The RRDC Class of 2020 included eight regular members, four associate members and four honorary members. Here are the new REGULAR MEMBERS:
ERIC BACHELART – Indianapolis, Ind. Is the 1982 Belgian Formula Ford 1600 Junior Champion; 1984 Benelux Formula Ford 1600 Champion and placed second in both the European and Belgian Formula Ford 1600 Championships; won a French Formula 3 Championship race at Croix-en-Ternois and finished third in the championship behind Jean Alesi and Eric Bernard; finished second in the 1988 Belgian ProCar Championship for Peugeot; competed in the Japanese Formula 3 Championship in 1989 before switching to North America; won the 1991 Firestone Indy Lights Championship; was the second-placed rookie in the 1992 PPG IndyCar World Series; competed in the Rolex 24 At Daytona (Chrysler GTS-R) and the Le Mans 24 Hours (Ferrari 333 SP) in 1996; established his own team, Conquest Racing, in 1997 and has continued to succeed in a variety of race series.
WAYNE BAKER – San Diego, Calif. Started racing career with local Porsche Club of America in a highly modified 914/4 Porsche. Eventually joined SCCA and became regional champ in D Production. In 1980 raced a Porsche 914/4 2.0-liter in IMSA. At Sears Point, was the first to win an overall race in a 4-cylinder Porsche 914. In 1982 his sponsor bought the Bob Garretson 935 which was converted into a 934 single-turbo. This car would make history in 1983 with a 1st overall and 1st in GTO at the 12 Hours of Sebring with co-drivers Jim Mullen and Kees Nierop – the first time in IMSA history that a smaller displacement car became an overall winner. Won the IMSA GTO Championship that year. Since 1998 has raced in Vintage and Historic races, driving an RSK, Porsche 910 and 904. Won the Tour Auto in France and races at tracks in Magny Cours, Monza and Nurburgring. Organized a 2.0- liter Porsche Challenge with HSR-West and mentored new drivers and introduced them to the sport. Is currently racing a Porsche 1967 911S in SVRA and HSR vintage races.
JON BEEKHUIS – Meadow Vista, Calif. Is the 1972-73 Western United States Quarter Midget Champion; 1978 Jim Russell Racing School World Scholarship winner; fourth in 1980 Esso (British) Formula Ford 1600 Championship; competed in the 1981 British Formula 3 Championship with Argo before returning to the U.S. and gaining experience in a variety of cars including Super Vee, IMSA GTO and GTP and the IMSA RS program with the Ford Motor Co.; 1986 Russell Pro Series Champion; fourth in 1987 SPI Formula Atlantic Championship; 1988 HFC American Racing Series (Indy Lights) Champion (beating Tommy Byrne into second place); made 14 INDYCAR starts between 1989 and 1992; later built a successful second career as a TV pit reporter/analyst, working extensively with ESPN and, more recently, NBCSN.
ROSS BENTLEY – Federal Way, Wash. USRRC Champion GT-3 1998; Won SRPII Class 24-Hours of Daytona 2002; raced in ALMS for PPG/BMW; raced in CART Championship Series 1990-95; author of more than two dozen instructional books on racing; highly sought-after Driving Coach; contributor to the RRDC’s Safe is Fast program.
