DAYTONA DINNER INVITATION FROM OUR PRESIDENT
Thanks to the organizational skills of RRDC member Vicki O’Connor, the RRDC will hold its annual members’ dinner again at the Daytona 500 Club at Daytona International Speedway January 25 in advance of the 55th Rolex 24 At Daytona. This dinner has grown tremendously in the last few years, attracting nearly 300 members and guests.
It’s become the perfect venue for members and their guests to bench race, meet and greet the latest crop of members, and enjoy an evening filled with camaraderie, nostalgia and awards presentations.
The 24th Phil Hill Award will be presented to the person who the RRDC feels has rendered outstanding service to road racing.
Also, the 16th Bob Akin Award will be given to a driver who best exemplifies the extraordinary qualities and characteristics that Akin represented.
And, finally, the 46th RRDC Mark Donohue Award will be presented to the driver who RRDC members feel exhibited the outstanding performance of the SCCA National Runoffs in terms of personal spirit and performance behind the wheel.
We look forward to seeing you there!
WHEN: Wednesday, January 25, 2017. Cocktails at 5:00 p.m., Dinner at 7:00 p.m.
INVITEES: All RRDC members and personal guests ONLY
COST: $100.00 per person by check payable in advance; or $120.00 at the door — cash or check only; tables of 10 – $1000; no credit cards
DRESS: Business casual Meal choice: Beef or Fish Beverages: Red and white wines on the dinner table plus cash bar.
MEMBERS SHOULD HAVE RECEIVED NOTIFICATION AND RESERVATION FORM VIA EMAIL
SAFEisFAST – FORMULA E STAR JEAN-ERIC VERGNE IS LATEST ‘ASK A PRO’
Jean-Eric Vergne, FIA Formula E frontrunner and ex-Formula 1 racer, is the latest online driving instructor for SAFEisFAST.com.
The French driver races for the Techeetah Formula E Team and previously competed in F1 for Scuderia Toro Rosso. Vergne dovetails his Formula E campaign with his role as an official test driver for the Scuderia Ferrari F1 team.
Aged just 21 and with the 2010 British Formula Three Championship under his belt, Vergne became the youngest ever French driver to compete in F1 in 2011, and went on to rack up 51 points during a three-year spell in the sport.
Since entering Formula E during its inaurgual season in 2014, Vergne has recorded four pole positions, four podiums and one fastest lap. Vergne joined the new Techeetah team ahead of the 2016/17 season, alongside Ma Qing Hua.
HINCH WHIRLS HIS WAY TO RUNNER-UP ON DANCING WITH THE STARS
Indy Car veteran James Hinchcliffe and his professional dancing partner Sharna Burgess came in second to gymnast Laurie Hernandez and her partner Val Chmerkovskiy in 2016 Dancing with the Stars competition on ABC.
Though he didn’t win, the six-year Verizon IndyCar Series veteran driver with four career victories, made the night special by giving Burgess his driver’s suit from the 2016 St. Petersburg Grand Prix – his first race following an horrific practice crash before the 2015 Indianapolis 500 that sidelined him for the season with serious leg injuries.
“You finished my story,” Hinchcliffe told Burgess, “and this is part of that story.”
Then Hinchcliffe and Burgess went out and performed a freestyle dance that so floored the panel that judge Carrie Ann Inaba called Hinchcliffe the “miracle man of Season 23 of Dancing with the Stars.”
A BIG ASK – NEW eBOOK BY DAVID PHILLIPS
“A Big Ask” is the inside story of the Ford Motor Company’s return to the world’s most famous sports car race – The 24 Hours of Le Mans – as told by veteran motorsports journalist and RRDC member David Phillips and accompanied by more than 100 color images by some of the world’s leading racing photographers.
Half a century ago, Ford’s battles with Ferrari for supremacy at Le Mans became the stuff of legends. Rebuffed in his bid to buy Ferrari, Henry Ford II spent untold millions to defeat the iconic Italian marque in a race it had come to dominate in the early 1960s. After two years of humiliating failure, the Ford GT40 delivered a storied 1-2-3 finish at Le Mans in 1966, the first of four straight wins for the American automaker.
