CHIP GANASSI AMELIA HONOREE; RRDC DAYTONA DINNER REMINDER; CUNNINGHAM AT SIMEONE

Hagerty announced this week that racing legend Chip Ganassi will serve as Honoree of The 27th Annual Amelia on March 3-6, 2022. Tickets for the 2022 event are available online now through the recently launched ameliaconclours.com website.

Ganassi has touched every major form of North American motorsport plus the ultimate international road race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Ganassi’s legacy extends far beyond being an accomplished driver, he is a decorated race team owner that has fielded highly successful teams in INDYCAR, NASCAR, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Extreme E.

Chip Ganassi with the Borg-Warner Trophy, Brickyard 400 Trophy, LeMans 24 hour trophy, Sebring 12 hours trophy, Astor Cup (IndyCar championship), PPG Cup (CART Championship) and Rolex Daytona 24 hour, and the Harley Earl trophy for the winner of the Daytona 500.

Ganassi made his racing debut in the 1981 Robert Bosch Super Vee Championship. In 1982, Ganassi graduated with a finance degree from Duquesne University and started his first Indianapolis 500 in Mario Andretti’s year-old 1981 Wildcat/Cosworth. He was the fastest of a star-studded rookie class qualifying ahead of future “500” winners Bobby Rahal and Danny Sullivan. A year later Ganassi logged two podium finishes and was voted Most Improved Driver, ultimately ranking ninth in the INDYCAR Championship.

Ganassi retired from the Indy car cockpit following a brutal high-speed accident at Michigan International Raceway in 1984. His final race in the cockpit would be at the 1987 24 Hours of Le Mans.

In 1990, Chip Ganassi founded Chip Ganassi Racing, the only team to win the crown jewels of North American racing: the Daytona 500, the Indianapolis 500, NASCAR’s Brickyard 400 and the 24 Hours of Daytona in a 12-month span. Chip Ganassi Racing’s incredible success on the track includes eight victories in the 24 Hours of Daytona (2006-2008, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2018), four consecutive INDYCAR Championships twice (1996 through 1999 and 2008 through 2011) and four Indianapolis 500 victories (2000, 2008, 2010, 2012) including a one-two finish in 2012.

Chip with his six-time IndyCar Champion Scott Dixon.

Ganassi would return to Le Mans in 2016, this time as an owner flying the Stars and Stripes. Ford Chip Ganassi Racing did not disappoint, scoring another historic Le Mans Ford victory, first, third and fourth in GTE LM Pro, leading all but 26 laps from the pole on the team’s first Le Mans attempt. The landmark victory came on the 50th anniversary of Ford’s historic first overall Le Mans victory in 1966.

Ganassi is also well known for his transformational charitable work for St Jude Children’s Hospital. In 2011 Chip received an honorary Doctorate from Carnegie Mellon University in his hometown Pittsburgh. In 2016, the year of the Le Mans victory for Ford, Chip was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.

“Honoring a hero from the racing community is an important component of The Amelia DNA. From the inaugural honoree, Sir Stirling Moss, to the recent celebration of Lyn St. James, The Amelia has anchored the celebration of the automobile to the incredible people who have devoted their lives as ambassadors for driving,” said McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty. “We are thrilled that Chip Ganassi accepted our invitation. His racing legacy represents Hagerty’s love of driving and passion for the wellness of others.”

 

 

 

IT’S TIME FOR THE “ANNUAL” RRDC MEMBERS DAYTONA DINNER

WHEN: 

Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022 – in advance of the Rolex 24 At Daytona

5:00 p.m. cocktails

6:15 p.m. RRDC member photo

6:30 p.m. dinner

 

WHERE:

Daytona 500 Club (infield) 

Daytona International Speedway

1801 W. International Speedway Blvd.

Daytona Beach, Fla. 32114

 

INVITEES: 

All RRDC members in good standing and personal guests ONLY. 

Please make sure you’ve paid your 2022 dues! A link to the dues invoice is at the bottom of this page.

 

DRESS: 

Business casual

 

COST:

$150 per person, payable by check in advance; or

$175 at the door – cash or check only; no credit cards please

Tables of 10 are available for $1500 each

 

PARKING and TRACK ENTRY:

We will provide parking and entry details soon. 

 

EVENT PASSES:

We will advise soon regarding availability of event passes.

 

CUNNINGHAM FEATURED AT SIMEONE MUSEUM, JAN. 22

In 1950, Briggs Cunningham became the first American since the ’20s to field cars at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Newspapers of the day called him the leader of “the brave little band of millionaires who carry America’s sports car hopes abroad.” Join us as we take a closer look at one of our nation’s most historically significant “gentleman sportsmen” and examine his life and impact on the world.

Featuring the following Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum (6825 Norwitch Drive, Philadelphia) collection automobiles:

* 1948 Cadillac Series 61
* 1952 Cunningham C-4R Roadster
* 1956 Jaguar D-Type

Tickets are $10-$12 dollars and are free for all Simeone Museum members and children under 18.

 

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REDMAN’S TARGA 66 SET; BOB BOIG PASSES

The 31st annual Targa 66 gathering for high-performance sports cars and race cars returns to Palm Beach (Fla.) International Raceway on February 11-13, 2022.

Founder and host Brian Redman has extended an invitation to owners of modern high-performance road cars and racing cars of all ages to exercise their cars on the 10-turn, 2.2-mile state-of-the art road course featuring some of the fastest and most challenging corners and straightaways.

Three days of track use are offered, and entrants can expect 6-8 hours of track time on the weekend. “Targa 66 is a relaxed event to get race cars ready for the 2022 racing season or to just exercise them at an interesting track,” said Redman, the world-renowned racing champion who founded Targa 66 in 1991.

“For those in the colder climates, it is a nice time of year to visit Florida, with temperatures expected to be in the high 70s for Palm Beach in February.” Redman added.

The event’s host hotel is the Hilton Garden Inn in PGA Gardens, Florida.

For more information and to register, go to www.gorace.com.

 

 

BOB BOIG, 1946-2022

Bob Boig, a four-time SCCA National Champion and 1990 President’s Cup recipient, passed away January 7th at age 75. Boig was proprietor of Boig Motorsports, LLC, specializing in competition parts for a variety of small-displacement race cars, and was a direct supplier of Miata racing parts to Mazda Competition. An engineer by education and experience, Boig developed and marketed muffler systems (Quiet Tubes) and cooling system aids (Cool Tubes). He was a Certified Quality Engineer.

A celebration of Bob’s life will be held on Wednesday January 26th from 1-3 pm with a service at 3 pm at the Davis Life Celebration Funeral Home, 619 State Rd. Plymouth (Manomet). In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. 

 

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RRDC ANNUAL DAYTONA DINNER; JEFF O’NEILL HONORED BY MMR

Thanks to the organizational skills of member Lisa Noble, the RRDC will hold its “annual” members’ dinner at the Daytona 500 Club in advance of the 60th Rolex 24 At Daytona. Although we missed having a dinner in 2020 because of the pandemic, we’re back this year in full sway, with awards and recognitions.

The RRDC members’ dinner has become the perfect venue for members and their guests to bench race, meet, and enjoy an evening filled with camaraderie, nostalgia and awards presentations.

The featured award of the evening will be the 28th Phil Hill Award (for rendering outstanding service to road racing).

Also, the 20th Bob Akin Award and the 50th and 51st RRDC Mark Donohue Awards will be presented. 

We will also welcome a number of the Rolex 24 At Daytona Grand Marshals, thanks to IMSA, all of whom are RRDC members.

The program is scheduled to end before 10 p.m., so that those participating in the Rolex 24 will be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for morning practice. 

If you have any questions, please contact Lisa Noble at noblerace@aol.com.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Thank you,

Bobby Rahal

President

 

 

JEFF O’NEILL MMR 2021 PERSON OF THE YEAR

Vintage racer and vintner Jeff O’Neill has been named 2021 “Person of the Year” by Motorsports Marketing Resources. O’Neill’s 2019 Sonoma Speed Festival featured original vintage racecars, effectively upgrading the quality of the field while reducing the number of entries. The event was well received by the vintage community. After COVID-19 prevented holding the 2020 event, O’Neill moved the 2021 running to Laguna Seca, renaming the festival The Velocity Invitational, again receiving kudos from participants and supporters of vintage racing.

It’s been a good year for O’Neill who also was named 2021 “Person of the Year” by Wine Star Magazine, recognizing his efforts in sustainability in the wine industry with a new groundbreaking waste water treatment system for his Fresno winery and installation of solar panels at his warehouses.

O’Neill is an associate member of the RRDC.

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T. E. McHALE PASSES AT 68

Thomas Eugene McHale, T.E. to all who knew him, died Monday, Dec. 21, from the ravages of colon cancer. He was 68. Marshall Pruett remembered him fondly as “our anchor – our center – in a loud and noisy paddock filled with wanton self-importance.

“Honda’s longtime manager of motorsports communications, the personification of calm and class, was the closest thing we had to a village elder. T.E., with a face that was made to smile, was among the most human and relatable figures in the sport. His keen observations on racing, and life, and music, shared on pit lane, in media centers, or at his beloved Honda hospitality bus, connected us in communal ways.”

Pruett’s remembrance of McHale is at racer.com.

 

STATEMENT FROM RRDC PRESIDENT BOBBY RAHAL ON THE PASSING OF T.E. McHALE:

 
“All of us at the RRDC are so sad to hear of the passing of our friend, T.E McHale. I first met T.E. when he worked at the Mansfield (Ohio) News Journal, following the racing at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for many years. His professionalism, knowledge of the sport and integrity in telling the many stories of our sport were unquestioned.
 
“Later, he would commit his skills to Honda in publicizing the many successes Honda was to have in North American motorsports. T.E.’s infectious personality and humility set him apart from many and everyone who met him counted him as a friend.
 
“T.E. was instrumental in facilitating Honda’s support of SAFEisFAST, helping make possible this unique portal to young racer training and nurturing.
 
“He would often wish a driver ‘Godspeed’ before a race, and I know many would wish him the same now.
 
“RIP, T.E., and Godspeed to you.”
 

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AL UNSER PASSES AWAY AT AGE 82; RAHAL REMEMBERS BOB BONDURANT

Al Unser, the second of four drivers to win the Indianapolis 500 four times, passed away Thursday at his home in Chama, New Mexico, after a 17-year battle with liver cancer brought on by hemochromatosis, a hereditary blood disease resulting in excess iron in the body.

Unser is memorialized in numerous publications with remembrances by Roger Penske and numerous competitors. Here is what Penske told Racer.com:

“We have lost a true racing legend and a champion on and off the track,” said Roger Penske, whose car Unser drove to his fourth Indy victory. “Al was the quiet leader of the Unser family, a tremendous competitor and one of the greatest drivers to ever race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“From carrying on his family’s winning tradition at Pikes Peak to racing in NASCAR, sports cars, earning championships in IndyCar and IROC and, of course, becoming just the second driver to win the Indianapolis 500 four times, Al had an amazing career that spanned nearly 30 years. He produced two championships and three wins for our race team, including his memorable victory in the 1987 Indy 500 when he famously qualified and won with a car that was on display in a hotel lobby just a few days before. We were honored to help Al earn a place in history with his fourth Indy victory that day, and he will always be a big part of our team. Our thoughts are with the Unser family as they mourn the loss of a man that was beloved across the racing world and beyond.”

 

BOBBY RAHAL REMEMBERS BOB BONDURANT

 

 

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SAD NEWS: SIR FRANK WILLIAMS AND ART EVANS PASS; BOOKS FOR YOUR CHRISTMAS LIST; ANNUAL DINNER REMINDER

SIR FRANK WILLIAMS, 1942-2021

Although not a member of the RRDC, Sir Frank Williams is known to most of our membership and fondly remembered by those who called him a friend. His is a remarkable story of perseverance and sheer determination where his wife Virginia kept his doctors pulling the plug on the machine that was sustaining his life after his neck was broken in a road accident in France in 1986.

His career is chronicled in numerous articles, including racer.com and motorsport.com with remembrances and testimonials from racing royalty.

Daughter Claire Williams managed the team in recent years.

A couple of personal remembrances of Sir Frank Williams: my boss at Goodyear Leo Mehl used to grumble at being called at ungodly hours of the morning by Sir Frank. “He’s awake most of the time so his mind is constantly working. ‘Frank, it’s 2 a.m.’ and he always apologized but then told me what he’d just thought of.”

Sir Frank and Patrick Head came to Akron to cut the Williams’ F1 tire deal for the upcoming 1990 season. Leo always took visiting dignitaries up to “Mahogany Hall” – the fifth floor of the Goodyear headquarters building on East Market – to meet the Chairman, in this case Stanley Gault. I accompanied with our photographer. Knowing our annual racing budget was around $100m at the time, Mr. Gault asked Frank about his annual budget. “I’m one of the mid-level teams really. Our expenditures are around $70 million. Ron (referring to Dennis at McLaren) has a bit more than twice that.” So, Mr. Gault asks about Ferrari. “At Ferrari, there is no budget,” leaving all but Leo agape. – Bill King, Editor

Williams and his longtime friend and collaborator Patrick Head were the heart and soul of Williams Grand Prix Engineering.

 

ART EVANS, 1934-2021

Art Evans was a man-for-all-seasons. He did a little bit of everything in motorsports, a lot of which was significant and all splendidly done. Art was a racer in the golden era of 1950s west coast road racing, a car builder (Devin), a professor, an award-winning photographer, illustrator, writer/author and event organizer. He passed away Nov. 11. The Fabulous Fifties newsletter chronicles Art’s journey. – Bill King, Editor

The many faces of Art Evans.

 

BOOKS FOR YOUR CHRISTMAS LIST

 

ED SWART – FROM ZANDVOORT TO DAYTONA

“As a longtime member of the RRDC, I am sending you this email to let you know that after 6 years in the works, we finally have my book “ED SWART from Zandvoort to Daytona” printed and available.

“I have raced 60 years (1961-2021) in 602 race weekends. Finally retiring at age 84. Born in the Netherlands, raced in Europe till 1980 when we emigrated to the USA to continue there. That is why we decided on this title for the book …from Zandvoort to Daytona.

“The book has 192 pages, a hard cover and over 300 pictures. The foreword is by Brian Redman.

“My publisher William Taylor has the book available on his website; www.coteriepress.com” and below are some links with more information on the book and how to order it.

“Kind regards, Ed Swart”

 

A CHECKERED PAST – AL UNSER JR.

We’ve all heard of the hold that alcohol and drugs had taken on Al Unser, Jr.’s life – to the detriment of his career and family. It was inevitable that at some point he would publicly face these personal demons. That time has come. Unser sat down with Jade Gurss, a writer of exceptional skill and sensitivity, to unwrap his life in and out of the limelight. Al Unser, Jr., A Checkered Past is available at Amazon.com.

His splendid racing career, made possible by a rare blend of genetic talent and intensity, thrust him into the top echelon of motorsports, where he lived and excelled for several decades. It was away from the racetrack where his downward spiral began to strip away the foundations of his life – his marriage, his financials, his image, his inner core. It’s commonly thought that “rock bottom” is the springboard to recovery. Unser found it.

