From a career as a professional race car driver to his service as a United States Capitol Police (USCP) officer, Howard “Howie” Liebengood was a quiet, effective leader who exhibited outstanding personal character and strong moral fiber in all situations. He protected the U.S. Capitol during the January 6, 2021, attack, and died by suicide after several days of sleep deprivation and nonstop work protecting an institution that meant so much to him.

Liebengood’s widow, Dr. Serena McClam Liebengood, has established the Howie Liebengood Memorial Scholarship Endowment to honor his memory and support one or more annual scholarships for students enrolled in Purdue’s College of Liberal Arts. Reflecting Howie Liebengood’s own personal values, recipients of the scholarship will be chosen based on their demonstrated honesty and integrity, as well as their outstanding personal character and strong moral fiber.

Liebengood has received numerous honors, both during his remarkable life and posthumously. Click here to read the entire Howie Liebengood Memorial Scholarship Endowment citation.

To make a gift in memory of Howie Liebengood, please click here.


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For the first time ever a racing organization won both the Indianapolis 500 and the World 600 on a Memorial Day weekend. Fittingly that organization was Team Penske which won a thrilling Indy 500 for a record-extending 19th time on Sunday and followed with a convincing victory Monday in the rain-delayed Coca-Cola 600.

Roger Penske’s characteristic competitiveness shown through on the Indy victory stand. “I think the last two laps, I forgot about being the track owner and just said, ‘Go for it!’” he told an NBC television audience and the four-hundred thousand fans crowded into the venue he’d purchased from the Hulman-George family a little over three years ago.

“After you’ve been on your face for three or four years here in qualify8ing, I can tell you it was nice to see. We won nine races last year, won the championship, and yet we qualified in the back-half of the (Indy 500) field. The guys had worked so hard, and there’s guys that had had better ideas than us. We’ve just got to figure out how to find out what that magic is so we can be out front from the beginning.”

Josef Newgarden always wanted to win the Indy 500 and celebrate his victory with the fans. Last Sunday he did both. [Justin Casterline/Getty Images]

Then on Monday, Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney turned in a strong drive to win the rain-delayed Coca-Cola at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Blaney took a page from the Newgarden book and went into the stands to greet fans and to give away the checkered flag, a personal tradition.

The only other racing organization to come close to a Memorial weekend sweep is Chip Ganassi Racing in 2010 when Dario Franchitti won the Indy 500 with Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing’s Jamie McMurray finishing runner-up to World 600 victor Kurt Busch, oddly enough Team Penske’s only 600 victory before Blaney’s.

[Front page image by Rusty Jarrett, Motorsport Images]

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Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing limped away from the Memorial Day weekend at Indianapolis with a solid determination to come back from an uncharacteristic flop – only one of the 4-car team managed to qualify. Marshall Pruett posted an in-depth review of the team’s performance by Bobby Rahal who voiced a total commitment to right the ship. Here’s the full text of the interview from

[Front page image by Paul Hurley, Penske Entertainment]

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In ceremonies at the Indiana Roof Ballroom this May 26, Tim Cindric and Tony George will be formally inducted into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame.

TIM CINDRIC: Tim Cindric currently serves as President of Team Penske. Cindric has overall management responsibility for Team Penske’s racing operations which includes teams competing in the NTT IndyCar Series, the NASCAR Cup Series, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, and the World Endurance Championship.

Cindric grew up working with his father, Carl, who was an IndyCar engine builder for IMS Hall of Fame member Herb Porter. A basketball standout and a Hall of Fame member of Pike High School (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, where he recently received an honorary doctorate in engineering after graduating in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.

After graduation, Cindric began his career with the TrueSports IndyCar team as a design engineer, then served as Team Manager for Team Rahal prior to joining the Penske organization as President in the fall of 1999. His 24-year career with Team Penske consists of more than 375 victories and 27 championships. His successes at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway include eight Indianapolis 500 wins, eight IndyCar victories at the IMS Road Course, a Brickyard 400 win, and two NASCAR Xfinity Series victories.  

In addition, Cindric served as race strategist for Helio Castroneves’s first three Indianapolis 500 wins and currently serves in this capacity for the No. 2 Team Penske Chevrolet, driven by Josef Newgarden, the two-time INDYCAR SERIES champion.

Cindric is the 30th RRDC member to be inducted into the IMS Hall of Fame.