CONNOR DE PHILIPPI – Charlotte, N.C. Began karting at age 5, and by age 14 had won 21 National championships, becoming the only driver ever to win four SKUSA SuperNats titles. That same year, 2007, was invited to the prestigious Granja Viana 500-mile kart race in Brazil alongside Rubens Barrichello, Felipe Massa and Tony Kanaan. Moved to cars in 2008, winning the following year’s Skip Barber Racing National Championship, and graduated directly into the Pro Mazda (now Indy Pro 2000) Championship in 2010 as part of the Mazda Road to Indy. Also earned a Team USA Scholarship, becoming the youngest-ever – and only the second American – winner of the prestigious Walter Hayes Trophy Formula Ford event at Silverstone. After placing second and third in the championship in two years of Pro Mazda, started sports car racing and was accepted as a Porsche Junior driver – only the second American to do so after Patrick Long. Continued to flourish during two years as an Audi factory driver, winning the ADAC Masters GT Championship and the VLN Nurburgring Speed Trophy in 2016 and adding victories at the Nurburgring 24 Hours and Petit Le Mans (IMSA) in 2017. Has been a BMW factory driver since 2018, with a Rolex 24 At Daytona victory and a pole position for the Sebring 12 Hours with BMW Team RLL in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
ERNIE FRANCIS JR. – Southwest Ranches, Fla. Made his Trans-Am full-time debut in 2014 at age 16. Won six of 10 races and the TA3 American Muscle class championship and began a streak of six-consecutive championships, repeating TA3AM in 2015 (8 wins); and TA4 in 2016 (9). Moved to the lead TA category in 2017, winning the first of three straight titles. Won 10 races in 2017, five in 2018, and four in 2019. Also won the SCCA GT-1 National Championship in 2019. In 2020 he won his fourth straight TA title, his seventh championship in seven years. He’s also competed in limited NASCAR events, placing second at New Jersey in a K&N Pro Series East race in 2018.
MIKE PINNEY – Phoenix, Ariz. Has an extensive racing background in both sports cars and midgets. Won the SCCA Rookie of the year in first Runoffs attempt in 1976, then won two Runoffs Championships in the years that followed, including 42 National wins. When funds ran out, crewed on RRDC member Joe Huffaker’s team and participated in six of their championships. Has maintained a lifetime interest in motorsports and now works for Penske Automotive in Phoenix.
DAVID L. TENNEY – Greenwich, Conn. Has competed in karts, sports cars, and outboard racing boats. Raced karts 1975-81; Sports Renault in ‘80s, numerous poles and wins; 1988 Central Division Sports Renault Champion and 1988 and ’89 Chicago Region Driver of the Year; 1989 Runoffs Champion in SR; 1991 and ‘92 Runoffs Champion in Shelby Can Am and SCCA Shelby Can Am Pro Series Champion in ‘91; raced in IMSA’s World Sports Racer Pro Series in ‘90s, two wins; raced WKA and Stars of Karting 1999-2007; In 2008-19 actively involved in Pro Outboard racing; US Title Series National Champion 125cc Hydro Championship four times between 2015-19; Kilo world record for 125cc Runabout; retired in 2020 from racing boats; owns and sponsors team in 125cc and 175cc hydro classes; board member US Title Series, that promotes and manages Pro Outboard racing.
NEW ASSOCIATE MEMBERS
SIMON KIRKBY – South Egremont, Mass. Has worked 20 years at Skip Barber Racing School starting as Instructor, followed by 12 years as EVP Director of the Skip Barber Racing Series; started and managed Formula BMW USA; past manager and mentor to many drivers including Santino Ferrucci; director of The Lime Rock Drivers Club. Previous racing includes: two-time runner-up in the British FF 2000 Championship; factory driver for Alfa Romeo and Chrysler in the BTCC. Is currently racing in Historics and PCA.
TONY PARELLA – Southlake, Tex. Started racing on dirt tracks in the northeast. Later began racing in vintage cars driving a Corvette. Is now President and CEO of the Sportscar Vintage Racing Assoc. (SVRA) and is the majority owner of the Trans Am Race Company. After purchasing SVRA, acquired the Historic Sportscar Racing-West and consolidated it into SVRA.
LES PHILLIPS – San Luis Obispo, Calif. Started racing FF with Cal Club in 1986. Switched to FC in 1987 and continued to race FC and F2000 until retirement in 2018. Claimed dozens of SCCA Regional and National wins along with FC track records at Riverside, Laguna Seca, Buttonwillow and Auto Club Speedway. Continues to ride motorcycles on track days. In 1987 a small group of racers met in a garage at Riverside and realized that with the track’s imminent closure there would only be one other local track to race. A group was formed to build what turned out to be Buttonwillow Raceway with Cal Club being the majority owner. The track was finally completed in December of 1995. Has served as entity President and CEO since the beginning, with plans to open a second track.