Al talked. Jade listened and recorded. The result is this remarkable story of demon-battling, an unblinking-assessment of a life in shambles and plotting a way out of the pit. This a must-read for all friends and fans of Al Unser, Jr.; and for any that may be facing a similar abyss, it’s a ray of hope. – Bill King, Editor

 

LE MANS: TOM KRISTENSEN

Between 1997 and 2014, Tom Kristensen won the world’s toughest automobile race, the Le Mans 24 Hours, a record nine times and finished on the podium on five more occasions. Every time his car made it to the finish, in fact, he was in the top three. It is no wonder that this great sports car driver is known as “Mr. Le Mans” to motorsports fans around the world.

Now retired from racing, Kristensen shares in this book his deepest personal reflections and insights from inside and outside the cockpit. He looks back on more than 30 years spent striving for perfection in racing and tells of the battles and setbacks that sometimes seemed impossible to overcome, including a terrible accident in 2007.

Voted “Sports Book of the Year” when originally published in Kristensen’s native Denmark, this thoughtful memoir is now available in English – 432 pages with 125 photos – with Dan Philipsen and foreword by Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich.

Evro Publishing books are distributed in North America by Quarto Publishing Group USA. Books can be ordered from Quarto by email: sales@quarto.com; phone number: 800-328-0590; or website: quartroknows.com. Please use the relevant ISBN number when ordering – 978-87-972603-0-2. Also available at Amazon.com.

 

WILLIAM JEANES’ THE ROAD TO PICKLETOWN

The Road to Pickletown – A Southerner Confronts Cowbells, Clowns, Cuba, Christmas, and Mississippi; written by longtime automotive and auto racing journalist William Jeanes, is not what one would expect to come from the pen of a car guy. It’s a selection of the many columns Jeanes has written over the years, including for the Northside Sun, a “prosperous and principled” weekly newspaper in Jackson, Mississippi.

“Being a newspaper or magazine writer in Mississippi is like being the possum in a petting zoo – people know you’re there but don’t want much to do with you,” Jeanes said in his introduction. “Some of the columns draw on my experiences as an advertising executive, an editor, a diesel mechanic, a bartender, an amateur actor, a veteran of the Cannonball coast-to-coast race, and a traveler who has seen all seven continents and more than one hundred countries.” 

The Road to Pickletown is available on Amazon Kindle. Paperback production began March 24, 2021. Order from Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.

 

THE STAINLESS STEEL CARROT NOW AN eBook

The definitive tale of Peter Brock’s BRE team and its star driver, John Morton, is chronicled in The Stainless Steel Carrot. It’s a chronicle written by motorsports journalist Sylvia Wilkinson over the course of two years while she was embedded with the team throughout the 1971-1972 seasons. It tells the story of how Brock, Morton, and the rest of the crew poured their entire lives into making sure they secured victory, fending off capable rivals and risking it all for a chance at greatness. 

The book was originally published in 1973, with an expanded version released in 2012. Both versions are hard to come by, with used examples routinely fetching up to $300 through online marketplaces, according to Carrara Media. 

Released April 5, 2021, the eBook is available on CarraraBooks.com or wherever eBooks are sold.

 

 

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GREG PICKETT AND PAUL PFANNER TO SCCA HALL OF FAME

Two RRDC members – Greg Pickett and Paul Pfanner – are among the five-member 2022 SCCA Hall of Fame Class which also includes Charlie Clark, Howard Duncan and Mark Weber.

 

GREG PICKETT

There is longevity, and then there’s Greg Pickett. No other driver can claim to have won a Trans Am Championship race in six different decades, with his first coming in 1978 and carrying through into 2021 as a 73-year-old. Pickett was the 1978 Category II Drivers’ Champion, and went on to win two championships as a team owner in the American Le Mans Series. A multiple race winner as a driver, Pickett and his Muscle Milk brand were instrumental in reviving the Trans Am Championship in 2009 after a three-year hiatus. Pickett began his driving career as an SCCA Club Racer, entering his first Trans Am race in 1975 using his A Sedan car.

 

PAUL PLANNER

Paul Pfanner’s contributions to the Club are not difficult to quantify. Though his SCCA career began as a Formula Ford racer in the early 1970s, his longer-lasting contribution came first as the publisher of his local Cal Club Region newsletter, which opened the door for his company, now RACER Media & Marketing, to publish SportsCar Magazine and become the official monthly record of the Club’s activities. Under Pfanner’s guidance since 1984, SportsCar Magazine became the Club’s most visible marketing piece, covering the Club’s activities and highlighting its members to make SCCA more attractive. Through SportsCar, RACER Magazine and RACER.com, Pfanner and his organization continue to promote the SCCA to the motorsports world and beyond.

 

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BOB BONDURANT – 1933-2021

My life has been lived in two halves. The first was becoming a world champion race driver. The second was teaching the world to become champions. – Bob Bondurant

Bob Bondurant, iconic racer and performance driving mogul, passed away Friday in Paradise Valley, AZ. He was 88 and survived by his wife Patricia. Racer.com traced his life story:

Pat and Bob Bondurant. [Bondurant Collection image]

“Robert Lewis Bondurant was born on April 27, 1933, to John Roper Bondurant and Ruth Williams Bondurant of Evanston, Ill. His father owned two luxury car dealerships named ‘Bondurant Motors.’ When Bob turned two years old, the family moved to Westwood Village, Calif.

“Bob began his fascination with speed as a three-year-old on his first tricycle with playing cards clothes pinned on his spokes for the sound of the rush. At age 8, his father introduced him to racing by taking him to Thursday night midget races.

“By 12 years old, his parents were divorced, and he persuaded his mother to purchase a Whizzer electric bike to deliver his newspapers faster. By 14, he owned his first Indian motorcycle, and after the devastating death of his mother at 16 years old, he started racing flat track and even bigger Indians and Harleys. His mother’s death left him inconsolable, which is where the seed of his fearlessness was realized.

“Bob was then inducted as the youngest member of the ‘Galloping Gooses’, which eventually became ‘Hell’s Angels’. At 23 years old, he discovered that he had more control with four wheels than he did with two, and his racing career began in a Morgan Plus 4.

Bondurant Collection image.

“From the age of 23 to 34, Bob became one of the most iconic race car drivers in the world. He had won the National Corvette Title, Le Mans GT, the World Championship, and the Baja 500… Between 1961 and 1963, he won 30 out of 32 races in Corvettes. Bob is the first and only American to bring the World SportsCar Championship trophy home to America in the legendary Shelby Daytona Coupe No. 26. He then rose to the highest level in racing with Ferrari in Formula 1 and prototypes.

Bondurant Collection image.

“Bondurant left the Formula 1 race series to race the even faster Can-Am cars with best friend and team driver, Peter Revson, in the Lola T70 Mark II. In 1967, a fateful race at Watkins Glen changed his entire career, and the Bondurant School was born. His steering arm broke at 150mph, and, lying in traction at the hospital, he vividly remembers his conversation with God explaining to Bob that he was needed more on Earth and to start a driving and safety school to save thousands of lives of those otherwise dying on the highways and in motorsports.

“Answering the call, on February 14, 1968, Bob founded The Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving. For 50 years, it earned and held a reputation as the number-one racing school in the world, crediting Bob as ‘the global expert authority on driver training and safety.’ Using his notorious racing skills, he copyrighted The Bondurant Method©. Personally, he taught his hand-selected instructors how to educate the world to be better drivers.

“The Bondurant team graduated well over 500,000 students at his famous school, including Christian Bale, Paul Newman, Clint Eastwood, Nicolas Cage, and Tom Cruise, to name a few. Bondurant was actively at the track every day, enthusiastically greeting his new students until he was well over 85 years old. He kept racing, too. Bondurant’s last championship was 1997 for the World Cup Challenge, racing for Steve Saleen. Bondurant retired from racing at 79 after winning his last race at Pomona Raceway in his No. 72 ERA GT40.”

Bob Bondurant has had a worldwide impact on the motorsports industry, and his legacy will live on as the Bondurant Racing School moves forward into the future, a vow made by his wife, Pat, president and CEO of the organization.

The family has requested privacy at this time; and in lieu of flowers that donations be made to the attention of Jeremy Shaw at Team USA Scholarship – jshaw@teamUSAscholarship.org

Click here to view Vintage Motorsport’s appreciation of the amazing life of Bob Bondurant.

 

 

 

 

 

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2nd ANNUAL RACE INDUSTRY WEBINAR ANNOUNCED; ED SWART’S NEW BOOK

2ND ANNUAL ONLINE RACE INDUSTRY WEEK ANNOUNCED

EPARTRADE and RACER are providing 55 hours, over 5 days, of Live Technical and Business Webinars from leading Industry Suppliers and Race Industry Leaders from around the world.

The live webinars will run from 7:00am to 6:00pm PST, November 29 through December 3, 2021. The full schedule will be released soon.

No charge to attend. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

The impressive, growing list of featured webinar speakers includes, Michael Andretti, McLaren’s Zak Brown, IndyCar’s Mark Miles, Roush Yates’s Doug Yates, SRX’s Ray Evernham, Formula One’s Pat Symonds, Toyota Racing Development’s David Wilson, Meyer Shank Racing’s Mike Shank, IMSA’s John Doonan, Ford Performance’s Mark RushbrookMario Andretti and The First Lady of Motorsports, Linda Vaughn, GM Performance’s Jim Campbell, Trans Am’s John Clagett, Paretta Autosport’s Beth Paretta, Mazda Motorsport’s Mo Murray, SVRA’s Tony Parella, NHRA’s Brad Gerber, Music City Grand Prix’s Jason Rittenberry, Global Time Attack’s Jason Dienhart, SRO Motorsports America’s Greg Gill, America Rally Association’s Preston Osborn, Utah Salt Flats Racing Association’s Dennis Sullivan, MIA’s Chris Aylett, SCCA’s Michael Cobb, Chili Bowl’s Emmitt Hahn, SCORE’s Jim Ryan, Have Blue’s John Waraniak, Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Doug Boles, Dallara’s Stefano de Ponti, Center for Automotive  Research’s Dr. Dave Cole, Junco-Hollinger Racing’s Ricardo Juncos, King Of The Hammers’ Dave Cole, Gridlife’s Chris Stewart, Hypercraft’s Jake Hawksworth, Papadakis Racing’s Stephan Papadakis, BHA’s Bryan Herta, FIA WEC’s Frederic Lequien, Speed Sport’s Ralph Sheheen, Xtrac’s Peter Digby, Racer’s Paul PfannerMarshall PruettChris Medland Laurence Foster, SiriusXM ch 90, Late Shift’s Jeff Hammond & Brad Gillie, WFO Radio’s, Joe Castello, and more to be announced soon…

 

                                                                                                       

ED SWART – FROM ZANDVOORT TO DAYTONA NOW AVAILABLE

“As a longtime member of the RRDC, I am sending you this email to let you know that after 6 years in the works, we finally have my book “ED SWART from Zandvoort to Daytona” printed and available.

“I have raced 60 years (1961-2021) in 602 race weekends. Finally retiring at age 84. Born in the Netherlands, raced in Europe till 1980 when we emigrated to the USA to continue there. That is why we decided on this title for the book …from Zandvoort to Daytona.

“The book has 192 pages, a hard cover and over 300 pictures. The foreword is by Brian Redman.

“My publisher William Taylor has the book available on his website; www.coteriepress.com” and below are some links with more information on the book and how to order it.

“Kind regards, Ed Swart”

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ESTERSON VICTORIOUS IN SILVERSTONE WALTER HAYES TROPHY THRILLER

New York Teenager Becomes the Fourth Team USA Scholarship Driver to Scoop Top Honors since 2008

SILVERSTONE, England (Nov. 7, 2021) – Max Esterson produced a master class to seal victory in today’s 21st Annual Walter Hayes Trophy Grand Final at Silverstone, the home of the British Formula 1 Grand Prix. Esterson, 19, from New York, N.Y., swept the weekend aboard his Low Dempsey Racing Ray GR18, winning his Heat race yesterday and continuing his rich vein of form this morning in the Semi Final round. He started on pole for the 15-lap Grand Final and controlled the race from the front, despite intense pressure from an array of competitors.

Max Esterson celebrates historic Walter Hayes Trophy victory. [Jakob Ebrey image]

Esterson’s performance capped several tremendoug weeks which included a second-place finish in last weekend’s 50th Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch. After finishing close behind Esterson in third place one week ago, teammate Andre Castro, 22, also from New York, N.Y., ran out of luck in today’s chilly conditions and was forced to retire his Ray GR14 early in the Grand Final.

Last year’s winner, Oliver White (Medina JL17) finished hot on Esterson’s heels, less than a quarter of a second behind. He was followed by Ben Mitchell (Van Diemen JL16) and 2021 Avon Tyres British Formula Ford Champion Chris Middlehurst (Van Diemen LA10), who lost two places on the final lap after leading the chase of Esterson for most of the way.

Esterson became the fourth Team USA Scholarship driver to take top honors at the Walter Hayes Trophy, following in the wheel tracks of Conor Daly (2008), Connor De Phillippi (2009) and Tristan Nunez (2012).

Esterson holds point. [Jakob Ebrey image]

The first of two 12-lap Semi Final races this morning saw Esterson starting from pole position following his Heat One race win yesterday. Heat Two winner Chris Middlehurst (Van Diemen) lined up alongside. The pair waged a thrilling battle for the first half of the race, with Matt Cowley (Van Diemen), Joey Foster (Firman) and Lucas Romanek (Van Diemen) also in contention, along with Thomas Mills (Spectrum) who quickly moved up after having started 13th.

An incident on Lap Five between Mills, Cowley and Foster left Mills as the only survivor in the lead pack, while up front it was still Esterson who maintained a slender lead over Middlehurst. Mills and Romanek crossed the line in third and fourth, although Mills later received a time penalty following the contact with Cowley which relegated him to 12th.

“I got a good launch off the line and took the lead into Copse,” related Esterson. “We made a bit of a gap after Matt Cowley and Joey Foster tangled, but Tom Mills soon caught up. I lost the lead to Middlehurst into Becketts but got it back around the outside of Brooklands a few laps later. I had some breathing space with two laps to go and just weaved down the straights to try to break the tow. I couldn’t quite drop the pack behind me but managed to defend well on the last lap to take the win. It’s nice to be starting on pole for the Grand Final, although I will definitely have my hands full!”

Stampede. [Jakob Ebrey image]

Shortly afterward, Castro lined up 13th for his Semi Final round. An inadvertent nudge from a rival at the Becketts hairpin on the second lap dropped him far down the order, but Castro (left) fought back impressively to finish seventh and ensure a starting position within the top half of the field for the all-important Grand Final.

The second Semi Final was won by two-time Walter Hayes Trophy winner Michael Moyers (Spectrum), with Mitchell and a pair of Medinas driven by Rory Smith and White hot on his heels.

