Local racecar driver Kyle Masson is on track to bring smiles to the faces of young patients at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.
Nineteen-year-old Windermere resident Kyle Masson dreamed of becoming a racecar driver since he was 9 years old. As he grew up, his interest in cars and motorsports grew, and he says he played a lot of racing video games. Then, on his 17th birthday, he began attending racing school.
Over the last two and a half years, Kyle has left quite a mark on the world of motorsports, competing in several races worldwide as part of the International Motor Sports Association. Last month, Kyle was invited by car manufacturer Ginnetta to race a Ginnetta G57 in the Hankook 3x3H prototype series in Dubai. He also competed in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, a 24-hour endurance race held yearly at Daytona International Speedway.
In addition to being a racecar driver, Kyle is also a business and finance major at the University of Central Florida. He says balancing racing and school can be challenging at times but notes that it is manageable since UCF offers online classes.
“I am able to do my schoolwork and take tests when I’m not racing,” he says.
Even with his hectic schedule, Kyle still finds time to give back to his community. Last year, he came up with the idea of raising money to build two racing simulators at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.
“I have a racing simulator at my house, and it has been extremely useful and loads of fun,” he says. “It’s amazing how realistic it feels. I began thinking how exciting and fun it would be for the kids at the hospital to experience what it is like to drive a race car.”
In November, Kyle set up a GoFundMe page to raise the $20,000 needed to make this dream a reality. He has already raised nearly $4,000. Once the fundraising goal is met and the equipment is set up, Kyle plans to visit the children at the hospital on a weekly basis.
“My goal is to drive with them and engage with them,” he says. “I want to provide the kids with a fun distraction and hopefully the motivation to get through their struggles.”
Kyle says his desire to help others comes from his benevolent family, particularly his father Robert Masson, a local neurosurgeon who says he is incredibly proud, but not at all surprised, by his son’s generous and creative idea.
“Kyle has always been a very giving person,” Robert says. “He realizes that his ability to race is a gift. Racing has opened up a lot of opportunities for him to be able to give back.”