TONY GEORGE: Tony George began his tenure as President and CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation in 1989, continuing the work his grandfather, Anton “Tony” Hulman, Jr, started when he purchased the Speedway at the end of World War II. He served in this role until 2009. George joins his grandfather, grandmother, Mary Fendrich Hulman, and his mother, Mari Hulman George, in the Hall of Fame.

Under George’s leadership, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway underwent significant changes. Before George assumed the role, the Speedway traditionally only had one race, Indianapolis 500. Determined to bring more events and different racing styles to the Speedway, George announced the addition of a NASCAR race, The Brickyard 400, which debuted in 1994.

Continuing to grow the events and programming, George also helped bring Formula One back to the United States by hosting the United States Grand Prix in 2000, which ran through the 2007 season. Hosting the Formula One race involved the construction of the road course inside the oval. The road course was also the home to the MotoGP event, held from 2008 through 2015. The road course continues to be used for IndyCar and NASCAR events, among others, throughout the racing season.

George also oversaw the construction of the current iteration of the Pagoda at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Pagoda has nine tiers and reaches a height of 153 feet, equal to a 13-story building. The Pagoda has state-of-the-art facilities for race control, safety, timing and scoring, and radio broadcast booths. In addition to the Pagoda, the media center was constructed, and the tower terraces were rebuilt along with the suites behind Tower Terrace south. All of these new elements were designed to serve the Indianapolis 500 and other racing events that take place through the course of the year. 

George has made a lasting impact on the sport of racing outside of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. With a desire to improve the safety conditions for drivers, George enlisted the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to develop a new wall barrier for race tracks to reduce driver impact. The Steel and Foam Energy Reduction Barrier (SAFER Barrier) was installed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2002. The technology is still used and installed in numerous other racetracks. 


Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Class of 2023 Induction Ceremony and Dinner Presented by Shell


May 26, 2023

6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.


Indiana Roof Ballroom

140 West Washington Street

Indianapolis, Indiana USA



Individual: $250.00; Table $2000; VIP Table $5000.




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Brian Redman and David Hobbs are among the members of the 2023 class of inductees into the British Sports Car Hall of Fame. Another 2023 inductee is RRDC member in memoriam Brian Fuerstenau. Here are the RRDC member bios for the class of 2023:

Brian Redman – Brian Redman has been a Champion on three Continents in everything from Morris Minors, to Jaguar E-types to Ford GTs and Lola Formula Cars and Sports Cars. An incredible record of achievement, many at the wheel of famous British-built cars. Today, Brian helps new generations enjoy the thrills of racing with his Targa 66 organization. A true Gentleman and an incredible Ambassador for Motorsport.

David Hobbs – Though most recently known for his entertaining and insightful race coverage, and his success as an Ohio Honda dealer, his career as an international racing driver spanned 30 years at all levels including championships in in sports cars, touring cars, Formula 5000 cars, Indy cars, IMSA, Can-Am and Formula One, mostly all at the wheel of British made cars.

Brian Fuerstenau – Fuerstenau teamed up with Bob Tullius in 1964 to form Group 44, one of the most remarkably successful team in Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) competitions. Brian won an SCCA National Championship in F Production in 1965 driving a Triumph TR-3, and in F Production in 1968, diving a Triumph Spitfire. His third and last championship was in 1973, in E Production at the wheel of a Triumph Spitfire. He was a master mechanic as well as a driver for the Group 44 team. In their twenty-five years of competition Group 44’s drivers won 14 SCCA National Championships, three Trans-Am championships and 11 IMSA GTP races, all with Brian as their chief mechanic.

Other 2023 inductees include Mark Bradakis, Syd Enever, Lawton “Lanky” Foushee and Burt Levey.

Eleven other RRDC members are currently in the BSCHoF: Tony Adamowicz, Mike Dale, Kas Kastner, Sir Stirling Moss and Bob Tullius (from the 2017 inaugural class); Joe Huffaker and Carroll Shelby (2018); Paul Newman and Denise McCluggage (2019); and Ken Miles and Sir Jackie Stewart (2021). There was no 2020 class.

The British Sports Car Hall of Fame was established as an independent entity in 2016 to preserve and perpetuate the legacy and impact of these legendary vehicles and to honor the men and women responsible for their success. Induction into the Hall of Fame is reserved for those who have made a significant and lasting impact on the British sports car industry and hobby, making it a singular honor for a lifetime of achievement.