“It was a really eventful Semi Final race for me,” said Castro. “I gained a few places on the first lap, but on the following lap I was hit in the right rear which sent me up in the air and off the track. I was lucky to continue, having to come back from outside the top 20 to P7 at the end of the 12 laps. We know we have the speed for the final, so we’ll be looking to move forward.”

After a lengthy delay following a protest lodged on behalf of Mills – and with shadows lengthening rapidly and dusk fast approaching – the competitors finally took up their grid positions for the Grand Final with Esterson and Moyers sharing the front row.

Esterson held off the attentions of Moyers on the opening lap (below) and soon began to inch away as the Silverstone favorite fought to keep a huge train of cars, led by Smith, behind him.

Checkered flag. [Jakob Ebrey image]

The Team USA driver’s lead grew to 1.4 seconds after five laps, assisted by a coming together between Moyers and Smith in his mirrors, but once established in second place, Middlehurst gradually began to whittle away at the deficit. Esterson’s lead had shrunk to virtually nothing with five laps remaining, but despite briefly losing his advantage on the final lap at the exit of Copse Corner, he regained it on the long straightaway toward Brooklands and held on for a famous victory (above).

“Walter Hayes Trophy winners!” exclaimed Esterson. “What a team and group of supporters behind me. The car was just on rails. It really was a perfect weekend: pole, heat win, semi win, and led all 15 laps of the final. It was not easy though. I held the lead around the outside of the first corner and weaved down the straights to try to break the draft. I actually got a 1.5-second lead at one point after Rory Smith and Michael Moyers tangled. Even though I had the gap I knew it was inevitable that the pack behind would catch back up; the slipstream is very powerful at Silverstone.

“Chris Middlehurst was right on my gearbox with three laps left and I had to be super defensive into Copse, Becketts and Brooklands. On the last lap Chris nearly got fully into the lead into Becketts but I was able to brake later and stay ahead. It was a drag race down the Wellington Straight but luckily for me Chris missed a gear which made my life a bit easier; however, last year’s winner Ollie White was not far behind and tried to go around the outside of Brooklands.

“Thank you to Low Dempsey Racing, Ray Race Cars, iRacing, Max Papis Innovations, and of course Jeremy Shaw, the Team USA Scholarship, and all of its supporters. Winning the Walter Hayes Trophy means the world to me, especially after being so close last week at the Festival. It’s been nine years since an American has won it so hopefully this is the start of another successful run!”

Castro, of course, was disappointed after his early exit, caused by a mechanical failure perhaps brought about by some shifting difficulties, but was delighted to see his teammate earn the victory.

“It’s not how I wanted to finish my tenure over here in British Formula Ford,” said Castro. “After recovering from being hit to last place in my Semi Final, I had a decent start to my final, until the car slowed on Lap 2. Last week at Brands Hatch, we had some luck on our side, but this week it simply wasn’t there. Congratulations to Max on his great win – it honestly couldn’t have happened to a better guy.”

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DOUBLE PODIUM FINISH FOR TEAM USA SCHOLARSHIP IN FORMULA FORD FESTIVAL FINAL

BRANDS HATCH, England (Oct. 31, 2021) – The 50th Formula Ford Festival ended in sensational style this afternoon with a thrilling 20-lap Grand Final in which Team USA Scholarship drivers Max Esterson and Andre Castro finished second and third behind Englishman Jamie Sharp. It was the first time two Team USA drivers had finished on the podium, although Josef Newgarden won the Kent Final in 2008 in Team USA Scholarship colors, and Brett Smrz and Neil Alberico gained third-place finishes in 2009 and 2011, respectively.

Max Esterson is joined on the podium by Scott Dixon, [Gary Hawkins image]

Esterson provided one of the drives of the event by climbing from 13th on the grid to third at the checkered flag. Castro finished hard on Esterson’s tail after starting from eighth. Both drivers later benefited when Scotsman Neil Maclennan was disqualified for overtaking under yellow flags during a frenetic final race.

It was the second runner-up finish in as many years for Low Dempsey Racing. Ireland’s Jonathan Browne, the winner in 2019, finished in second place last year, with Team USA Scholarship representative Bryce Aron taking fifth.

As was the case yesterday for the Heat races, the fickle English weather played its hand to the fullest effect with heavy rain in the morning causing the start of the two Semi Final races to be delayed by half an hour. Ironically, after a short period during which conditions improved significantly, the rain returned with a vengeance just as the 28 starters for the opening race of the day ventured out for a pair of sighting laps before forming up on the starting grid.

Castro lined up sixth on the grid for the first Semi Final in his Ray GR19. He lost a place on the opening lap and, after an early Safety Car interruption, became involved in an intense battle for fourth place with Jonathan Browne which was settled on the last lap at Clearways, the final corner, when Castro dived past in what had now become a trademark inside-line pass.

Irishman Niall Murray (Van Diemen), Formula Ford Festival winner in 2013 and 2016, won handsomely from Maclennan (Spectrum), with Sharp (Medina Sport) finishing third.

Race action. [Gary Hawkins image]

Esterson lined up on pole position for the second Semi Final, which was also held in very wet conditions. Right away it became apparent that the race would be a struggle for the young New Yorker as poor traction caused him to lose a place on the run toward the first corner, Paddock Hill Bend. He slipped back to seventh place inside the first five laps, and battled hard in the closing stages of the 14-lap race to maintain that position ahead of Low Dempsey Racing teammate – and 2010 Formula Ford Festival winner (and 2021 British GT Champion) – Dennis Lind, from Denmark.

The race was won by another former Festival winner, veteran Englishman Joey Foster (Firman).

Foster and Murray duly lined up on the front row for the Grand Final, sponsored by Clapham North, by which time the track was almost completely dry. The action was hot and heavy from the outset with Oliver White (Medina) and Tom Mills (Spectrum) also part of leading quartet that was blanketed by inches. Esterson, meanwhile, was immediately on the move, climbing inside the top 10 by the completion of Lap Two.

An unfortunate clash of wheels between Murray and White at the exit of the daunting Paddock Hill Bend saw both drivers crash out of contention, with Mills also involved. The Safety Car was scrambled while the track was cleared, and soon after the resumption, Foster also made a mistake when he slid off the road at Clearways. Thereafter, a snake of 11 cars waged a spectacular battle for the top places for the remaining 10 laps.

Wild finish with podium runners in a cluster. [Gary Hawkins image]

Esterson climbed quickly to third by the half-distance mark, making a series of excellent passes. He was demoted briefly by Chris Middlehurst (Van Diemen) before regaining the position with five laps remaining. Esterson stayed glued to the two leaders, with Castro fighting his way past Irishman Jordan Dempsey for fifth place on Lap 15. Middlehurst also was still hot on their heels. With one lap remaining, the top six cars were blanketed by less than a second. Ultimately, though, a jubilant Sharp held on to take the checkered flag less than a tenth of a second clear of Maclennan. Esterson, Castro, Dempsey, Middlehurst, Northern Irishman Ivor McCullough, another former Festival winner, plus the recovering Foster, Browne and Lind completed the top 10, all separated by just over two seconds.

“I’m thrilled with a podium finish at the Festival, especially after starting 13th,” said Esterson. “I just kept my head down and pushed forward with a few wild moves into Clearways and Paddock. Thanks for everyone’s support this weekend and hopefully we make it to the top step next week at Silverstone!”

“I can’t put into words what it means to podium at my first Formula Ford Festival,” added Castro. “We worked on our speed all week and when it came time for the races, we gained spots every time. We kept moving up from our grid slot every race, and persevered in the final after being 12th at one point. To have Max on the podium with me is incredible, as he had an amazing drive as well. The Walter Hayes next week should be exciting and I can’t wait. Thanks so much to the guys at Low Dempsey Racing and all of Team USA’s partners for making this experience a success.”

“What a fantastic weekend,’ said Team USA Scholarship founder Jeremy Shaw. “The racing was intense and it was so cool to see stars such as Scott Dixon, the six-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion, and ex-F1 drivers Jonathan Palmer and Bruno Giacomelli present at the post-race celebrations. All of them agreed the quality of the competition was absolutely outstanding. It truly was. It was also fun to see former F1 and long-time Corvette factory driver Jan Magnussen having such a good time – and finishing a strong 11th in the Final – in another Low Dempsey Racing Ray. He’s already plotting his return in 2022!”

 

 

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YOUNG RRDC MEMBER KYLE KIRKWOOD WINS INDY LIGHTS CHAMPIONSHIP; REDMAN TO BE HONORED BY SIMEONE FOUNDATION

Twenty-two-year-old Kyle Kirkwood from Jupiter, Florida became the first driver to win titles in Indy Lights, the Indy Pro 2000 Championship and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Road to Indy program.

Along the way, he won thirty out of fifty races for an astounding 60% winning percentage. His ten wins in Indy Lights ties Greg Moore’s record.

A former Karting Champion, Kyle got his first car racing break with the RRDC-supported Team USA Scholarship program where he and compatriot Oliver Askew showed their stuff in in England’s top Formula Ford Championship races – finishing 2-3 in the Walter Hayes trophy

Both Kyle and Oliver have also been active participants in the RRDC’s Safe is Fast program, providing driving tips for even younger aspiring drivers.

As a result of winning the Indy Lights Championship, Kyle wii receive $1.3 million toward a three-race IndyCar ride in 2022 – including the Indy-500. However, several IndyCar Teams including Andretti Autosport are reported to be looking at young Kyle for a full-time ride next year.

Another former Team USA scholarship-winner to keep your eye on is Josh Green who scored his first Road to Indy win in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship finale at Mid-Ohio. – Tom Davey

 

 

 

 

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AL UNSER JR.’S CHECKERED PAST; A ROBIN MILLER RETROSPECTIVE

A CHECKERED PAST – AL UNSER JR.

We’ve all heard of the hold that alcohol and drugs had taken on Al Unser, Jr.’s life – to the detriment of his career and family. It was inevitable that at some point he would publicly face these personal demons. That time has come. Unser sat down with Jade Gurss, a writer of exceptional skill and sensitivity, to unwrap his life in and out of the limelight. “Al Unser, Jr. – A Checkered Past” will go on sale Oct. 1.

His splendid racing career, made possible by a rare blend of genetic talent and intensity, thrust him into the top echelon of motorsports, where he lived and excelled for several decades. It was away from the racetrack where his downward spiral began to strip away the foundations of his life – his marriage, his financials, his image, his inner core. It’s commonly thought that “rock bottom” is the springboard to recovery. Unser found it.

Al talked. Jade listened and recorded. The result is this remarkable story of demon-battling, an unblinking-assessment of a life in shambles and plotting a way out of the pit. This a must-read for all friends and fans of Al Unser, Jr.; and for any that may be facing a similar abyss, it’s a ray of hope. – Bill King, Editor

 

ROBIN MILLER – A RETROSPECTIVE

About as many bytes have been scurrying around cyberspace the past few weeks about Robin Miller as his prolific brain spilled onto keyboard in the average couple of months. The public learned of his terminal condition about a month before his passing in late August via a farewell column on Racer.com. In typical Miller fashion, there were no regrets. He’d lived his life the way he wanted to and had written what he thought about what he heard and observed. He was as deep inside motorsports, particularly IndyCar racing, as anyone; but he was NOT an “insider”. Nobody owned Robin Miller.

He was deeply, visibly moved by the outpouring of admiration and respect during the Indy/NASCAR combo weekend at the Speedway which had been his hunting ground for more than four decades. He could not have scripted a more meaningful send-off.  – Bill King, Editor

 

 

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TEAM USA SCHOLARSHIP SHOOTOUT HOSTED BY POLECAT TRAINING CENTER

Six talented young American drivers will assemble this week at the new Polecat Training Center facility in Lynchburg, Tenn., as part of a continuing process to select two Team USA Scholarship winners for 2021. Following two days of assessments, which will include driving on the technical 2.1-mile road course aboard the Polecat Racing Academy’s well proven 2.0-liter formula cars, as well as a fitness evaluation with industry expert Jim Leo, president of Indianapolis, Ind.-based PitFit Training, a pair of winners will contest the 50th Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch, England, on October 30/31, and the following weekend’s equally prestigious Walter Hayes Trophy event at Silverstone, held in honor of the founding father of Formula Ford.

The finalists have been chosen from a group of 12 candidates, each of whom was invited to submit a variety of assignments to be evaluated by a 20-strong panel of auto racing insiders representing virtually every aspect of the sport.

The six finalists are:
•    Jason Alder, 18, from Cooksville, Md. – competing in the F4 United States Championship powered by Honda
•    Andre Castro, 22, from New York, N.Y. – partial season in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship
•    Nicholas d’Orlando, 18, from Hartsdale, N.Y. – leads the FRP F1600 Championship Series
•    Max Esterson, 18, from New York, N.Y. – second in the BRSCC Avon Tires British Formula Ford Championship
•    Ayrton Houk, 18, from McCordsville, Ind. – leads the Mel Kenyon Midget Series and races in SCCA FF/F1600
•    Bryson Morris, 16, from Mt. Juliet, Tenn. – leads the Lucas Oil Formula Car Race Series

Matt Christensen, 16, from Orlando, Fla., Arias Deukmedjian, 16, from Merritt Island, Fla., Ax Kametches, 20, from Atlanta, Ga., Jonathan Lee, 20, from Miami, Fla., Colin Queen, 16, from Coto de Caza, Calif., and Thomas Schrage, 16, from Bethel, Ohio, also were part of the original selection process.

“We at Polecat Training Center are so excited that the Team USA Scholarship chose PTC Driving Academy to host this prestigious talent search,” said Polecat Racing Academy Owner Keith Watts. “I am honored to contribute back to young aspiring racing drivers through this program, and track owner Paul Arnold is delighted to help further these young racers’ careers.”

The final decision will be made by a panel of judges which will include former Team USA Scholarship winners Josef Newgarden, Andy Lally and Aaron Jeansonne, as well as Kelly Jones, proprietor of RaceCraft1 Simulator Training, Honda/Acura Public Relations representative Dan Layton, author and RACER Marketing and Media editor Steve Nickless, and Team USA Scholarship founder Jeremy Shaw.

“I can’t wait to meet this year’s candidates and I am honored to play a small role in the 2021 scholarship program,” said Lally. “Jeremy has worked so hard for so many years to search for and assemble the best young driving talent the United States has to offer and then give them a stage to show off their talents and potential. It is such a fun alumni to be a part of and this year’s crop of drivers are chomping at the bit to fulfill a lifelong dream of a career in auto racing.”

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JIM PACE TO BE HONORED; NEWEY ON VERSTAPPEN; PENSKE ON JENKINS

JIM PACE TO BE HONORED AT CHATTANOOGA

The late Jim Pace will be honored Oct. 16 in pre-race ceremonies for the Chattanooga Motorcar Festival’s Pace Grand Prix at the Bend to be run on a two-mile street circuit he designed inside a bend in the Tennessee River in downtown Chattanooga. Pace was event chair and chief operating officer for the inaugural Festival in 2019. He passed away Nov. 13, 2021, the victim of COVID-19. Pace was a member of the RRDC class of 2014.

