Driver Robert Mau drives in the No. 438 STR38 Motorsports BMWM4 GT4 in the Pirelli GT4 America series. In conjunction with his race effort, he supports Operation Vet NOW Inc. (OVN) to raise support for veteran suicide awareness. Robert himself served in the United States Navy with a commission from Purdue’s ROTC program.
OVN leads a program titled the OVN Fallen Heroes Tribute Project. This portion of the organization's mission is to honor those killed in combat by having their names shared and stories told to ensure they are never forgotten. Both large- and small-scale sporting events are used to reach the goal through partnering with series, teams and athletes. To date, OVN has honored over 400 fallen heroes across the country.
One of the unique ways the heroes are honored is through the OVN Ambassador Athlete team. Robert joins 25 Ambassador Athletes from various sports categories, all veterans themselves and all involved in honoring U.S. service members. Robert was the Strike Officer on the USS Hie City (CG 66) from 1993 until 1996. He supported operations worldwide including Joint Endeavour in Bosnia Herzegovina during the joint NATO operations to limit the warfare in that region.
This week, he focuses on raising awareness for Sergeant Marcus Mathes while running three races at Sebring International Raceway. Sergeant Marcus C. Mathes served in the U.S. Army and was Killed in Action on April 28, 2008, in Bagdad, Iraq of wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked his Forward Operating Base (FOB). Sgt. Mathes grew up in Highland County and attended Sebring High School before moving to Zephyrhills, Florida, outside of Tampa.
His mother, Sue Sawyer, is a current resident of Sebring, Florida and will be in attendance this weekend.
Sawyer described her son as the type to make everyone feel happy and very fun-loving. Sgt. Mathes was best known for his willingness and desire to serve others. His 2005 enlistment was inspired by his want to serve following the September 11 terrorist attacks. However, it will always be his ability to make others feel loved and laugh that those who knew him remember best.
“I’m honored to have Sgt Mathes as my copilot at his hometown track. He’s a true hero that volunteered to serve his country in Afghanistan and Iraq. We should never forget!”
Sebring International Raceway is set with three rounds of racing for the Pirelli GT4 America series Sept. 22-24. Tickets are available for purchase online. To follow the race from home, join the over half a million users on the GT World YouTube page by subscribing. Find your spot in the community by following SROMotorsposrts on Twitch, where Ash Vandelay hosts a conversation while streaming each race.