Induction ceremonies for the 2023 class will take place at Road America Raceway in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, on July 13th, prior to The WeatherTech International Challenge with Brian Redman for vintage/historic cars.

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The SAFEisFAST gurus have pieced together snippets from the archives into a fascinating teaser for the 2023 season. This “Best of…” clip includes jewels from Mario Andretti, Fernando Alonso, Roger Penske, Juan-Pablo Montoya and many others. It’s a must-watch summary of what SAFEisFAST is all about.

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Racemaker Press has announced that “The Green Flag; Just a Bloke’s Story” – written by Barry Green in partnership with renowned author Gordon Kirby – is now available at

“The Green Flag” is a hard-backed volume filling 266 pages with more than 150 photos and a comprehensive listing of Green’s career record. The book retails for $95.00 and is available at

“The Green Flag” covers Barry Green’s life growing up in Australia and his early racing efforts aboard his own Formula Fords in Australia and Formula 3 cars in Europe. Green and his wife Jeanne then moved to the United States, where he became a successful Can-Am and Indy Car team manager and owner.

Over 23 years, from 1980-2002, Green’s cars won six Can-Am races and 47 Indy Car races, including two, and some say three, Indy 500s. He worked with a series of great drivers, including Teo Fabi, Bobby Rahal, Danny Sullivan, Michael Andretti, Al Unser Jr., Jacques Villeneuve, Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy, as well as brilliant designers such as Adrian Newey and Tony Cicale, and a long list of tremendously skilled and motivated mechanics and crewmen.

Green and Kirby tell Green’s story with the generous help of these great drivers, engineers and crewmen.

Here are a few selected words from four great drivers who drove for Green’s teams at various stages of his career:

Michael Andretti: “I always liked Barry and loved working with him. I think his biggest strength is that he’s a real people person and everyone loves him. People really liked him and wanted to work for him.”

Al Unser Jr.: “I would put Barry at number one of all the team managers I worked with in my career. Barry was really good at making sure everyone was happy and all the cars were treated equally. That’s a special talent.”

Dario Franchitti: “Team Kool Green was a great team and Barry was always easy to deal with. If he had a problem, he came straight to you to discuss it. I was unbelievably fortunate to have Barry as a team boss at that stage of my career.”

Paul Tracy: “I liked Barry a lot. He always had my back and would tell me when I made a mistake. We always had a very honest and open relationship.”

Paul Tracey (left) Team Kool Green’s “green” man with Dario Franchitti (Right) the squad’s “blue” man. [CRASH image]

On his experience writing “The Green Flag,” Green commented, “There are many people to thank for helping me with this book and I have to start with my friend, Gordon Kirby. Over many years Gordon had stood on the sidelines doing his job as a motorsports correspondent at most of the race events that my team participated in. He was brilliant at his job. It also helped greatly that he had crossed paths with almost everyone else who helped with the book He loved the sport of motor racing as much as anyone out there.

“I also have to thank his boss, and publisher, Joe Freeman and Racemaker Press, who would make all final decisions with this book and believed in Gordon enough to publish it.”



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LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 14, 2023) – The April 13 RRDC Evening with Jacky Ickx Presented by Firestone was filled with amusing racing stories, heartfelt emotions, mutual respect and even a few manly hugs as the Belgian driver who’s won six times at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and eight times on the Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit was honored by the Road Racing Drivers Club.

In front of a capacity crowd of auto racing dignitaries, corporate executives and champion race-car drivers, the 13th annual banquet celebrating the legends of motorsport was held at the Long Beach Hilton Hotel prior to the running of the 48th Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

In attendance were representatives from the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship and other vintage, amateur and semi-professional series.

The event honors auto racing’s most influential leaders, which have included Dan Gurney, Parnelli Jones, Roger Penske, Jim Hall, Brian Redman, Mario Andretti, Bobby Unser, George Follmer, Emerson Fittipaldi, Johnny Rutherford, David Hobbs and Rick Mears.

Andretti, who co-drove with Ickx to four sports-car racing wins, was in attendance to help recognize the newest member of this elite group. Derek Bell, who shared three 24 Hours of Le Mans victories with Ickx, took the stage alongside Ickx to honor his former teammate.