 

ADRIAN NEWEY ON MAX VERSTAPPEN

Adrian Newey, Red Bull’s chief technical officer and RRDC member, analyses the titanic battle for the 2021 F1 world championship between team driver Max Verstappen and 7-time and defending titlist Lewis Hamilton:

“He has the same steely grit as any world champion, the stuff they need to dig in and keep going in the face of adversity,” Newey said of young Verstappen. “He can put the past behind him and look forward to the next race. His driving ability is obviously superb, and he’s matured into a great racer. He’s really not made any mistakes this year. The races where he hasn’t scored heavily – Baku, Silverstone and Hungary – have been no fault of his, but he’s kept his head and bounced back from all of those.

“I don’t think the pressure of the situation will affect him. He’s very easy to chat to and has a wide range of interests, which I think is very important for an F1 driver. If your only interest is F1, that can almost make it too important when the pressure comes on. Max has a very good balance in that respect.”

There are possibly 13 races remaining on the 2021 F1 schedule.

 

ROGER PENSKE ON THE PASSING OF BOB JENKINS

“To an entire generation, the sound of Bob’s voice simply meant it was time to go racing. That legendary voice became the soundtrack for the Month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. We will miss Bob’s kindness, his professionalism and his unique ability to bring us all closer to the track with his stories and insights.”

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CASTRONEVES, BROCK, ROUSH, McCLUGGAGE SET FOR MSHFA

Four RRDC members are among the nine motorsports luminaries comprising the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America induction class for 2022: Helio Castroneves, Peter Brock, Jack Roush and the late Denise McCluggage (left to right, below)

Castroneves, the latest member of the 4-WIN Club at Indy, is the open-wheel category inductee. Brock, designer of the Cobra Daytona Coupe and champion team owner, is the sports car category honoree. Roush, an RRDC member from his championship road racing days, is the stock car inductee, while the McCluggage was selected in the media category.

Induction ceremonies for the 2022 class will be held in Daytona Beach next March 7 and 8.

 

ROGER PENSKE ON THE PASSING OF BOB JENKINS THIS WEEK

“To an entire generation, the sound of Bob’s voice simply meant it was time to go racing. That legendary voice became the soundtrack for the Month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. We will miss Bob’s kindness, his professionalism and his unique ability to bring us all closer to the track with his stories and insights.”

 

 

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MEMBER NEWS: LIME ROCK LUNCH; SHARBRAL PRUETT; MENDEZ FOUNDATION

The Annual Lime Rock Members’ Lunch is set for Sept. 5th during the running of the Historic Festival 39. Here are the details:

WHAT:

RRDC Members’ Lunch

WHERE:

Lime Rock Park, Conn.

At the Historic Festival 39

In the Lime Rock chalet – on the infield hill above the paddock

WHEN:

Sunday, Sept. 5, 2021 – Noon

During the Sunday in the Park Concours d’Elegance

COST:

$40 per person – payable at the door, cash or check – GUESTS ARE WELCOME!

RSVP:  

Please RSVP to jstropus@earthlink.net by Wednesday, Aug. 25, letting us know if you will attend and, if yes, please provide the names of your guests.

PASSES:

TBD. We will advise if one-day passes will be available to RRDC members. When sending in your RSVP, please let us know if you’ll need passes.

 

Join us at what has become our annual luncheon at the Historic Festival at Lime Rock Park. Thanks to Skip Barber and everyone at Lime Rock Park for their help and support to make this happen.

 

MEDICAL UPDATE: A SETBACK FOR SHARBRAL PRUETT

Marshall Pruett’s wife Sharbral has been fighting breast cancer since 2018. The disease has been beaten back twice; but Molly Binks (who manages Sharbral’s Go Fund Me page) reports that there’s been another recurrence. Binks says a new Go Fund Me page will be launched from racer.com – the current page to be closed soon.

 

WHAT’S UP THIS SUMMER AT THE MENDEZ FOUNDATION

Got this from Charles Mendez on Too Good, the foundation’s comprehensive family of substance use and violence prevention curricula designed to mitigate the risk factors associated with risky behavior and build protection within the child:

“Summer is a wonderful time of year to introduce children to healthy foods. It’s a great time to take a bread from the daily routine and stop to enjoy the world outside of school, try new things, set new goals and expand our daily habits. Introducing new healthy foods to young ones before school starts can make the transition back to school an easier one, as healthy habits are kicked off before the school year starts. Instilling healthy habits early on will not only support children’s mental and physical states but will also empower them to nourish themselves and be better prepared for life’s goals and challenges. Read our latest blog post to discover ways to encourage choosing a healthy, nutrient dense diet.”

Too Good develops a framework of Social Emotional skills through the development of goal-setting, decision-making, and effective communication skills in addition to peer pressure refusal, pro-social bonding, conflict resolution, and media literacy. Too Good builds the basis for a safe, supportive, and respectful learning environment.

 

 

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RRDC WELCOMES THE 16 NEW MEMBERS OF ITS CLASS OF 2020

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.

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SAFEisFAST – AVOIDING CRASHES

If you watched this past Sunday’s British Grand Prix, I think you’ll find our latest video most interesting. The title “How to Stay out of Crashes”

In the video, five Champion Drivers from top racing series around the world explain the key to racing wheel-to-wheel without crashing: “Know who you’re racing against.”

As IndyCar driver Pato O’Ward comments in the video, “It takes two to tango.”

Enjoy,

Bobby Rahal

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GOODWOOD FESTIVAL OF SPEED A ROARING SUCCESS

The 2021 Goodwood Festival of Speed came off without a hitch in the face of discouraging odds given the state of the worldwide pandemic. Tour host Steve Austin of Portland’s Great Vacations called it “a brilliant, exciting, magnificent event that in most people’s books could never have happened.”

Festival of Speed organizer and RRDC member Charles Gordon-Lennox (front page image), better known as the Duke of Richmond and Gordon, was determined that the 2021 event would be staged no matter the odds against it and plowed ahead with typical thoroughness in planning and ultimately executing another flawless Festival.

The financial risk was considerable, but our friend pulled it off as the dozens of YouTube videos will attest – just plug 2021 Goodwood Festival of Speed into your browser. It’s a great way to spend several hours with the top names in motorsports worldwide and the fabulous machinery the Duke of Richmond assembles each year.

 

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ANOTHER TEAM PENSKE MILESTONE; GANASSI SELLS CUP TEAM; HOBBS ON NEW PODCAST, ED HUGUS REMEMBRANCE

ANOTHER MILESTONE FOR TEAM PENSKE

Josef Newgarden’s first-place finish in the Honda 200 at Mid-Ohio Sunday came on the 50th anniversary weekend of Team Penske’s first IndyCar victory – Mark Donohue on July 3, 1971, at Pocono. Newgarden, who had suffered recently from stumbles while leading, fended off a late-race charge by Marcus Ericsson for the historic win. It was also Team Penske’s first victory in the 2021 , their longest draught since a winless season in 1979. 

Penske holds the commemorative trophy from that first of his team’s 220 IndyCar victories, spread among 18 drivers from Donohue to Newgarden.

 

CHIP GANASSI SELLS HIS NASCAR TEAM

Chip Ganassi has sold his NASCAR team with its two charters plus his N.C. Concord-based facility to Justin Marks, owner of Trackhouse Racing. Ganassi will continue to compete in the Cup Series for the remainder of the 2021 season with drivers Kurt Busch and Ross Chastain. Ganassi has been a Cup owner for 20 years, since his 2001 purchase of 80 percent of Team Sabco from Felix Sabates.

Ganassi celebrates the 2010 Daytona 500 victory with his driver Jamie McMurray. [Associated Press image by John Roaux]

According to Ganassi, the team wasn’t for sale. Marks who drove an Xfinity Series car for Ganassi (2016-18) simply made him an unsolicited offer that was, upon thorough examination, too good to pass up.

Also on the NASCAR front, Brad Keslowski is considering a move from Team Penske to Roush-Fenway Racing where an ownership position may be in the offing.

 

HOBBS TO FEATURE ON TRACTION REACTION PODCAST

Milwaukee motorsports writer/broadcaster Steve Zautke is taking his 15-year sports radio program national with the introduction of Traction Reaction Podcast. Milwaukee resident David Hobbs will continue his longtime stint as Zaulke’s Formula 1 analysist for the new enterprise. According to Zautke, “Hobbs analysis is always a favorite with his nationwide fan base.”

“As this exciting new format evolves, we’re seeing that the flexibility of providing timely reports and entertainment certainly is an improvement from having a locked-in time slot,” Zautke said.

Click here to listen to the first episode, or search ‘Traction Reaction’ on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play or one’s preferred podcast platform.

On Facebook, go to “Traction Reaction Podcast,” on Twitter it’s at @TractionReactn, and on Instagram it’s at traction_podcast.

Click here to watch the Traction Reaction Podcast YouTube channel.

 

ED HUGUS REMEMBRANCE

Pete Vack has penned a fascinating remembrance of Ed Hugus on Veloce Today’s web site. The first installment of a two-parter is currently online. One of the charter members of the Steel Cities Region of the SCCA, Hugus was a central figure in early East Coast sports car racing with fellow Pittsburgh area drivers like Ed Lowther, Don Yenko, Bob Nagel and Donna Mae Mims. A longtime member of the RRDC, Hugus passed away in 2006, a day before his 83rd birthday.

Ed Hugus scored the first race victory at VIR’s Inaugural event in August 1957. [VIR Archives]

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LONESTAR J.R. DRAWS A CROWD FOR AN AUTOGRAPH SESSION

Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford probably signed more autographs than any of the luminaries at the Speedway for the 105th running of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing”. J.R. helped create the Official Souvenir Program cover for the race’s 2021 edition, hand-drawing the cars of four-time champions A.J. Foyt Jr., Al Unser and Rick Mears.

Johnny Rutherford and IMS graphic designer Amiah Mims unveil the 2021 Official Indy 500 program cover. [Indycar image]

Rutherford, a passionate artist, used a pencil method to draw the cars of the race’s winningest drivers – who all share an anniversary in 2021. Rutherford drew the No. 1 Bowes Seal Fast Trevis/Offy roadster that fellow-Texan Foyt drove to his first Indy 500 victory 60 years ago, in 1961; the No. 1 Johnny Lightning P.J. Colt/Ford Special in which Big Al earned his second Indy win 50 years ago, in 1971 and Mears’ iconic red-and-white No. 3 Marlboro Penske/Chevrolet Indy A in which he won his fourth Indy 500 in 1991 – 30 years ago.

“It’s an honor to be a part of this project and to do this program cover,” said Rutherford, 83, who scored his 500 victories in 1974, 1976 and 1980. “I just hope the fans like it and everybody enjoys the fact that it was me, a three-time winner here, that drew that. Add this to what I’ve accomplished at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in my career, and it’s special.”

The 2021 program cover is a collaboration between Rutherford and IMS graphic designer Amiah Mims. After Rutherford provided drawings of the cars, Mims reimagined the 1980 INDYCAR champion’s artwork in a digital format and integrated it onto a digitally created background that highlights the cars Rutherford drew, as well as the iconic Yard of Bricks.

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CASTRONOVES JOINS THE 4-TIME WINNERS CLUB AT INDY

Helio Castroneves raised the Indianapolis 500 post-race festivities to a joyous new level in celebrating his historic fourth victory in the 105th running of the Memorial Day classic. After a couple of cooldown laps, “Spiderman” parked his No. 06 Sirius/XM Honda just past the yard of bricks and launched his now-traditional climbing of the fence, to the total delight of a packed front-straight grandstand. He was joined by several of his crew plus co-team owner Mike Shank.

Helio Castroneves celebrates with crew after winning the Indianapolis 500. [AP Image/Darron Cummings]

Castroneves starts a new tradition by running  back down the track. [AP Image/Darron Cummings)]

The ebullient Brazilian then appeared to start running a Polish victory lap back down the front straight to thunderous approval from fans. There was much embracing – Conor Daly, teammate Jack Harvey, Will Power, Mike Shank and crew, a kiss on the top of the head from Mario Andretti. It took a good 15 minutes to herd Helio to the lift that took him and his racecar to the victory platform. It then took another 15 minutes to get him into the racecar for the presentation of the wreath, bottle of milk and the iconic Borg-Warner Trophy, soon to carry his fourth facial sculpture.

“I knew I had to fight, put the elbows out,” Castroneves told NBC on the podium. “Man, I only did two races this year and I won two (the Rolex 24 at Daytona and Indy). You think I still got it? It’s not the end of it. It’s the beginning. The old guys are still kicking the young guy’s butts.” – a reference to 43-year-old Tom Brady’s seventh Super Bowl victory in January and Phil Mickelson’s triumph in the PGA Championship a few weeks ago at age 50.

It was a most satisfying day for Roger Penske. The 135,000 fans allowed into the Speedway on race day was the largest crowd to attend an event of any kind in more than a year. And they were treated to one of the most competitive 500s in recent memory, if not ever.

As if in anticipation of Castroneves’ somewhat unexpected result, all three of the previous 4-time victors were in attendance: A.J. Foyt, Jr., Al Unser, Sr. and Rick Mears.

 

 

 

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BOBBY UNSER 1934-2021

Bobby Unser died Sunday of natural causes at his home in Albuquerque, N.M., his wife Lisa reported. He was 87. RRDC President Bobby Rahal commented on Unser’s passing:

“We at the RRDC are saddened by the death of a national hero and icon, and one of our longtime members. Bobby Unser was a champion race-car driver, a beloved and charismatic curmudgeon and, above all, one of the rarest of breeds in the racing world. He’s done if all. He was a three-time Indy 500 winner, two-time USAC national champion, an IROC champion, and won the Pikes Peak Hill Climb 13 times, 10 of them overall. He will be missed.”

 

Bobby Rahal hosts “An Evening with Bobby Unser” at the 2015 RRDC Dinner at Long Beach. [click here]

Robin Miller penned this tribute to the man he affectionally called “Uncle Bobby” for Racer.com:

He conquered Pikes Peak before the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and had an inordinate grasp of how to make a race car faster when most of his competition wasn’t paying attention to those details. Then he took that track record into television for 20 years and launched another successful career. He never met a microphone he didn’t like, and nobody gave opinions on any subject with less filtering and more conviction.

But Bobby Unser, who passed away Sunday at the age of 87, should be remembered as one of the fastest, bravest and most skilled racers to ever sit in an Indy car.

“When I showed up to the track, for any race, the first person I always looked to see if he was there was Bobby Unser,” said two-time Indy 500 winner Gordon Johncock.

“Sure there was Foyt and Mario, Rutherford and his brother Al. But I wanted to know if Bobby was there. He was the one driver that I knew I had to beat each and every week. He was my main competition, he was the fastest, hardest-racing and most aggressive driver I competed against. When we lined up I looked around and wanted to know where he was starting, which was usually up front. Bobby knew how to win and fought every lap of every race to be in first place. If you beat Bobby, you accomplished something.”

“Nobody ran harder than Bobby,” says Bill Vukovich, who raced against Unser from 1968-1981. “And it was lap after lap, he always wanted to be in front.”