CASS WHITEHEAD – Wilsonville, Ala. Has been road racing for more than 30 years. Was named SCCA Rookie National Driver of the Year. Moved into pro racing in early 1990s. Made living driving race cars and teaching others the art of racing. Won the 1991 IMSA International Sedan Manufacturers Championship and was runner up in the drivers championship driving a Nissan. Was a factory-supported driver for Nissan in the IMSA Supercar Series driving a 300ZX Turbo. Has driven for factory-supported teams from Nissan, Porsche, Ferrari, Oldsmobile and Ford. Was responsible for Porsche winning a GT Championship in the Rolex Grand Am series driving a Porsche GT3RS. Has also raced many Prototype cars over the years including WSC in IMSA, and Sports Racing Prototypes in Grand Am highlighted by a third-place finish at the 24 Hours of Daytona. Has driven many GT cars including BMW M3 GT, Porsche GT3RS and the Ferrari 360GT in ALMS. Is currently the Chief Instructor for the Porsche Track Experience – USA, and has been a lead instructor with Panoz Racing School, Saab Viggen Driving School, Audi Driving Experience, Skip Barber Racing School. Has held licenses with FIA- Grade B, Grand Am, IMSA GTP, SCCA Pro Racing, SCCA National & Regional. Is also available for private coaching.
NEW HONORARY MEMBERS
LISA BOGGS – Nashville, Tenn. Is considered one of the most influential women in racing as the Bridgestone Americas Director of Motorsports; is responsible for all things Firestone Racing, from marketing and communications to budgets and logistics; in ‘90s worked for Leo Burnett ad agency in Chicago on Marlboro account; left agency in ‘97 to work with Team Penske as a consultant to Philip Morris; from 2006-13 was VP of Matter-Edelman Sports and Entertainment, managing IndyCar and NASCAR accounts; took over from Al Speyer at Firestone in 2013; attends most IndyCar races and is longtime supporter, with Firestone brand, of RRDC’s Long Beach Legends Dinner.
JOHN CLAGETT – Miami, Fla. Was with SCCA Trans Am from 1984 (publicity director) through 2005 (became executive director in 2000); Champ Car 2006-2007 (VP of venue development); formed Trans Am Race Company and served as president from 2011 to present; formerly youngest (at 23) Sports Information Director of Division I school in the country (Colorado State).
TERRY “PIGGY” MALONE – Sandpoint, Idaho Teen-age Hot Rodder (1955-59) in Southern California in a ‘34 Ford Victoria (5-window) with ‘48 Mercury Flathead; in 1959-1963, Flight engineer with the US Air Force – also raced a ’58 MGA Twin Cam in Club events in the Panama Canal Zone; in 1963-1967, Flight Test Mechanic flying new DC-8 and DC-9 aircraft at McDonnell-Douglas Aircraft in Long Beach, CA; In 1967-1975, mechanic for Dan Gurney and Bobby Unser at Dan Gurney’s All American Racers; In 1975-1979, mechanic for Mario Andretti at F1 Team Lotus; In 1980-1984, a continuing association with Team Lotus for six months each year and the other six in the Antarctic program as the Airport Site Manager at McMurdo Station Antarctica for the National Science Foundation; In 1984-2011, because of relationship with Mario and a 40-year friendship with Paul Newman, was able to help out at several IndyCar events a year.
CAL WELLS III – Charlotte, N.C. Former owner of Toyota factory-sponsored Precision Preparation Inc., stadium and desert off-road truck race team; 11 MTEG manufacturer and 10 MTEG driver championships plus numerous Baja 500 and Baja 1000 victories; former Toyota Atlantic Championship and NASCAR team owner; former executive at Michael Waltrip Racing; former Indycar team co-owner of Arciero-Wells Racing; 2020 Offroad Motorsports Hall of Fame inductee.