RRDC President Bobby Rahal recognized event sponsors Firestone, Lexus Racing, Doug Mockett & Company, Jimmy Vasser’s V12 Vineyards, Jeff O’Neill’s O’Neill Wines, and Chris Locke’s Checkered Past Productions.

Representing Firestone Racing, which has been the presenting sponsor of the RRDC “Evenings” for 12 years, Lisa Boggs, Director, Bridgestone Americas Motorsports, said, “On behalf of all of us at Bridgestone-Firestone, my wonderful group of teammates and colleagues here, we’re honored to be continuing to sponsor this event. We don’t take this lightly. This is an incredibly successful event, thanks to Bobby, and Jeremy Shaw and Tamy Valkosky, who put in countless hours of work to make sure that this is the don’t-miss event of the season.

[Albert Wong image]

“What an honor it is this year to honor Jacky Ickx, the legendary driver. When it comes to Firestone still being in motorsports, it’s because of legendary, versatile drivers like Jacky. That’s the reason that we’re still here and so glad to still see our name on race cars. Congratulations.”

Bob and Pam Funari, local car enthusiasts and members of the Grand Prix Foundation, displayed in front of the hotel a recreation of the Ford GT40 (right) with which Ickx claimed his first Le Mans victory in 1969.

A short video written and voiced by NBC Sports TV commentator Leigh Diffey chronicled Ickx’s career, saying, “His six overall victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans stood as a beacon of greatness for a quarter of a century, a mark seemingly unachievable. Three of those wins came with his RRDC teammate Derek Bell. These two were like the Batman and Robin of sports-car racing.”

In another video, Ickx’s fellow racer Brian Redman recalled the challenging yet humorous adventures of competing with and against each other.

Rahal then attempted to interview Ickx in the style of “Late Night with David Letterman,” but Ickx (below) opted to stand alone to present his own stirring, touching and inspiring soliloquy on the mindset of a champion driver.

[Albert Wong image]

Bell was then invited to share the stage and stories of his and Ickx’s dynamic co-driving stints during their three 24 Hours of Le Mans wins. Ickx playfully sat on the arm of Bell’s chair and hugged his friend and colleague, to everyone’s enjoyment. This was not your ordinary interview.

“When Jacky agreed to come tonight, I have to tell you, I was thrilled,” said Rahal, “because as a kid, a teenager in the ’60s this guy was the guy. He was the man, and he was so young at the time. He is truly one of auto racing’s all-time great all-rounders. Welcome, Jacky, and thank you for traveling all this way from Europe to join us.”

Said Bell, “Jacky made a great impression on my life. I wouldn’t say that I’m in any way similar to what he was but he certainly taught me a lot of things. It was like having a mentor to guide you and I think a lot of other drivers as well.”

A toast to the honoree (l to r): Derek Bell, Jacky Ickx, Mario Andretti and Bobby Rahal. [Albert Wong image]

At the end of the evening, Andretti added, “You could see the reaction [of the audience]. It was fantastic. It’s all a big family, isn’t it? The world is small when it comes to motorsports. Jacky is one of us, of course. He deserves this type of recognition, no question, and you can see how much he appreciates it.”

Ickx was clearly humbled by the accolades. “First of all, I am touched, very touched. It is very emotional. But it’s even more emotional when you think that this honor is also honoring the people that make racing possible. They are part of it. Not only those who get the light [shining] on top of them.”

A “live” painting created in the first two hours of the evening by renowned artist Bill Patterson depicting Ickx’s first Le Mans victory in 1969, and signed by Ickx, Bell and Andretti, was auctioned off, fetching $7500. A silent auction also included a copy of Jon Saltinstall’s “JACKY ICKX: His Authorised Competition History,” signed by Ickx, Bell and Andretti, which sold for over $800.

The dinner’s proceeds help support the RRDC’s young driver initiatives, including its groundbreaking program, and the Team USA Scholarship, which the RRDC has backed since 1997. 