Growing up in Albuquerque, N.M., he was the third oldest of four brothers and racing was preordained, since his uncles pretty much owned the Pikes Peak Hill Climb. He quit high school after his sophomore year and won a stock car title at age 15 before scoring the first of his record 13 Pikes Peak victories in 1956 when he was 22.

Early on at Pikes Peak.

Unser studied that mountain a lot harder than he had algebra or science and it paid off because the run up treacherous 19-mile course was on dirt with no runoff – just a deadly plunge down the 14,100-foot mountain.

“It taught us both a bunch about car control,” recalled brother Al Unser, another king of the hill in Colorado before becoming a four-time Indy winner.

As good as Unser was in the Rocky Mountains and as much potential as he’d shown in midgets and sprints on the west coast, the man who exuded confidence had none in the early 1960s when it came to moving up the ladder.

“I never considered Indianapolis because I didn’t think I was good enough,” he admitted back in 2008. “But Rufus (Parnell Jones) told me I was going and he got me a ride and I always be indebted to him.”

Unser was nearly 30 when he qualified as a rookie in 1963 and had missed four prime years of racing when he joined the Air Force from 1952-55. His first two Indy 500s didn’t make it past the second lap, and he was in his fifth season before finally earning his first IndyCar victory.

But everything changed in 1968 when he got hooked up with crew chief Jud Phillips and the Leader Card team. He led 127 laps and beat the heavily-favored turbine car and went on to edge Mario Andretti for the USAC championship.

“That put me on the map, and winning Indianapolis changed my life,” he said back in 2000.

The next big break was being hired by Dan Gurney. They were a formidable pair with their chassis knowledge and non-stop ideas for improving/tinkering, and with John Miller’s Offy engines they led a lot of laps and won a lot of pole positions. In 1972, Unser broke the IMS track record by 17 mph in Gurney’s Eagle and had seven poles and four wins in 10 races, but didn’t win the championship because of too many DNFs.

Gurney, who finished second at Indy twice, finally made it to Victory Lane in 1975 with Unser and they stayed together until 1979.

That’s when Roger Penske came calling and it was perfect timing – the ground effect era and the man who loved testing and experimenting.

“People said it would never last, that Roger and I wouldn’t be able to get along, but nothing could have been further from the truth,” said Unser in 1988. “He trusted me and gave me all the tools I needed, and I think the PC-7 was one of the best Indy cars ever.”

Unser led 50 laps in ’79 in the PC-6 and was leading with 20 laps to go when he had gearbox trouble and had to pit, eventually finishing fifth. In 1980, he qualified third and was leading at the halfway point before his turbocharger failed.

The Big 3rd… celebrated, put on hold and finally awarded.

In 1981, the PC-7 he helped design was in a class of its own as Unser led 89 laps and lapped everyone except runner-up Andretti, who protested afterwards that his longtime friend and rival had illegally passed 11 cars exciting the pits. USAC agreed and Mario was declared the winner the next morning, which set off a protest that ended with Unser being reinstated in October.

“I didn’t do anything wrong and I certainly didn’t need to cheat because we had everyone covered all day,” was Unser’s defense the whole time.

At 47, he was the oldest winner at that time, and was testing a car for Pat Patrick at Phoenix in the winter of 1982 when he abruptly retired.

During his career he amassed 35 IndyCar wins, 52 poles and a pair of national championships while leading 3,933 laps. He was on the front row at Indy nine times and elected into the Motorsport and IMS Hall of Fames.

After retiring, ABC hired Unser to provide commentary for the Indy 500 along with Paul Page and Sam Posey and it was one of the most entertaining booths in racing history, as Unser spent a third of the race correcting his partners. He also worked for NBC and ESPN.

Paul Page, flanked by Unser (left) and Sam Posey made up the most entertaining Indy 500 broadcast team ever.

“You never knew what Bobby was going to say, and that made it exciting,” said Page.

Unser battled a multitude of health problems in his last decade but it didn’t stop him from going to the Chili Bowl every winter or the Hall of Fame dinner at Indy or PRI show. At the end he couldn’t walk but he certainly could talk, and that’s how we’ll remember him – preaching, giving advice, arguing and telling stories, because he always drew a crowd.

Unser is survived by his wife, Lisa; sons Bobby Jr. and Robby; and daughters Cindy and Jeri. [Robin Miller, racer.com, 5/3/2021]

 

 

SAFEisFAST:  BOBBY UNSER ON WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A CHAMPION

For SAFEisFAST, Unser named desire the key ingredient to winning championships with concentration providing the consistency. [Click here for video]

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VIC ELFORD NEEDS OUR HELP; ALLAN MOFFAT AND DOC BUNDY UPDATES

VIC ELFORD NEEDS OUR HELP

 

RRDC members Marshall Pruett and Brian Redman are asking for our help:

Our longtime member Vic Elford is in need of support “from the legions of friends and fans who’ve marveled at his exceptional talent and grace for more than half a century.

“With the return of an aggressive form of prostate cancer, and the added complication of a broken leg suffered in a recent fall, the 85-year-old Englishman has been unable to travel and earn a living as a featured guest at automotive and vintage racing events.”

His friends and fans are joining in to help Vic through this difficult time by way of this fundraising page.

Said Redman, “Vic’s many successes and accomplishments are well known, but what stood out for me was his desire to race the new and unproved Porsche 917 at Le Mans in 1969. Why? “Because it was 20 mph faster on the four-mile Mulsanne straight than anything else! Vic and Richard Attwood were leading with only three hours to go when the gearbox casing cracked.  

“In 1970 with the new long-tail 917, Vic set a new qualifying record at an average of just over 150 mph and the fastest lap in the race at an average of 149.90. So, not just ‘Quick Vic,’ but ‘Brave Vic,’ whose bravery is demonstrated once more while combating the dreaded cancer.” 

RRDC member David Hobbs added: “Vic Elford, one of the top drivers of his generation, is very ill with cancer. Vic is an all-time great, winning the Monte Carlo Rally and Daytona 24 Hours in a space of two weeks. It would be great if you could help!”

Here’s Pruett’s racer.com story.

Bobby Rahal (l) presents Vic Elford with the RRDC Phil Hill award for 2015AL

 

 

ALLAN MOFFATT’S CONTINUING BATTLE WITH ALZHEIMER’S

Allan Moffatt, one of Australia’s great touring car champions, has been undergoing special medical treatment in Melbourne since being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2019. His personal and business interests are being managed by friends and fellow Bathurst legends Fred Gibson and Larry Perkins.

Moffatt’s record includes four overall plus one class victory at Bathurst, the gold standard of touring car races. He was Australian Touring Car Champion four times and Australian Endurance Champion three times, scoring 32 victories in the two series. In addition, Moffat was Australian Sports Car Champion, Tasman Touring Series Champion and Nissan-Mobile 500 Series Champion. In the World Touring Car Series, he won Monza overall in 1987 in his team’s Holden. He was Sandown Endurance Series champion seven times.

In 1975, Moffatt co-drove to victory at Sebring with Hans Stuck, Brian Redman and Sam Posey. He also scored class wins at the Daytona 24 (1982) and the Spa 24 (1987). He dabbled in the Trans-Am Series scoring an overall victory at Bryar in the third-ever series event in an under 2-liter Lotus Cortina.

The native Canadian received Australian citizenship in 2004 after living some 50 years down under. Although eligible since 1970, Moffatt admittedly never quite got around to completing the application.

All of his fellow RRDC members wish Allan the very best in his continuing battle with this terrible disease.

 

DOC BUNDY UPDATE

Well, this past month or so have been a very interesting challenge! Mainly because our first race of 2021 (the Mitty) at Road Atlanta (home race for me). Is fast approaching. I have struggled with an under preforming heart for sometime now, so way farther behind my conditioning than I would like to be. I have had both of my Virus Shots which set me back a week with each one?? I had quite a reaction to each shot, first was 5 days and it took me through a mini version of the Virus which left me weak and unable to push my conditioning. The second Shot set me back over 8 days, with similar lack of results.

In the meantime I pushed the doctors to get my heart back to working correctly. In the meantime I took injections for my knee, to offset the pain from bone on bone in right knee! I have one injection left to go on Wednesday of this week. Yes, it feels much better. I can walk with little to no pain now. The doctors have been changed my heart medicine and though I am taking more drugs (sic) I am feeling better and heart appears to be pumping better now. I definitely feel as good as I have since all this began a year ago!!! LOL I can’t run a marathon yet, but I feel stronger than I have for a very long time. I am convinced this Virus is a long-term problem and will take much longer than I ever imagined to rid my body of it completely, if ever??? I am looking for test day for the Mitty, that will be when I have to make the decision, whether I am ready to race now or what longer for my body to get stronger?? I want to race so bad and hopeful my body will be ready??

Thanks for all your kind support, I am amazed this has taken so long to recover. This spirit inside is ready to race, just have to see if the body will be ready this week?? Look forward to seeing my racing family again and climbing back into Baby Blue and see if we can resume our dance together!! LOL See U at the races! – Doc

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KAS KASTNER PASSES; DAN GURNEY TO BE HONORED

Robert W. “Kas” Kastner, a giant in American motorsports, passed away Saturday at age 92. Kastner came up through the ranks from mechanic all the way to head of NPTI, Nissan’s dominant IMSA GTP program in the late 1980s and early ‘90s. An organizational wizard, Kastner headed up both racing teams and manufacturer programs, winning championships at all levels.

Marshall Pruett posted a splendid remembrance of Kastner on Racer.com with thoughts of friends and colleagues.

[Marshall Pruett image]

 

DAN GURNEY TO BE HONORED AT DARLINGTON

Big Machine Racing will honor Dan Gurney during the Xfinity Cup event May 8 at Darlington Raceway during NASCAR’s official Throwback Weekend. The team will field Jade Buford’s No. 48 Chevrolet in All American Racing’s 1970 Trans-Am series livery.

Jade Bufford and the Big Machine Racing Chevrolet in AAR livery.

Team owner Scott Borchetta made the announcement on April 13th this week on what would have been Gurney’s 90th birthday: “Dan Gurney has always been one of my heroes. I had the great fortune to spend time with him in his later years and experience his charm, wit and genius. It is our great pleasure to return Dan’s iconic Trans-Am livery to the racetrack with AAR and Hot Wheels – all with the blessing and support of Evi, Justin and the Gurney family. Win, lose or draw, we will be spraying champaign after the race in Dan’s honor” – a tradition started by Gurney at Le Mans in 1967 to celebrate his victory with A.J. Foyt.

Dan Gurney starts a tradition by spraying his champagne on the podium following the 24 Hours of Le Mans at Circuit de la Sarthe on June 11, 1967. [Rainer Schlegelmilch image]

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KRISTENSEN’S BOOK NOW AVAILABLE IN U.S.; HURLEY HAYWOOD ON 50 YEARS OF RACING; BRIAN TILL MEDICAL UPDATE;

LE MANS: TOM KRISTENSEN, by Tom Kirstensen with Dan Philipsen, is now available in the U.S. with foreword by Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich.

Between 1997 and 2014, Tom Kristensen won the world’s toughest automobile race, the Le Mans 24 Hours, a record nine times and finished on the podium on five more occasions. Every time his car made it to the finish, in fact, he was in the top three. It is no wonder that this great sports car driver is known as “Mr. Le Mans” to motorsports fans around the world.

Now retired from racing, Kristensen shares in this book his deepest personal reflections and insights from inside and outside the cockpit. He looks back on more than 30 years spent striving for perfection in racing and tells of the battles and setbacks that sometimes seemed impossible to overcome, including a terrible accident in 2007. Check out Scrap my car website to find the places they are located for you to take your old vehicle and exchange it for money quickly.

Voted “Sports Book of the Year” when originally published in Kristensen’s native Denmark, this thoughtful memoir is now available in English – 432 pages with 125 photos.

Climbing the racing ladder, from Scandinavian Karting Champion into Formula 3 single-seaters, including championship titles in Germany (1991) and Japan (1993), then living in Japan and racing all classes including touring cars and Formula Nippon (F3000), leading to Formula 1 testing roles with Tyrrell, Williams and Michelin; his great years with Audi in DTM are also reflected on.

Winning as an underdog on his first visit to Le Mans, in 1997, driving an elderly Joest-run privateer Porsche in which he impressed all onlookers with a night-time charge to vanquish Porsche’s factory-entered favorites. His years at BMW and winning the Sebring 12 Hours on his debut before his second Le Mans victory in 2000 on his maiden drive for Audi in the R8, a car that was to become all-conquering.

Kristensen won the next five editions of Le Mans, four times with Audi – including private teams Goh (Japan) and Champion (USA) – and once with Bentley (in 2003), his last victory in this sequence taking him past Jacky Ickx’s previous record at the Circuit de la Sarthe. His eighth win came in the all-time classic contest at Le Mans, in 2008, a rollercoaster of a race in which his aging diesel-powered Audi R10 was never expected to beat the favored works Peugeots.One more victory with the Audi R18 e-tron in 2013 sealed his reputation as a true legend of Le Mans.

His story includes exploits at other race tracks all over the world, none more prolific than the airport course in Sebring, Fla., home of America’s long-established classic 12-hour endurance race that Kristensen won six times. Personal reflections together with contributions from notable observers – including Nils Finderup (early years), English journalists Charles Bradley (trying years) and Gary Watkins (golden years) – complete a truly rounded portrait of the man and his achievements.

Evro Publishing books are distributed in North America by Quarto Publishing Group USA. Books can be ordered from Quarto by email: sales@quarto.com; phone number: 800-328-0590; or website: www.quartoknows.com. Please use the relevant ISBN number when ordering – 978-87-972603-0-2. LE MANS: TOM KRISTENSEN is also available in the U.S. from specialist and online booksellers.

For more information about this book, or to request an interview, please contact Judy Stropus at jvstropus@gmail.com.

 

HURLEY HAYWOOD ON 50 YEARS OF RACING

Brumos Collections’ latest video installment of “Inside the 59” features the team’s primo driver, Hurley Haywood, 50 years after his 1971 IMSA GT title teamed with Brumos founder Peter Gregg. Haywood chats about his storied racing career, what it takes to be a successful racer and the evolution of the cars and safety. His pride in the Brumos Collection is evident, as much of the rolling stock has been in his capable hands on the race track.

Haywood secured five overall victories at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, three at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and two at the 12 Hours of Sebring. In 2005 he was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame. His achievements include the 1988 Trans-Am title, three Norelco Cup championships, two IMSA GT Championships and 23 wins, a SuperCar title, and 18 IndyCar starts. 

 

 

BRIAN TILL URGES, “GET A COMPLETE ANNUAL PHYSICAL, GUYS!”

I wanted to reach out to all of you who have been so gracious in your outpouring of thoughts, prayers and contributions over these last two years. Your thoughtfulness, empathy and generosity has been hard to imagine at times. There are close friends, dear friends, casual friends and friends whom I’ve never really even met…and all have cared for me like we’ve known each other forever. The world is indeed a pretty special place filled with some pretty special people.

