyn, New York to Portland, Oregon on June 24, 2023, filling the calendar at 16 rounds. This will be the first time in the nine-year history of the series that they have raced on the West Coast in only the third different city in the United States. Miami hosted one Formula E race in 2015. The series has visited the United States every season except 2020 due to the COVID-1+9 pandemic.

The 2023 race will be Round 12.

“We are excited to bring the premier electric motorsport world championship to Portland for the first time in June next year,” said Alberto Longo, Co-Founder & Chief Championship Officer, Formula E in a press release. “There is a big, passionate fanbase for professional sports in the city, together with strong ecological credentials which makes Portland a perfect host for the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.

“The USA remains an important market for Formula E. We are delighted to maintain that critical presence and engage a new audience in the Pacific Northwest region in all-electric motorsport.”

MORE: McLaren Racing’s Ian James organization’s entry into Formula E

Last year’s American round in Brooklyn was made up of two races with Nick Cassidy from Envision Racing winning Race 1 and António da Costa from DS Techeetah taking the second race.

Portland will host only one Formula E race in 2023.

The 2023 season will be highlighted by the new Gen 3 car, which features a battery capable of generating 350 kilowatts with regeneration capability from both the front and rear axles. This contributes to a top speed of 200 miles per hour (m.p.h.), an increase of about 25 m.p.h. from last year.

The 2023 season also marks the entry of two new iconic teams, Maserati and McLaren, who completed their roster of drivers in late November with the addition of Jake Hughes.

Season 9 Calendar

Round 1:  January 3, Mexico City, Mexico
Rounds 2 & 3: January 27-28, Diriyah, Saudi Arabia
Round 4: February 11, Hyderabad, India*
Round 5: February 6, Cape Town, South Africa*
Round 6: March 8, São Paulo, Brazil*
Rounds 7 & 8: April 22-23, Berlin, Germany
Round 9: May 6, Monaco
Rounds 10 & 11: June 3-4, Jakarta, Indonesia
Round 12: June 24, Portland, Oregon*
Rounds 13 & 14: July 15-16, Rome, Italy
Rounds 15 & 16: July 29-30, London

*subject to final FIA Safety and Technical checks,