- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 24, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Organizers are gearing up for the New Year’s Day return of up to 300 Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Porsches, Mustangs and other high-performance cars driving around the Indianapolis beltway.

This will be the sixth year of the 56-mile drive of Interstate 465, with a collection being taken up for the family of a 42-year-old man who died this month from lung cancer, The Indianapolis Star reported (http://indy.st/1zy5Igj ).

Dave Woodman, who manages a restaurant in Bargersville and owns a 1995 Ford Mustang GT, said he helped start the event on a lark to get fellow car enthusiasts out for a winter drive.

“I’m a car guy who drives my Mustang year-round and doesn’t put it on blocks in the winter,” Woodman said. “So I put out a challenge; bring your car out for one afternoon in the winter.”

The Jan. 1 ride will start about 2:30 p.m. on the city’s west side. The cars go in single file about 60 mph counterclockwise around I-465 - with no passing, racing or taunting allowed. Organizers raise money by passing a hat around; it’s free to join the drive.

The event, sponsored by auto aficionado group IndyRPM, is now named the Evan Gordon New Year’s Day Memorial Lap after the 24-year-old car enthusiast who died in a crash and whose family was the beneficiary of last year’s fundraising.

Woodman said 27 drivers took part the first year’s drive and has kept growing since then.

So far, the weather hasn’t caused a cancellation. And it has become more than just a ride.

“It’s become a great meeting place to catch up with people you haven’t seen and to see some really nice cars,” Woodman said.

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Information from: The Indianapolis Star, http://www.indystar.com

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