Before I end this page for good though, I wanted to give one final update and pass along a message that I think far too many of us…especially men…ignore. And that’s about seeing your doctor.

First, I’m fine. My tonsil cancer that started this journey almost two years ago is seemingly gone. My quarterly check-ups have all gotten A+ grades and I hope and pray that they’ll continue to do so. I’ll keep doing that for the next year, then every 6 months for a few years and then once a year for the rest of my life. That’s the good news.

The other news, while not pleasant, is that I had another health scare recently. And this is the one that I’m going to preach about pretty loudly!!! So get ready!!! ;-)

On November 19, 2020 I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. On December 9, 2020 I had surgery to remove my prostate. I’m fine. Early diagnosis, early treatment and I’m expected to make a full recovery and be good to go. I waited to send this out because I wanted everyone to see that the above is true. Proof? I called the Rolex 24, including one 7-hour shift. I called an IMSA Prototype Challenge Race the weekend before that. I spent 7.5 hours on pit road during the Sebring 12Hr a couple of weeks ago and I just came back from a stewarding role with SCCA Pro FR/F4 at Rd. Atlanta. I’ve also done my SRO GT4 Race Director job at Sonoma a few weeks ago. And no one knew! See…told ya so!!! I’m all good and back at it 100% with nothing holding me back. Down for a week or so, careful for a few more and then back at it at work and in the gym.

But here is why I’m telling you something that is very private. It’s because if you’re a man, you too have a good chance of having something similar at some point in your life if you live long enough. Some doctors say, “there are two types of men…those that will die with it and those that will die from it.” But there’s no reason to die from it!!!

Men…GET TO YOUR DOCTOR FOR YOUR YEARLY PHYSICAL AND GET TESTED!!! Know your PSA score and know if it moves. It’s not necessarily what the number is, it is what it does year to year. If your score stays steady 3, 4, 5 years in a row and then jumps a couple of decimal points, that is a red flag! Consult your doctor. Ask questions. No one likes “the exam”, but damnit, do it! Get checked and save your life.

Prostate cancer is something that you’ll never feel. You’ll not know it’s there if you sit idly by and never get a physical. There are NO symptoms to speak of. It is virtually silent and invisible until its often times too late. Early detection is the key to good outcomes.

As I said…I’m fine and headed back to a perfectly normal life. I work, workout and live just like I did before. DO NOT BE AFRAID OF THE TREATMENT! Be afraid of sitting passively by with your head in the sand. Take action over inaction and be proactive with your health.

Too many of you have given me blessings and hope beyond belief…now it’s my turn to do something for you.

MEN…GET’r DONE!!! Get your yearly physicals!!!

Oh yeah…get vaccinated too please! ;-)

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NEW BOOKS: WILLIAM JEANES’ ROAD TO PICKLETOWN; STAINLESS STEEL CARROT EBOOK

WILLIAM JEANES’ THE ROAD TO PICKLETOWN

The Road to Pickletown – A Southerner Confronts Cowbells, Clowns, Cuba, Christmas, and Mississippi; written by longtime automotive and auto racing journalist William Jeanes, is not what one would expect to come from the pen of a car guy.

Yet, here it is – a selection of the many columns he’s written over the years, including for the Northside Sun, a “prosperous and principled” weekly newspaper in Jackson, Mississippi. Jeanes was born in Mississippi, grew up there in the ‘50s and ’60s, then left for the Navy and later for Manhattan. He returned to Mississippi in 2001 to reside in Pass Christian and eventually Ridgeland with his wife Susan.

“Pickletown” showcases the Jeanes wit and humor that characterized his writing for automotive magazines such as Car and Driver and in mainstream publications such as Playboy, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times and The Saturday Evening Post. Several of these national columns are included, but the newspaper columns that tell of Mississippi and comment on national issues form the backbone of “Pickletown.” Some of both do talk about cars.

Who else but the co-creator of Bolus & Snopes, a 1970s auto racing team that some believed to be fictional, could earn such stature in the auto racing world as well as among the masses? Jeanes has done it with “Pickletown.”

Despite its lunatic publicity, B&S actually existed. Furthermore. it won a number of Sports Car Club of America races and two regional championships. Never mind that it claimed to own a blimp and to have a sorrel mule named Dick Johnson as its mascot.

Beginning with a foreword by political satirist and journalist P. J. O’Rourke and ending with Jeanes’ acknowledgments to friends and pillars of journalism, the book recounts the often humorous home life and school experiences of a youngster growing up in the South amid racial tensions, strange local lore, fried SPAM and Mom’s collard greens, meatloaf and “beet pickles.” He also takes the reader through some adult adventures.

“[William] does this with deft use of those ever-cheerful Bobbsey Twins of style, brevity and wit,” wrote O’Rourke. “He seems able to listen to you as he writes….You the reader are there with him in his prose.…’Pickletown’ delivers every pleasure of good conversation.”

“Being a newspaper or magazine writer in Mississippi is like being the possum in a petting zoo – people know you’re there but don’t want much to do with you,” Jeanes said in his introduction. “Some of the columns draw on my experiences as an advertising executive, an editor, a diesel mechanic, a bartender, an amateur actor, a veteran of the Cannonball coast-to-coast race, and a traveler who has seen all seven continents and more than one hundred countries.” 

By the final chapter, the reader will have learned how Pickletown, Mississippi, earned its name, and why an automotive journalist’s heart, soul and down-home reminiscences are rooted deeply in the Magnolia State.

The Road to Pickletown is available now on Amazon Kindle and for pre-ordering as a trade paperback. Paperback production will begin as of March 24, 2021. Pre-order from Amazon.combarnesandnoble.com and bookbaby.com/bookshop.

 

THE STAINLESS STEEL CARROT SOON TO BE AN eBOOK

The definitive tale of Peter Brock’s BRE team and its star driver, John Morton, is chronicled in The Stainless Steel Carrot. It’s a chronicle written by motorsports journalist Sylvia Wilkinson over the course of two years while she was embedded with the team throughout the 1971-1972 seasons. It tells the story of how Brock, Morton, and the rest of the crew poured their entire lives into making sure they secured victory, fending off capable rivals and risking it all for a chance at greatness. 

The book was originally published in 1973, with an expanded version released in 2012. Both versions are hard to come by, with used examples routinely fetching up to $300 through online marketplaces, according to Carrara Media. 

Now, for the first time, the media company is releasing The Stainless Steel Carrot as an eBook. That means enthusiasts craving a fantastically detailed story on one of America’s great race teams won’t have to shell out a massive amount of cash to experience it. 

“John Morton and the BRE team played a pivotal role in putting Datsun—and Japanese cars in general—on the map for car enthusiasts in America,” automotive historian and journalist Ben Hsu said in a statement. “The fact that their story will now be available to a younger generation ensures that this important story lives on forever.”

The book is available for pre-order now on CarraraBooks.com or wherever eBooks are sold. It will be released on April 5, 2021. Mark your calendars.

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ST. JAMES 2021 AMELIA ISLAND HONOREE; STAINLESS STEEL IN eBOOK; BOB VARSHA MEDICAL UPDATE

LYN ST. JAMES IS 2021 AMELIA ISLAND CONCOURS HONOREE

For the first time in 26 years, The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance will celebrate a female honoree, the inspiring Lyn St. James, at the 26th Annual meeting, May 20-23, 2021. 

An accomplished race driver, St. James has used her celebrity to help advance the careers of dozens of female racers as a mentor, coach, motivational speaker and influencer. She is a tireless promoter of women’s involvement in all sports.

 

 

THE STAINLESS STEEL CARROT SOON TO BE AN eBOOK

The definitive tale of Peter Brock’s BRE team and its star driver, John Morton, is chronicled in The Stainless Steel Carrot. It’s a saga written by motorsports journalist Sylvia Wilkinson over the course of two years while she was embedded with the team throughout the 1971-1972 seasons. It tells the story of how Brock, Morton, and the rest of the crew poured their entire lives into making sure they secured victory, fending off capable rivals and risking it all for a chance at greatness. 

The book was originally published in 1973, with an expanded version released in 2012. Both versions are hard to come by, with used examples routinely fetching up to $300 through online marketplaces, according to Carrara Media. 

Now, for the first time, the media company is releasing The Stainless Steel Carrot as an eBook. That means enthusiasts craving a fantastically detailed story on one of America’s great race teams won’t have to shell out a massive amount of cash to experience it. 

“John Morton and the BRE team played a pivotal role in putting Datsun—and Japanese cars in general—on the map for car enthusiasts in America,” automotive historian and journalist Ben Hsu said in a statement. “The fact that their story will now be available to a younger generation ensures that this important story lives on forever.”

The book is available for pre-order now on CarraraBooks.com or wherever eBooks are sold. It will be released on April 5, 2021. Mark your calendars.

 

BOB VARSHA MEDICAL UPDATE

I realize that I’m galactically tardy in posting an update in this space, and I apologize for that. The reasons are simple: my cancer is in remission, I feel good, and I’ve been busy trying to resume my broadcasting career. I’m also hoping to strike out in a new direction, doing voiceover work and commercial narration projects. I currently have a couple of jobs booked: I’ll rejoin the Barrett-Jackson auction broadcasts substituting for my friend Mike Joy from Scottsdale on A&E networks History and fyi, March 24-27, featuring a lineup of cars that is just incredible. Check it out at barrett-jackson.com. Then in April I’ll be back in the Fox Sports studios in Charlotte to host the debut five-event season of the all-new Extreme E electric off-road championship, featuring teams from Chip Ganassi Racing and Andretti United, plus entries from world champions Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Jenson Button. The driver lineups are packed with stars such as WRC champions Carlos Sainz and Sebastien Loeb, Button will drive his own car, and each team will feature a male-female driver combination racing 550-horsepower electric off-road beasts in climate-endangered locations to raise awareness and propose environmental solutions. Can you tell I’m excited? I cannot express adequately how much the contributions made by people like you have meant to my family and myself while I have been without an income for a year and a half. I have a way to go yet, but you have made my journey immeasurably easier, and I am grateful. – Bob

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STROPUS ON MARCH 3RD PODCAST; BUNDY MEDICAL UPDATE

JUDY STROPUS TO BE ON “RACE TALK WITH TRISH”

Our recently selected Motorsports Hall of Fame of America honoree Judy Stropus will be featured on “RaceTalk With Trish” on the Racing History Project Podcast Channel Wednesday, March 3rd at 6pm Pacific, 9pm Eastern.

Call-in number – 425-436-6385

Access code – 5762616# (enter when prompted)

Or join with video online from your computer or cell phone

https://join.freeconferencecall.com/racinghistoryproject

Listen to previous interviews on the Racing History Project Podcast Channel  http://www.racinghistoryproject.com/racetalk.htm

 

DOC BUNDY MEDICAL UPDATE BY DOC

Hi Folks! Yeah, I am doing so much better now! Ever since the events down in Austin, Tx in November, I must thank the doctors at St. David’s for finally fixing the problems with my heart! I have been steadily getting a lot of my strength back and though I am still not working out to the level I did, it is moving forward.

In the last month I have had eye surgery to remove cataracts and have new lenses installed in my eyes! All went well and I now have 20/20 vision without glasses…….Yea!! It feels great, just pray it stays for the rest of my life?? LOL What has been holding me back is my right knee! Years ago I had a motorcycle accident and broke my right leg and tore the ligaments (ACL) in that knee. Many years later (while at Holbert Racing) during the racket ball era, I tore cartilage in that same knee and the doctor removed it. He warned I would have an arthritic knee but, I had no clue what that might mean. So recently I went to an Orthopedic doctor to have it checked out. The pain can be fairly high at times and restricts my ability to walk or excise properly. I know know what arthritic means now. I have bone on bone in that knee. I have seen the x-rays and it’s rather ugly and I understand why I am so bowed legged now! LOL

So, next for me (hopefully the off season in 2021) I will have paid off all my medical bills to have knew replacement surgery on my right leg. My target time will be November of this year, so, I have time to be ready for the 2022 season???

As an aside, I have finally gotten an appointment to receive the Virus vaccination, March 17th!! I am cautiously looking for ward to that! So, maybe next year you will see a much better Doc Bundy?? Hahaaa!

Miss U all and look forward to seeing you at the races this year. Thanks for all your kind support; your contributions have made it possible to repair my body and get back to what I once was!!! Thanks so very much!

Love Ya’ll,
Doc

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PETER GREGG FOUNDATION ANNOUNCED BY SON SIMON GREGG

Simon Gregg has announced the formation of the Peter Gregg Foundation and Peter Gregg Gallery, paying tribute to his legendary father. The Foundation will foster the careers of aspiring engineers by providing mentorship plus roles with current contending race teams.

“The Foundation will have an annual contest that will award five scholarships to deserving young people who have an interest in working on high-performance sports cars,” Simon Gregg announced. “We’re looking to find our future mechanics and engineers.

“We have a nice long list of professionals, everything from drivers to team owners to mechanics and pit crewmen, who will act as mentors for the scholarship winners.”

Simon Gregg, current Trans-Am Series driver, pays tribute to his father by launching the Peter Gregg Foundation. [Trans-Am image]

The Foundation, headquartered in Jacksonville, will open the scholarship contest on March 1. The winners, announced in late spring, will work with their mentors in for three months in Jacksonville to get a Porsche race ready. That car will be auctioned off with scholarship winners going to private teams or race shops to further their careers. Participating organizations will be announced at the beginning of the contest.

Simon Gregg also announced the opening of the Peter Gregg Gallery to be officially launched at the end of February in a combined in-person and virtual ceremony. The Gallery features several of the elder Gregg’s cars, restored by his son, including a pair of street Porsches and a Lola Can-Am car.

Peter Gregg won the Trans Am title in 1973 and ‘74, winning three races and placing second three times in a Porsche Carrera. He won his final two Trans Am races at Road America and Laguna Seca in a Porsche 935 in ‘79, giving him 22 victories in 54 starts. Gregg also won six career IMSA championships and was a six-time winner of the Rolex 24 At Daytona – an event he won overall four times.

 

 

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RRDC PRESIDENT BOBBY RAHAL LAUNCHING 30TH SEASON AS TEAM OWNER

[From the NTT INDYCAR SERIES weekly newsletter]

RRDC President Bobby Rahal’s Rahal Letterman Lanigan (RLL) racing team will celebrate its milestone 30th anniversary with the start of the 2021 season. The team, which began competing in 1992, will field two cars each in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and GTLM-class of the International Motor Sports Association’s (IMSA) WeatherTech SportsCar Championship this year.

The team’s two-car NTT INDYCAR SERIES lineup of Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato will open their season April 18 at the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park, where they are also the defending pole and race winners.

Takuma Sato (Left) and Graham Rahal will drive the two RLL Indycar entries in 2021. (INDYCAR image]

In the first year of competition in 1992, Bobby Rahal brought then-named Rahal Hogan Racing its first victory in Round 2 in Phoenix and went on to win another three times in Detroit, New Hampshire and Nazareth to secure Rahal’s third INDYCAR SERIES title and the team’s first. Since then, highlights include wins in the 2004 and 2020 Indianapolis 500 races, with Buddy Rice and Takuma Sato, respectively, and 500-mile wins by Jimmy Vasser (2002) and Graham Rahal (2015) at Auto Club Speedway, among others. BMW Team RLL brought the team GT titles in 2010 and 2011, as well as back-to-back wins in the 2019 and 2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring wins in 2011 and 2012 and Petit Le Mans in 2017, among others.