Derek Bell and Jacky Ickx shared racing stories, as the “Batman and Robin” of sports-car racing. Jutta Fausel’s iconic image taken at Ickx’s first Formula 1 win at Nurburgring in 1972 graces the back wall. [Albert Wong photo]

The bond between co-drivers Derek Bell and Jacky Ickx fostered during their three 24 Hours of Le Mans victories was evident. [Albert Wong image]

Renowned artist Bill Patterson, with his “live” painting of the GT40 that Ickx raced to his first Le Mans victory in 1969. [Albert Wong image]

Jacky Ickx signing the Bill Patterson “live” painting. [Albert Wong image]

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LUCY FOYT, 1938-2023

Lucy Foyt, wife of A.J. Foyt, Jr., passed away Wednesday in a Houston hospital after a brief illness. She was 84. Here is the text of the A. J. Foyt Enterprises announcement of Lucy’s passing:

“Lucy had a special appreciation for life, always embracing new experiences, people, and challenges. There was never a dull moment being married to the auto racing legend; for nearly 68 years, Lucy was his rock, keeping him grounded as he ascended to superstardom in motorsports. Her steadfast support and amazing grace under pressure throughout A.J.’s career and post-career, which was marked by life-threatening injuries on several occasions, made it possible for him to stage the remarkable comebacks that added to his legendary status.

[Foyt family archive image]

“Houston was always home to Lucy, having been born in 1938 to beloved parents, Dr. L. Lynn Zarr and Elizabeth Zarr, and raised in River Oaks, a prominent enclave of the nation’s fourth largest city. During her time at Lamar High School, Lucy met Foyt and the two married in 1955, further laying their roots in the Houston community. Together, they raised three children, A.J. Foyt III, Terry and Jerry. Later on, they adopted their grandson Larry who is president of A.J. Foyt Enterprises, the Indy car racing team Foyt started in late 1965.

“Always seen as beautiful and gracious, Lucy bonded three generations of the Foyt family, having four children, eight grandchildren, and 21 great grandchildren who adored her. She was able to watch them grow to achieve success, marry for love, and raise children, many of which are named after her with the most recent being Larry’s daughter Lucy who was born in January.

“With a passion for culture, arts, and global travel, Lucy shared a broadened perspective and open mind about the world that motivated and inspired adventure to those around her. That legacy will live on through her family and influence more generations of Foyts to come.

“With careful thought and consideration, funeral arrangements are pending.”


Lucy and A.J. the morning after his 1961 Indianapolis 500 victory. [Bob Doeppers/Indianapolis News image]

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The inaugural class for the IMSA Hall of Fame has been selected and includes four drivers, three IMSA founders and four iconic race cars from throughout the sanctioning body’s 54-year history. Six members of the inaugural class are members of the RRDC, including four in memoriam

The inductees will be honored as part of October’s WeatherTech Night of Champions held following the Motul Petit Le Mans season finale to celebrate the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and crown series champions.

Speaking of champions, the four drivers selected for induction into the inaugural IMSA Hall of Fame class – Peter Gregg, Hurley Haywood, Al Holbert and Scott Pruett – all RRDC members, multiple-time IMSA champions and multi-time winners of the world’s most prestigious sports car races. Joining the inaugural IMSA Hall of Fame class are the three founders of the International Motor Sports Association: John and Peggy Bishop (RRDC members) and Bill France Sr.

In addition to the seven people selected to the first IMSA Hall of Fame class, four iconic race cars – the Chevrolet Corvette C5-R, Ferrari 333 SP, Mazda RX-7 GTU and the Porsche 962 – also have been selected for enshrinement.

“These seven individuals and four race cars are the epitome of excellence in IMSA and global sports car racing,” said IMSA President John Doonan. “There can only be one inaugural class, and each of these inductees unquestionably qualifies as a ‘First Ballot Hall of Famer.’ We could not be prouder to welcome John and Peggy, ‘Big Bill,’ Peter, Hurley, Al and Scott – as well as the C5-R, 333 SP, RX-7 GTU and 962 – into the IMSA Hall of Fame.”

These inductees were selected from a larger group determined by a nominating committee comprised of past and present IMSA executives and an esteemed group of media members. BDO, which was introduced as a corporate partner of IMSA earlier this year, validated the accuracy of the 2023 IMSA Hall of Fame voting results.

Plans call for a mix of influential people and race cars to be inducted into the IMSA Hall of Fame each year.

“We are grateful to our nominating committee for thoughtfully presenting several highly successful race cars and key players from the IMSA paddock that were deserving of our consideration,” said Doonan. “It was challenging to reduce the initial list of nominees into a smaller group for a ‘final ballot,’ and even tougher to decide who would be chosen for this year’s class of inductees. We are confident in this year’s selections and know that many of those nominees will one day be enshrined in the IMSA Hall of Fame as well.”

