ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Ask a professional Indy driver and they’ll tell you what a big part go-kart racing was as they began their career.

What You Need To Know

As the St. Pete Grand Prix approaches this weekend, Anderson Racepark in Palmetto played host to drivers as they returned to their roots for the Kart 4 Kids Pro Am Charity Challege, benefitting a concussion initiative at John Hopkin’s All Children’s Hospital.

The Race Park also has a racing team MottazSport - young drivers who dream of racing professionally - and who also raised money racing for kids health.

At 14, Noah Rosser started driving carts four years ago, thanks to his dad.

“One thing that we wanted to do together was race go carts, but sadly he passed away six years ago from brain cancer,” said Rosser.

“And it was kind of on my to-do list so I did it for him, and I just fell in love with racing. It’s a passion and I wanna race cars when I’m older.”

Safety is the number one priority for racers - protective gear includes a chest plate.

“It’s just most important to make sure that if you fly out or if you come in contact with a go cart, that you’re OK at all times,” Rosser explained, suiting up.

The MottazSport team hit the track - reaching speeds of up to 70 miles per hour.

Each lap translated into a few more hundred dollars for research.

“Hopefully I don’t get a concussion but I’m glad that I can help All Children’s Kart 4 Kids and raise money for them to really cool thing,” said Rosser. In all, organizers project $1.3 million raised in 11 years to study concussions and keep children’s brains healthy.

The event began after racer Dan Wheldon died in October of 2011 in a racing accident. Wheldon lived in St. Pete and supported the hospital charitably.