The team name changed from Rahal Hogan Racing in 1996 to Team Rahal when late night television icon David Letterman, who met Rahal after his 1986 Indy 500 win, became a partner. His name was added in 2004, and the team became known as Rahal Letterman Racing. Since 2011, the team has competed as Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with the addition of businessman Mike Lanigan as a co-owner.

Bobby Rahal (Left) with RLL partners David Letterman and Mike Lanigan. [INDYCAR image]

Between programs in the CART / INDYCAR SERIES, Toyota Atlantic, SCCA, American Le Mans Series, IMSA, GRC and FIA Formula E, the team has earned 54 victories, 65 poles, 215 podium finishes and three series championships (1992, 2010, 2011).

To celebrate the anniversary, RLL has created a commemorative logo that will be present on team equipment and merchandise. The team will hold celebratory events throughout the season and will highlight key moments of their history on its social media channels.

Also in 2021, the team will build a 115,000 square-foot facility on 13 acres southeast of the downtown Indianapolis area in Zionsville and will consolidate its existing INDYCAR SERIES operations in Brownsburg, as well as its IMSA operations in Hilliard, Ohio. The new building will feature office and event space as well as automotive R&D and light manufacturing operations to support the dynamic functions of RLL’s racing teams. The new headquarters is expected to be fully operational by early 2022.

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GUTHRIE AND STROPUS TO BE INDUCTED INTO MOTORSPORTS HALL OF FAME OF AMERICA

Janet Guthrie and Judy Stropus were announced as members of the 2021 class to be inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America this September at the Festival of Speed in Pontiac, Mich. The virtual announcement was  held Saturday at Daytona International Speedway before the start of the Rolex 24. Stropus, representing the new class, was in attendance to answer media questions. Here are excerpts from the press release announcing the MSHFA’s Class of 2021:

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 30, 2021) — The Class of 2021 includes one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers, Davey Allison (Stock Cars), three-time land speed record holder John Cobb (Historic), three-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon Jr. (Drag Racing), Indy and NASCAR trailblazer Janet Guthrie (Open Wheel), 2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky “Kentucky Kid” Hayden (Motorcycles), legendary Indy correspondent Robin Miller (Media), seven consecutive APBA Gold Cup winner Fran Muncey (Powerboats), multi-time USAC and NASCAR champion Ray Nichels (Historic) and world class timer/scorer Judy Stropus (Sports Cars).

“The Class of 2021 is history-making in so many respects,” said MSHFA President George Levy. “Janet Guthrie, Fran Muncey and Judy Stropus comprise the first ever class with three female inductees. Fran joins inaugural class inductee Bill Muncey as the only husband and wife inductees. And Davey Allison, Bobby Allison and Donnie Allison join Bobby Unser, Al Unser and Al Unser Jr. as the only families with three individually inducted members.”

The MSHFA Class of 2021 was unveiled in an on-line press conference at DIS featuring Levy, new-class representative Stropus, 2005 inductee Hurley Haywood and Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile.

Including the 2020 and 2021 classes, 269 “Heroes of Horsepower” are in the MSHFA. The induction of Guthrie, Muncey and Stropus increases to 10 the number of women enshrined in the Hall. 

[Here are the MSHFA bios for Guthrie and Stropus]

Janet Guthrie (Open Wheel) — The first woman to compete in the Indy 500 and Daytona 500, she paved the way for other women at the top levels of the sport, including Lyn St. James, Sarah Fisher and Danica Patrick. She was also the first woman to earn Top 10 starting positions and finishes in both the IndyCar and NASCAR Cup Series. She was the first woman to lead a Cup race (Ontario, 1977), and is tied with Patrick for highest Cup finish (6th). Guthrie’s driving suit and helmet are in the Smithsonian Institution. [Britannica image]

 

Judy Stropus (Sports Cars) — Best known for her savant-like ability to score and time even 24-hour races singlehandedly, without a break before the dawn of computerized timing, Stropus was sought out by top teams such as Penske, Bud Moore Racing, BMW, Al Holbert and Brumos Racing. Perhaps the ultimate recognition of her talent was that sanctioning bodies would come to her to correct glitches in their own scoring. A sports car racer herself, she won the 2008 AARWBA Jim Chapman Award for Excellence in Public Relations. In 2015, the Road Racing Drivers Club bestowed on Stropus its coveted Bob Akin Award. [© Bob Harmeyer image]

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ROB DYSON TO CHAIR INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY MUSEUM PLUS MEMBER CAR COLLECTIONS, THE ESSENTIAL TOLY AND 60-YEAR SCCA MEMBERS

ROB DYSON TO CHAIR INDIA, NAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY MUSEUM

Rob Dyson has been named chairman of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, having served on the Museum board for 10 years. He succeeds Tony George who had been board chair for 35 years. George will remain involved as Chairman Emeritus. [motorsport.com front page image]

Dyson’s personal Indy car collection includes historically-significant items such as the 1961 Kimberly Cooper Climax — the first rear-engine car to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 — along with a 1913 Isotta Fraschini Tipo IM, and the 1978 Budweiser McLaren M24B driven by three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford.

 

RRDC MEMBERS ARE AVID CAR COLLECTORS

In these COVID winter days, we’ve unearthed a few links to car collections by RRDC members for your off-season enjoyment.

One of the best-known car collections in the world is housed in the Petersen Automotive Museum curated by Bruce Meyer who recently gave a virtual tour of his personal collection.

Bruce Canepa’s impressive automotive operation includes a dealership, a museum housing his eclectic ensemble of rolling stock, a mammoth soup-to-nuts custom and restoration shop, plus a racecar maintenance shop. You could build a complete car in-house at Canepa’s facility.

Roger Penske’s collection includes many of the significant cars from his lifetime as a racer and a team owner.

The Revs Institute in Naples, Fla., houses the Miles Collier Collection of significant sports cars

 

A PLEASANT DAY ON PLANET TOLY

A few weeks back, Grace Houghton spent a day with the exuberantly eccentric Anatoly Arutunoff in and around his home in Tulsa. She describes the experience in the Jan 23rd edition of Hagerty. Houghton captures the essence of a fellow who, admittedly, hasn’t worked a day in his life but who has pretty much made the most of all this spare time.

 

SIXTY-YEAR SCCA MEMBERSHIP MILESTONES

Four RRDC members are celebrating their 60th year of membership in the SCCA: Bobby Brown, Randy Canfield, Bob Tullius and Eddie Wachs.

                 

 

 

 

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HOWIE LIEBENGOOD, A U.S. CAPITOL POLICE VETERAN, DIES SATURDAY

Howie Liebengood, Jr., a 15-year veteran of the U.S. Capitol Police, died Saturday in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 insurrectionist attack on the Capitol building. He was off duty Saturday.

Officer Liebengood was a member of the 2018 RRDC membership class. He raced extensively prior to joining the USCP in 2005, winning the 2000 Motorola Cup ST championship. RACER.com filed a reminiscence with extensive quotes from Leibengood’s former co-driver Andy Lally.

Barry Pollack, an attorney for the Liebengood family, told CBS News that Liebengood died by suicide after having been on-duty at the Capitol on Wednesday.

“His death is a tragedy that has deprived all of us a dedicated public servant,” Pollack said in a statement. “His family has suffered a devastating loss and asks that they be given space to grieve in private.”

Howie Liebengood helping kids at the U.S. Capitol in 2018. [Tom Williams/Getty Images]

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SAD LOSSES AT THE END OF 2020 – OSCAR, JPJ, ALDO

OSCAR KOVOLESKI 1932-2020

On Dec 28, we lost one of the great characters in motor racing – Oscar Kovoleski. An RRDC member for 50 years, Oscar had been in an assisted living facility in Scranton, PA, for a couple of years. He was 88.

“Oscar Koveleski was a treasure,” said RRDC President Bobby Rahal. “His outspokenness and passionate demeanor in trying to convince you of the importance of his latest project were the essence of his personality. Never quitting, always promoting, in such a charismatic way that one just couldn’t say no. 

“As a race-car driver he was one of the best in an era where competing against the likes of Mark Donohue, Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme was a challenge he was happy and willing to take to help promote his Auto World business and the KidRacer brand he created.”

RRDC member John Dinkel, who knew Oscar as well as anyone, wrote a humorous and compelling story about our friend: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/therell-never-another-oscar-john-dinkel/.

Like so many of us, RRDC Treasurer John Fergus has warm memories of Oscar: “Oscar was a hoot. I met him in my first year racing in 1980 at Pocono. We won and he gave me one of his Polish Race Driver Association cards, as I suspect he did with almost everyone. I still have it. Though he did some serious racing back in the day, he was much more interested in his Auto World catalog business for years and then, his Kid Racer project. He would send articles and Kid Racer brochures every year with his RRDC renewal check. He was passionate about it. A fun, good guy. Here is a link for an article I found which has some really fun Oscar facts: Just A Car Guy: Oscar Koveleski

Marshal Speigel’s interview with Kovoleski for Slotblog in 2013 was classic Oscar, a good ten minutes of telling Polish jokes and imparting a lot of information without answering one of Speigel’s questions, actually the only one he asked, repeatedly: Weird interview with Oscar Koveleski of Auto World – Slot Car History – Slotblog

So many people have “Oscar stories”. Your editor recalls an early 1970s A Sports Racing Runoffs medal presentation at Road Atlanta when Oscar finished second to Jerry Hansen but totally dominated the podium interviews, cracking wise and telling jokes: “These two Polish guys were hunting. It was getting dark and they were lost. First guy says, ‘I read somewhere if you’re lost in the woods, fire three shots in the air and if anybody’s near, they’ll come find you.” Second guy says, ‘OK’ and fires off three shots. Ten minutes. No help. So he fires three more shots, but no help comes. After a half dozen tries, the second guy says, ‘This don’t seem to be working; and, anyway, I’m running out of arrows.’”

Oscar never seemed to run out of arrows.

 

 

JOHN PAUL, JR. SLIPS AWAY

John Paul, Jr., lost his long battle with Huntington’s Disease, Dec. 27. He was 60. His life is chronicled in Sylvia Wilkinson’s recent biography, “50/50”. Huntington’s is genetic and claimed his grandmother, mother, aunt and sister. 

RRDC President Bobby Rahal said, “His spirits were always high and so many of his friends surrounded him with love and support right up to the end.

“John was an outstanding race-car driver whose talent and attitude always shone above the cloud of his father’s dark past. He will always be remembered as an enthusiastic, fun and strong competitor whether he was racing at the Indy 500 or at an SCCA National race. His goal was always to do his best, and that’s what he did.”

Here’s a link to the RACER story: https://racer.com/2020/12/30/sports-car-and-indycar-racer-john-paul-jr-dies-at-60/

 

 

ALDO ANDRETTI 1940-2020

Aldo Andretti, twin brother of Mario and father of the late John Andretti, passed away Dec. 28, a victim of COVID-19. Aldo was 80. Mario told Robin Miller: “He’s my brother and I love him, and he had so many things happen to him that he had to overcome, and never once said, ‘Why me?’ He was always so supportive of me, always so positive. He always made the best of what he had. I never heard him say, ‘That could have been me.’” When asked about their early careers, Mario always said that Aldo was the better driver. And he would know.

 

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RRDC AT THE RUNOFFS + MEMBER NEWS

STRONG SHOWING FOR RRDC MEMBERS AT THE SCCA RUNOFFS

Despite a truncated 2020 SCCA National racing program, a herd of Club Racers answered the call for the National Championship Runoffs at Road America, Oct. 5-11 – 577 in all.

Andrew Aquilante

Andrew Aquilante led a Phoenix Racing assault on the podium scoring a hard fought victory from pole in GT-2. He took a second pole in Touring 1 and battled eventual winner Mark Bodin for 10 laps before parking his Mustang. Marshall Mast took another of Joe Aquilate’s Phoenix Mustangs to victory from pole in Touring 3; while John Heinricy put his Phoenix Toyota B6 on pole in Touring 4, finishing a close third. [Joe Aquilante’s picture is on the front page.]

RRDC was well-represented in GT Lite with 2010 Mark Donohue Award recipient and defending champion Peter Shadowen clawing his way from a third-row starting position in his Honda CRX to second on the opening lap and then reeling in a bad-fast Chris Bovis whom he caught mid-race, Bovis’ rocket CRX suffering electrical gremlins. Shadowen won by more than a minute from Joe Huffaker’s MGB. The Sunoco Hard-Charger Award went to Taz Harvey who rumbled up through the field from 13th to fifth in his Miata.

Tony Ave

Multiple TransAm Champion Tony Ave scored a solid victory in GT-1, running down pole-sitter Ernie Francis, Jr., on the sixth lap and cruising to a 16-sec win in his Mustang. Ave DNF’d in GT-3 after starting his Nissan 240SX from the second row.

In the Production classes, Craig Chima (FProd) and Steve Sardis (HProd) scored victories, each from a third starting position. It was Chima’s third title; Sardis’, fifth, second in HProd. Rob Hines scored third-place podium finishes in Touring 3 and Spec Miata.

A pair of ex-Mark Donohue Award winners Calvin Stewart (2015) and Michael Varacins (2009) were runners-up in Formula 500 and Formula Continental, respectively. Stewart was on pole.

The late-Michael Brockman’s son Spencer Brockman scored an impressive Formula Atlantic victory in his Swift 014a/Mazda.

Two-time FProd National Champion and 2017 Donohue winner Eric Prill had a rare mechanical DNF in his usually reliable Mazda Miata.

 

ADRIAN NEWEY AND BOBBY RAHAL RETROSPECTIVE

Motor Sport Magazine this past month, reprinted a 2012 Gordon Kirby article about Adrian Newey and his close relationship with RRDC president, Bobby Rahal, both professionally and personally. It’s a fascinating read and a reminder of how closely their careers have been intertwined. Read it here. The two remain great friends.

Rahal and Newey, 1984 [Motor Sport Magazine image]

 

NEW RELEASE: FRED WACKER, GENTLEMAN RACER

Fred Wacker’s new biography by his grandson covers a special time in racing history. Fred played several important roles in the early years of sports car racing competition in post-WWII America. Fred competed in a range of events as a driver. He started out in an MG, moved up to a Cadillac-powered Allard, and drove internationally for both Briggs Cunningham and the French racing team in the Grand Prix format. Additionally, he helped to found the Chicago region of the Sports Car Club of America, serving as National President of the SCCA in 1952 and 1953.