The IMSA Hall of Fame will live in an online environment. A standalone website will launch later this year.



John and Peggy Bishop – Husband and wife co-founded the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) along with NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. Led IMSA from 1969 through 1989. John Bishop served as IMSA President throughout his tenure, while Peggy managed IMSA staff, registration, timing and other essential processes. Grew IMSA from sanctioning body for Formula Ford races on small ovals to pinnacle of worldwide sports car racing. Prior to forming IMSA, John Bishop previously worked for the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), where he played an instrumental role in the creation and operation of Can-Am, Trans-Am and Formula 5000. [Image courtesy of International Motor Racing Research Center]


Bill France Sr. – Founder of NASCAR co-founded IMSA in 1969 with John and Peggy Bishop. Provided initial financial support for IMSA using a business model based on the successful NASCAR stock car program. Brought international sports car endurance racing to Daytona International Speedway with a three-hour race in 1962, which expanded to 24 hours in 1966. A motorsport visionary who supported stock cars, sports cars, motorcycles and any other form of the sport that could fit into the France family’s growing portfolio of racing facilities. [Image courtesy of Automotive Hall of Fame]


Peter Gregg – One of IMSA’s first stars and the most successful GT driver of the 1970s. Co-drove with Hurley Haywood to the first IMSA GT race victory at VIRginia International Raceway in 1971. Ten-time IMSA champion (1971 GTU, 1973 GT CHALLENGE, 1973 GTO, 1974 GT CHALLENGE, 1974 GTO, 1975 GTO, 1978 GT CHALLENGE, 1978 GTX, 1979 GTX) and four-time overall winner of the Rolex 24 At Daytona (1973, 1975, 1976, 1978). [Sportscar Digest image]


Hurley Haywood – Winningest overall major endurance race driver of all time. Five overall Rolex 24 At Daytona victories (1973, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1991). Three 24 Hours of Le Mans overall victories (1977, 1979, 1981). Two Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring victories (1973, 1981). Co-drove to first IMSA GT race victory with Peter Gregg at VIRginia International Raceway in 1971. Four-time IMSA champion (1971 GTU, 1972 GT CHALLENGE, 1972 GTU, 1994 NORTH AMERICAN ENDURANCE CUP CLASS 1). [RACER image]


Al Holbert – Most overall race victories in IMSA with 49. Seven-time IMSA champion (1976 GT CHALLENGE, 1976 GTO, 1977 GT CHALLENGE, 1977 GTO, 1983 GTP, 1985 GTP, 1986 GTP). Became fifth driver in history to win major endurance racing “triple crown” (Daytona, Le Mans, Sebring) and is one of only nine drivers to win each race overall. Rolex 24 At Daytona winner in 1986 and 1987. Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring winner in 1976 and 1981. Three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner (1983, 1986, 1987). [Pinterest image]


Scott Pruett – Nine IMSA championships (1986 GTO, 1986 GT Endurance, 1988 GTO, 2004 GRAND-AM DP, 2008 GRAND-AM DP, 2010 GRAND-AM DP, 2011 GRAND-AM DP, 2012 GRAND-AM DP, 2018 GRAND-AM DP ENDURANCE CUP). Tied with Hurley Haywood for most overall Rolex 24 At Daytona overall victories with five (1994, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2013) and all-time leader in Rolex 24 class wins with 10. Overall Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring winner in 2014. Owns 60 career IMSA victories, which is second on all-time IMSA winner’s list. [Zimbio image]


Chevrolet Corvette C5-R – Claimed 31 victories, 50 podium finishes and 24 pole positions in 55 races from 1999 through 2004. Won four constructor’s championships, four team championships and three driver championships. Earned overall victory in 2001 Rolex 24 At Daytona. Had three class victories in 24 Hours of Le Mans (2001, 2002 and 2004). Won Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring (2002, 2003 and 2004). [Image courtesy of Richard Prince]


Ferrari 333 SP – Claimed 56 victories and 69 pole positions in 144 races worldwide from 1994 through 2003. Won IMSA constructors’ championships in 1995 and 1998, an IMSA driver championship in 1995 and an IMSA team championship in 1998. Won Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring three times (1995, 1997, 1998). Won 1998 Rolex 24 At Daytona. [Image courtesy of Bill Tuttle]