Ford returned to Le Mans in 2016 with a 21st century Ford GT and a bold mission: Celebrate the golden anniversary of its legendary 1-2-3 finish in 1966 with another victory. But Ford did not go it alone. Boasting a driver line-up of “Le Mans Assassins”, Ford partnered with powerful Chip Ganassi Racing and Multimatic Engineering, plus a host of world-class suppliers in an effort to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Phillips was embedded with Ford Chip Ganassi Racing throughout what proved to be an exhausting and exhilarating journey from the development of the Ford GT and its problematic competition debut through to its first successes and, finally, triumphant performances at Le Mans and beyond. With unfettered access to all of the key players, Phillips provides a detailed, insightful and compelling account of the audacious bid to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans certain to be a welcome addition the motorsports aficianado’s bookshelf.
PAGENAUD, BARBOSA AND C. FITTIPALDI ARE AARWBA ALL-AMERICANS
Simon Pagenaud topped the Open Wheel group after taking the Verizon Indycar Series Championship for Team Penske, winning the title with five victories, including the season finale at Sonoma Raceway which was the clincher.
Topping the voting among the Road Racers were the Action Express Racing team of Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi, runners-up in the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype division. Barbosa/Fittipaldi scored a win at Watkins Glen International during the season.
DAN GURNEY RECEIVES THE PETER BRYANT CHALLENGER AWARD
On Saturday evening, August 20, 2016, Dan Gurney’s name was added to the honor roll attached to the Peter Bryant Challenger Award.The occasion was the “Tribute to the Can-Am” event held in conjunction with the Monterey Historics event. “In truth, Dan’s name should have been put on the Bryant trophy long ago. Dan Gurney has always been celebrated as championship driver,” said event organizer and Racing History Project Director Dave Wolin that night. “And now we’re very pleased to be able to recognize him for his many contributions to race car engineering with this award.”
Gurney was not able to attend the Monterey event so he did not pick up his personal “Bryant” memento award that night. Last week John Zimmermann (the Associate Editor of Vintage Racecar/Roadcar and the author of “Dan Gurney’s Eagle Racing Cars”) who made the original announcement of the honor back in August, was able to catch up with Gurney at his Santa Ana office last week. Luckily Ed Justice, Jr. was there at the same time and got a great shot of Gurney and Zimmermann with the individual trophy.
“Finding the right words to describe Dan Gurney is more of a poet’s job,” Wolin explained. “He’s truly American racing royalty and damn well would have been elected President of the United States some 40+ years ago if Brock Yates and legions of motorsports fans had had their way.” Even now, at 85, the man still has that wonderful “All-American Boy” twinkle in his eye.
FIVE RRDC MEMBERS VOTED INTO SCCA HALL OF FAME
Of the eight new SCCA Hall of Fame honorees, five are RRDC members, past and present. Current members Peter Brock, Joe Huffaker, Sr. and Lyn St. James will be inducted Jan. 21 in ceremonies during the SCCA National Convention at the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nev. Also honored at that time will be Phil Hill and Jim Kaser.
Of the 67 members of the SCCA HoF, more than two dozen have been RRDC members.
A STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS FROM OUR FRIEND OSCAR KOVOLESKI TO USHER OUT 2016
Hi all! Great News! Formula e arrives in Brooklyn! NYC 2017. Years ago, Auto World & Car Model Magazine organized and ran the first 24-hour slot car race at The New York Auto Show…then we helped organize and run the 4-minute AFX slot car Race on the Sunday Night Ed Sullivan Show… a Formula 1 shootout… our drivers were Stirling Moss, Dan Gurney, Jackie Stewart and Graham Hill… the purse was $50,000 USA – Jackie won $35,000… the others got $5000 (plus all expenses to NYC including suites at the Waldorf Astoria… Jackie didn’t get paid that much winning a Formula 1 race!… this is all fact, published in NY Times, Car Model Magazine, etc… I wasn’t there… I was busy working with Jack Deren, my Team Auto World mechanic… we had some problems with our Can Am McLaren, entered in the first Can-AM at Road Atlanta 1970… we finished 4th… at The SCCA National American Road Race of Champions we won, beat Jerry Hansen in Peter Revson’s Carl Haas ‘super’ Lola by 1/10 second, over the finish line… Jerry rented the car to beat us…
Gotta go… see ya somewhere…
What’s next?… At age over 80… it’s time for me to pass the Kidracer football… into the hands of a winning team that can make TOUCHDOWNS… WHO Are they?…
HAVE A GREAT 2017!