While the million-dollar racing machines at the Rolex 24 look like a blur as they travel down the track, the No. 73 car stands out in the pack. It's more than just a lightening-fast Porsche; it's a work of art, designed by 20-year-old painter Jeff Hanson.
"Probably about a year ago now, Joe from the Children's Tumor Foundation came to us and said, 'Would you be willing to put one of Jeffrey's pieces on a car for the race?' We said, 'Of course, we'd love to!" Hanson explained.
On the Thursday before the big race, the No. 73 Children's Tumor Foundation's Racing4Research/Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT, featuring Hanson's work, was unveiled for the first time. The car would be driven by actor and professional race car driver Patrick Dempsey and his team at Dempsey Racing.
"I was amazed. I know my parents loved it as well," said Hanson, looking at his most expensive canvas yet.
The Children's Tumor Foundation's Racing4Research effort raised $690,000 last year. They were aiming for $750,000 this year.
"The Children's Tumor Foundation has been a great group of people to work with," said Dempsey. "We can network and work together and get the message out there and help people who need it, raise the money that gets back to helping people."
People like the artist himself, as Hanson suffers from neurofibromatosis. He has a tumor on his optic nerve.
"It only affects my vision and fine gross motor skills," Hanson explained.
Although looking at his artwork, you'd never know it. The paint job on the car comes from a piece Hanson calls "A Day at Daytona." Hanson explained the inspiration for this fancy paint job on the No. 73 car and his choice of colors.
"It's supposed to look like a hot flame, like the car was on fire going really fast."
Now, Hanson can't wait to share his work with the world as it circles the Daytona International Speedway for a day straight during the Rolex 24.
"That's fabulous. I hope they love it as much as Children's Tumor Foundation does and that they'll show support by donating to the CTF," said Hanson.