Joe Swide

Filthy Rich Motorsport Enthusiasts Raise Money To Help Children With a Rare Genetic Disorder

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Jul 11 2015, 1:47pm

Joe Swide

Alan Wilzig is the kind of guy who's easy to hate. His banking empire has left him with an immensity of wealth most people couldn't wrap their heads around. He lives in a lavish Tribeca townhouse, owns over 100 motorcycles, and uses a Versace ashtray.

But Wilzig, 50, and his friends in the Driving Force Club are working hard to fight the notion that every rich guy driving a supercar fits into the stereotypical mold of the "jerk-off country club snob." The vibe of their motorsport community is actually the polar opposite.

On June 28, Wilzig and event founder Daniel Sperling, along with the DFC (an invite-only supercar club of nearly 200 members), hosted the third year of a benefit event that almost singlehandedly funds the nearby Xeroderma Pigmentosum Society and its staple program Camp Sundown. The genetic disorder, referred to as XP, is extremely rare and inhibits the body's ability to repair damage caused by ultraviolet rays. The XPS provides children from all over the country with a summer camp experience in a facility that is completely safe from sunlight and UV exposure.

The driving event was hosted at the Wilzig Racing Manor, a $15 million dollar non-commercial racetrack located about 100 miles north of Manhattan. Despite rain, the turnout included 40 supercars, most notably an SSC Aero, a Mosler GTR, and multiple Lamborghini Aventador convertibles. Roughly speaking, we're looking at a combined $11 million in cars alone. In just a few hours, silent auctions and donations raised $28,000. While that number may seem like a small piece of change in the grand scheme of supercars, the DFC and its community attend fundraisers for nonprofit organizations on a regular basis.

As a father of two, Wilzig's passion extends far beyond his love for high-speed Go-Karts, motorbikes and his McLaren 650S. He wants to help these children with things that are tangible. If it comes down to fixing showers and toilets so that a few more kids can come to camp, that's fine by him. The botanical gardens, he says, can be left for the Rockefellers.

Photo by Joe Swide

On a cold and rainy Sunday morning in Craryville, NY, a Porsche GT3 (front), Nissan GTR (center) and Lamborghini Gallardo (back) drive up pit lane to pre-grid before driving on the 1.1 mile, 40-foot wide grand-prix grade circuit.

Photo by Joe Swide

A 1,400 hp Twin Turbo Heffner Lamborghini Gallardo leads the pack through a turn leading to the front straight.

Photo by Joe Swide

Models serve Louis XIII de Rémy Martin cognac to guests in Christophe Pillet crystal glasses. Each bottle is valued at over $2,500. A private in-home tasting was sold as part of the silent auction.

Photo by Joe Swide

A colorful lineup awaits its turn to drive. From left to right: Ferrari 458 Italia, Nissan GTR, Lamborghini Gallardo and Porsche Turbo.

Photo by Derek Scancarelli

A right-hand-drive cult-collected Nissan Skyline has no qualms driving alongside a Lamborghini Gallardo Performante.

Photo by Derek Scancarelli

A 475 hp Porsche GT3 takes on a 20 degree elevated banked turn.

Photo by Derek Scancarelli

Alan Wilzig, owner of Wilzig Racing Manor, sits on his custom-painted Suzuki GSX-R600 inside his 15,000 square-foot motorcycle museum. Wilzig Racing Manor hosts nearly 150 automobiles and is home to one of the largest private collections of Bimota Motorcycles in the world.

Photo by Derek Scancarelli

A noisy, brute, Underground Racing Lamborghini Gallardo with 1,100 hp awaits its turn while a silent hybrid BMW i8 whistles by.

Photo by Derek Scancarelli

After removing her white cognac decanter handling gloves, Ally doesn't hesitate to lean on this Lamborghini.