Here’s a page from FRED WACKER, GENTLEMAN RACER

Whether driving for his own team or others, or helping to organize the sport, Fred played an important role in this golden era of racing. This is his story. Full color, hardcover, retail $49.95 (plus shipping & handling, WI sales tax where applicable)

Exclusively available from:

 

ALLEN BERG’S SON AN UP-AND-COMER

Ignite Media image – Al M. Arena

 

One promising young driver from the Allen Berg Racing Schools program is Allen’s 14-year-old son Alex who races and represents Mazda Motorsports USA in the NASA Spec MX-5 Series. He started racing just five months after receiving a go kart for Christmas. Racing runs in his veins, his father Allen’s career having included a year in Formula One (1986). With a Canadian father and a mother, Erika Jimenez, being a lawyer from Mexico, his worldly culture is expansive, and in fact Alex speaks three languages.

Alex recently was interviewed on Mark Greene’s podcast “Cars Yeah”. Click on the red button an give a listen.

 

DOC BUNDY MEDICAL UPDATE

Braselton, GA, Jan. 4.  I am sorry it has taken me so long to bring ya’ll up-to-date on what has been happening. You all know of my first outing this year was home at Road Atlanta turned out successful. Well, based on that I went out to COTA (Austin, Tx) for my final race on our schedule. Unfortunately it went completely the opposite!! I was unable to do more than three laps, was super weak without any stamina at all? I thought it was my AFIB causing it but turned out it was my heart, Joe & Chuck took me to the EMT’S at the track as I could barely get out of the car. They ran EKG on me and immediately told the the crew I needed to go to the hospital immediately. Lucky for me, they took me to St David’s Hospital which has an amazing heart center. They did several tests and immediately started doing procedures on me, first being a Heart Version! Kinda like a tamer version of shock paddles but pads in this case. It brought my heart back into rhythm but only lasted about 45 minutes. So, the next couple days they tried different drugs but again, nothing seemed to keep me in rhythm. The doctor (Dr. Burkhart) said he knew exactly what was wrong and could fix me. It seemed to be the lower left side of my heart; and after some rescheduling, he did what was called a VT, an ablation to correct the heart muscle there.

When I came to, I immediately felt so much better, the next day they put a pacemaker/ difibrillator in my upper chest to monitor and protect my heart if it went out of rhythm again. I was released and flew back to Atlanta & home. I have seen my heart doctor here and all seems to be working like it should. I have more energy and have been doing lite exercises and lots of walking. I think I will be ready next Spring when we will race again. I had to take a month to allow surgery to heal and my left side has strength again. I am sooooo encouraged and feel that all will be fine again.

I want to thank all of you that has been keeping tabs on me and what I have gone through and have continued to send to my Go Fund Me. It has been a God Send helping with all the second hospital expenses. Thank You all so very much. Hope to see everyone at the Mitty new year!!! Let’s just pray this Pandemic gets under control this New Year! God Bless You all!!

Doc Bundy

 

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MEMBER NEWS: JOHN FERGUS TO SCCA HoF; BERDIE MARTIN PASSES; SAM POSEY PAINTINGS ON EXHIBIT; SPECIAL OFFER ON JOHN PAUL JR. BIOGRAPHY AND LATEST HEALTH REPORT

JOHN FERGUS SELECTED FOR THE SCCA HALL OF FAME

RRDC VP and Treasurer John Fergus is one of five comprising the 2021 Class of the Sports Car Club of America Hall of Fame. John’s official induction will occur during a virtual ceremony Jan. 23, 2021 – the opening day of the 2021 SCCA Virtual Convention. An in-person induction ceremony is being planned for the SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Here is Fergus’ HoF citation:

“John Fergus is nearly synonymous with SCCA Road Racing’s Sports 2000 class. The Ohio Valley Region member actually began his SCCA career as an autocrosser, winning Solo National Championships in 1977, 1978 and 1979 before turning his attention to road racing. With seven wins at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs, all in Sports 2000, he trails only nine others in the history of the Club. In addition to his Sports 2000 Runoffs Championships, he also won three Pro Sports 2000 Championships. Elsewhere, Fergus also scored 13 wins in IMSA GTU competition, winning the championship in 1991. While a successful driver, Fergus was also active in his home region, establishing worker awards, worker parties and training seminars and strengthening the Region during the 1990s when it also hosted the Runoffs annually. Fergus’ respect stretches beyond the SCCA, as evidenced by his role as Vice President and Treasurer of the Road Race Drivers Club (RRDC).”

BERDIE MARTIN – 1929-2020

The SCCA reports that Burdette “Berdie” H. Martin Jr. passed away Saturday, Dec. 5. A member of the SCCA’s Hall of Fame and the Road Racing Drivers Club, Berdie began hot rod racing in 1946 and went on to compete in dirt oval midget and hydroplane races. He became a member of SCCA’s Chicago Region in 1950, then entered his first SCCA regional race in 1954 driving a MGTC at Wilmot Hills after serving with the U.S. Marine Corps in Korea.

Berdie competed in road racing for nine years, including the first race at Road America in 1955 and the first Chicago Region June Sprints in 1956. His last road race was the Sept 9, 1962 RA 500 in a Lola MK1 at Road America. But he then grew active as an official with SCCA and, in 1965, became the organization’s Chief Steward. Later, he was elected head of Chicago Region and earned SCCA’s highest honor, the Woolf Barnato Award, presented to a member who has made an outstanding long-term contribution to the Club.

In the early 1970s, Berdie served as Chief Steward for Trans Am, Can-Am, Super Vee and North American F1 races. By 1974, he was assistant director of SCCA Road Racing, and later headed that department. Berdie served SCCA as Director of Pro Racing during a period of great expansion, and managed to remain highly active in amateur hockey circles.

Berdie became a board member of the Automobile Competition Committee for the United States (ACCUS) during the ‘70s, which governs U.S. racing as part of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). By 1983, Berdie had been appointed head of ACCUS and later served as Vice President of the FIA. He chaired several FIA Commissions and was a regular steward at F1, sportscar and rally events. Berdie retired in 2004 from his position with ACCUS and returned to his motorsports roots in the Chicago area.

Berdie once recalled his first motorsports memory developing in the late 1930s during a visit to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Indy 500 practice with his father. Nobody could have predicted that little boy would become a giant in the industry and a mentor to generations of race stewards. He will be missed, but his impact never forgotten.

SAM POSEY’S ART NOW ON EXHIBIT

Nineteen of my paintings are on display at Ober Gallery in Kent, CT. They can also be viewed here on the gallery website: https://www.obergallery.com/sam-posey I enjoyed painting them and I hope you’ll enjoy looking at them. All the best, Sam.

JOHN PAUL JR. COULD USE SOME CHEERING UP

Jeff Kline writes, “Many of our RRDC members know that John Paul Jr. has been fighting Huntington’s Disease. This fight has lasted for most of the last 20 years. Huntington’s is an inherited, progressively debilitating, neurological disease, for which there is no cure. JP’s mother and sister both passed from this disease in their early 50s. John has been in a research study at UCLA and has been able to delay some of the effects. However, lack of mobility and the ability to talk and swallow are some of the later stage symptoms. His participation in this study will help countless others with this disease.

“Here is how our RRDC membership can get involved. JP is in the fight of his life. He could use some positive karma and messages. His spirit can be raised by a simple email. Just take a few minutes to email John and just connect with him. It would be so helpful for him. Many of you know JP personally but, even if you never met him, you know of him and he may have been an inspiration. Just a simple email is best, as he is not able to speak on the phone.

“You can email him via Darlene Gray at JPaulJr@earthlink.net. She will make sure JP hears each and every one of our emails.”

LIMITED SPECIAL OFFER ON SIGNED JOHN PAUL JR. BIOGRAPHIES

Author Sylvia Wilkinson says, “I have about 10 of the John Paul Jr. books, “50/50”, special signed editions left for $100 + $8.40 shipping. Also have some of the plain author signed editions for $40 + $8.40 shipping. The books can be purchased with Paypal with my email sywilk@sbcglobal.net (say sending money to a friend to eliminate the service charge) or a check to my address: 514 Arena St., El Segundo, CA 90245-3016. Be sure to include your shipping address for Priority Mail. All of the book money goes to John Paul Jr. – we are going to give him money for Christmas this year to do with as he pleases. Cheers, Sylvia

BOB LAZIER REMEMBERED

Our friend and fellow RRDC-member Bob Lazier was remembered in the Dec. 21 digital edition of USA Todayhttps://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/2020/12/21/2020-review-covid-19-killed-sports-figures/3824733001/

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RACING SAFETY SEMINAR PLUS BILL WUESTHOFF’S NEW BOOK

“RACING GOES SAFER” WEBINAR SET FOR MONDAY, NOV. 30

The “Racing Goes Safer” motorsport safety foundation, EPARTRADE and Racer Magazine are teaming up to present a safety webinar during the Online Race Industry Week, November 30 – December 4.

A Crash Course in the History of IndyCar Racing Safety” is the title of the webinar to be presented on Monday, Nov. 30th, at 8:00 AM Pacific, 11:00 AM Eastern.

Race professionals looking to step up their expertise in driver safety won’t want to miss this webinar featuring top race safety experts Dr. Steve Olvey, Dr. Terry Trammell and Yves Morizot (left to right below).

Dr. Steve Olvey, M.D., authored the book, “Rapid Response,” a compelling look at his time working in IndyCar as a doctor, and the frustrations he had to overcome while trying to make motorsport safer. The book was later turned into a film. Dr. Olvey is an associate professor of clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He graduated from Indiana University Medical School in 1969, and soon became the Assistant Medical Director of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Three years later, he developed the first U.S. traveling motorsports medical team for the United States Auto Club (USAC). When Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) separated from USAC, he became CART’s Director of Medical Affairs until 2003, when the original series became Champ Car. In 1982, Dr. Terry Trammell joined Olvey at CART and they have worked closely together ever since. Additionally, Olvey developed the medical program for the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, as Chief Medical Officer for four years. Dr. Olvey has also been the first recipient of the “Racing Goes Safer” Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dr. Terry Trammell, M.D., serves as a safety consultant to IndyCar and is a longtime member of the IndyCar Safety Team. Dr. Trammell has been active in providing trackside medical care since 1973, including serving as orthopedic consultant to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and director of medical services for CART. He is a founding member of the International Council of Motorsport Sciences and a founding fellow of the FIA Institute for Motorsport Safety. Dr. Trammell is a sought-after lecturer on spinal injuries and conditions, and has authored numerous articles published in professional journals.

Yves Morizot founded Stand 21 in 1970, and has continuously delivered technical innovations and safety improvements in the company’s driver safety products to make them exceptionally efficient and comfortable. With 150 employees worldwide, Stand 21 products are hand crafted within Stand 21’s own factories, exceeding the most rigorous safety and medical standards required by the FIA, SFI and the Snell foundation. Stand 21 offers its products to race car drivers through its exclusive network, delivering Stand 21 products in over 50 countries and supplies safety equipment to top racing teams in very different series around the world. Its quality has allowed it to be official supplier for Porsche Motorsport racewear for almost 15 years of continued collaboration.

“This is certainly an all-star cast when it comes to discussing driver safety!” exclaimed Francisque Savinien, founder of EPARTRADE, the digital sourcing platform for the worldwide racing industry. “The value of the perspective to be gained on driver safety from this webinar cannot be overstated.”

“I have worked with both Steve and Terry over the years on improving driver safety. They are friends, and there is no one more dedicated to safety than they are.” said Stand 21 President Yves Morizot.

“These two men are such great heroes of the sport, and have such great stories to tell about their work over the years.” adds Stand 21 Safety Foundation Director Don Taylor.

The Stand 21 Safety Foundation’s Racing Goes Safer seminars began ten years ago, and continue to be dedicated to providing all racers with useful information from internationally known motorsports safety experts. For more info go to RacingGoesSafer.org

Online Race Industry Week, Monday – Friday, Nov. 30 – Dec. 4, is a business-to-business event for members of the worldwide racing industry. Hundreds of companies will be showing off their new racing product lines for 2021 on EPARTRADE, while RACER and EPARTRADE provide 55 hours of technical and business webinars.

One Zoom link provides access to the entire week of webinars. GO to the link below to register and get the Zoom log-in. No charge to attend.
https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_TdoGM04ZRxq6Ze3MPeInbQ

Racing industry leaders who have committed to participate in state-of-the-industry webinars during Online Race Industry Week include Chip Ganassi, Bryan Herta, Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Doug Boles, Daytona International Speedway’s Chip Wile, SCCA’s Michael Cobb, USAC’s Kevin Miller, Formula D’s Jim Liaw, SRO Motorsports America’s Greg Gill, SVRA’s Tony Parella, Virginia International Raceway’s Connie Nyholm, IMSA’s John Doonan, SCORE’s Jim Ryan, and many more!

 

 

BILL WUESTHOFF’S NEW BOOK: SMOOTH AND FAST, NUFF SAID!

Bill Wuesthoff was among America’s best sports car racers beginning in the mid-1950s and culminating in 1964 after winning the United States Road Racing Championship, USRRC Under 2-liter title. Throughout his ten years competing, Bill kept a low profile as could be expected from someone who enjoyed the battle but shunned the spotlight.   

Robert Birmingham’s personal relationship with Bill Wuesthoff dates back to 1959 and as much as anyone today, recalls Bill’s “smooth and fast” competitions from Sebring and Pensacola, Florida, Watkins Glen and Bridgehampton in the east, to Riverside, Laguna Seca, California and Continental Divide in Colorado out west and countless road-racing venues in between. Internationally, he competed at Mosport, Canada, at Nürburgring in Germany, and in Nassau for the popular yearend Speed Week series.

Bill enjoyed success co-driving with his long-time close personal friend Augie Pabst who penned the book’s foreword, and also with Harry Heuer, Chuck Dietrich, Jim Jeffords, Fred Gamble, Bruce Jennings, Frank Rand, and Joe Buzzetta, all nationally ranked competitors of that era. Team car owners included Heuer’s Meister Bräuser Scarab team, Luigi Chinetti’s North American Racing Team, Ollie Schmidt, Carl Haas, Camarodi USA and Eddie Weschler.

A brief history of Bill’s relationship with automobiles began at a very early age, stemming from his father who was an early Milwaukee Region SCCA member. Post-racing activities centered on automobiles, his professional business, and sons’ Karl and Lee’s ten years of highly competitive off-road racing.

Book features many never-before-published photographs, together with numerous documents and other race-related mementos, total over 150, along with Bill’s 10-year race history. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the recovery of long-forgotten sports car events, tracks and of course, competitors of the 1950s and 1960s. Smooth and Fast, Nuff Said! Will be a wonderful addition to any early motorsports collection.

Ordering information: full color, hardcover, retail $49.95 (plus shipping & handling, WI sales tax where applicable). Order from the publisher: www.henschelHAUSbooks.com or call (608) 576-9747 (credit cards and PayPal accepted) or from the author Bob Birmingham. Email: spiderbob@wi.rr.com or call (262) 238-8773.

 

DESI WILSON HAS HER SAY

Desiré Wilson is featured in a recent article in the British publication MotorSport about the difficulty women have had over the years breaking into the upper echelons of motorsport. Their most consistent success has been in the rally world, but F1 has presented formidable challenges. The article is focused on European competition, although Wilson does mention her U.S. experience. It’s an insightful read.

 

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