Mazda RX-7 GTU – Won GTU class (for engines with a displacement under 2.5 liters) in debut race at Daytona in 1979 with two-rotor rotary engine. Two Mazda factory cars finished on the podium in every race in 1980 en route to championship. Program shifted to privateer entries from 1981 through 1987 with RX-7 drivers claiming seven straight GTU championships. Car was instrumental in launching the careers of legendary IMSA drivers including Scott Pruett, Tommy Kendall, Bill Auberlen and many others. [Mark Windecker image]


Porsche 962 – Debuted at the Daytona 24 Hours in 1984 with Mario and Michael Andretti as co-drivers and won the pole position. Led the race before technical problems removed it from contention. First IMSA victory came in 1984 six-hour race at Watkins Glen. Won Daytona 24 Hours five times (1985-87, 1989 and 1991) and 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1985, 1987 and 1994. Won IMSA GTP championship every year from 1985 to 1988. [Image courtesy of Peter Gloede]



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JIM HAYNES 1933-2023

Jim Haynes, a seminal figure in the history of Lime Rock Park, has died, the track announced Friday on its Facebook page.

A two-time SCCA National Champion driver, Haynes purchased Lime Rock Park in 1964 from its builders and over the next 11 years, first as owner and then as general manager, shepherded the facility’s growth from near bankruptcy to internationally recognized motorsports venue.

Skip Barber, who succeeded Haynes as president of Lime Rock Park and was a friend of Jim’s for more than six decades, noted the debt owed by everyone who today enjoys visiting and using the track. “All of us who are members of the Lime Rock Park community, fans, event participants and track staff, greatly appreciate the contributions Jim made in the track’s formative days, and his dedication to its long-term success,” said Barber.

Following his tenure at Lime Rock Park, Haynes worked with the SCCA’s national office. Prior to his retirement to Florida with Toni Abercrombie Haynes, his wife and partner of 43 years, Jim was for many years the general manager of Wisconsin’s Road America circuit.

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You are cordially invited to attend the RRDC Evening with Jacky Ickx Presented by Firestone on Thursday, April 13, at the Long Beach Hilton, reservation details at the end of this article. 

The RRDC’s 2023 honoree is known by many names: “Ringmeister” for his superlative performances at the incomparable Nurburgring, including qualifying third fastest for the 1967 German Grand Prix Formula 1 World Championship event – in a Formula 2 car; “Rainmaster” for his uncanny ability to pilot a race car in the wet, out-dueling Pedro Rodriguez in the 1970 Dutch Grand Prix and passing Niki Lauda on the outside of Paddock Bend to win the Race of Champions four years later at Brands Hatch.

A six-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the first race driver to be named an honorary citizen of that fair French city, it’s no wonder he also earned the nickname “Monsieur Le Mans.”

He’s also known as “champion” for winning the 1979 Can-Am series and back-to-back World Endurance Championship for Drivers titles in 1982 and ’83 in a career that included more than three dozen wins in major sports car events.

In addition to his Formula One and sports car prowess, victories in the Bathurst 1000 and Paris-Dakar Rally further cemented his place in the pantheon of racing’s greatest all-’rounders.    
And after retiring from active competition, he earned another official title by serving as Clerk of the Course of the Monaco Grand Prix.

Ringmeister, Rainmaster, Monsieur Le Mans, champion, all ’rounder, Clerk of the Course he may be, but tonight’s honoree is best known, simply, as Jacky Ickx.

We hope you will join us for what promises to be another great evening of racing camaraderie and wonderful stories from days gone by.

Our cocktail reception will commence at 6:00 p.m., followed by dinner at 7:15 p.m. sharp.

Tickets for our Annual Legends Dinner are expected to sell out quickly, so don’t delay.





RRDC President Bobby Rahal


RSVP to Jeremy Shaw at, then complete the attached form and mail, along with a check made out to RRDC, to:

John C. Fergus, RRDC Treasurer, 8377 Green Meadows Drive N, Suite A, Lewis Center, OH 43035.

All proceeds go toward the RRDC’s young driver initiatives:   




Our thanks to Jutta Fausel-Ward, Mike Levitt, David Phillips and Paul Laguette.


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The parallel and comingled careers of Drs. Stephen Olvey and Terry Trammell have advanced the promotion, organization and methods of racetrack driver safety orders of magnitude over the past four decades. Those nonpareil efforts have been recognized by the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America as the pair will be inducted as members of the Class of 2023.

There follows an article about Olvey and Trammell by Daniel Strohl on Hemmings Web page:

When he was 11, Stephen Olvey’s father took him to his first Indianapolis 500. Like any Indy, it was full of pomp and celebration, and Olvey was excited to see his favorite driver, Bill Vukovich, contend for a third-straight win. Instead of seeing Vukovich make history that Memorial D ay in 1955, however, he saw a thick cloud of smoke rise from the far side of the track and listened as the track announcer declared his hero mortally wounded. “I was wiped out,” Olvey said. Press coverage of the race bemoaned the fact that the crash meant slower speeds for the record books before it got around to mourning one of the best drivers of his time.

Olvey said the incident didn’t tarnish his love for the sport nor did it have a direct influence on his career path later in life, but nevertheless it remained a chilling introduction to the sport that he and others, including Dr. Terry Trammell, would transform into one far safer for drivers and far less tolerant of death and injury. For those efforts, the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America will induct the two into its ranks – placing them alongside dozens of racers whose lives they personally saved – early next month.

Dr. Stephen Olvey serving as a track communicator.


Both Olvey and Trammell got their start in trackside medical response in similar fashion: Answering a bulletin board call for med students to help out at the Indianapolis 500 – Olvey in about 1969, Trammell in 1972. And neither found what they expected. “They posted me to the infield, taking care of people who got too much sun or had too much to drink,” Olvey said. While the track had a chief medical director – Dr. Tom Hanna – there was far less emphasis on treating injured drivers. The prevailing attitude was that racing naturally meant risking life and limb.

“The drivers I knew loved the sport and would do it come hell or high water,” Olvey said. “If they got killed, boom boom, that was it.”

Trammell encountered a similar lack of concern.

“It was more common than not for the drivers to avoid even making eye contact with me,” he said. “The word was that if a driver was seen talking with me that there was something wrong with him or her. Injury was an accepted inevitability, and if a driver raced long enough, he or she would be injured or worse.”

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Hanna Emergency Medical Center

Hanna had built a basic medical center on the speedway grounds, but as Olvey noted, it wasn’t well equipped. The only initial response to crashes was the on-track fireman with no medical knowledge. If drivers were injured, they were simply loaded onto a gurney and into the back of the on-track ambulance, which doubled as the local hearse. Visit this website to find out more about getting medical marijuana recommendations in Florida, which can relieve some pain from the injury. Olvey, who became close with Hanna, told him he thought it was sad that medical professionals couldn’t respond to crashes. Hanna agreed, and suggested Olvey start hanging out on the track with the safety truck first, then the ambulance/hearse.

Trammell, then a sophomore med student, “sat in the back of the ambulance terrified that there would be an accident and that I would have to care for the injured,” he said. “That is when I recognized that I was woefully unprepared and would have difficulty opening a Band-Aid.” He decided to focus on orthopedics and wouldn’t return to the track in a medical capacity for several years.

The trackside ambulance/hearse combination car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

By the early to mid-Seventies, Olvey was able to put together a small team and started to add basic medical equipment – tourniquets, blankets, compressive bandages – to the response vehicles. “We developed as the highways developed,” he said. “When we started, there were no paramedics, no medical vehicles at the scene of highway crashes, not even in the big cities. But as paramedics developed, they became interested in working with us at the tracks. We were learning paramedic training at the same time the paramedics were. And we started treating crashes and injuries on the track rather than just waiting to get the drivers to the hospital.”

Trammell, by circumstance, found himself on call in Indianapolis on race day in 1981, the same day Danny Ongais crashed head-on into the wall and suffered compound fractures to both legs, among other injuries. “At that point in time, orthopedic practice for an injury such as he had suffered was amputation,” Trammell said. “A young gun cardiovascular surgeon saw me fretting about how I was not going to start out my practice by amputating a driver’s leg. We worked together and managed to save his leg.”

In part due to those efforts, he became the de facto orthopedic consultant to the speedway.

In the meantime, Olvey and his team convinced USAC officials to let them expand their trackside response model – now up to two fully outfitted trucks with four or five people in each – to other tracks. That model – and Trammell’s expertise – paid off when, in 1984, Rick Mears hit the inside guardrail during a race at Sanair Super Speedway outside of Montreal. With Olvey’s trackside response model, “we could keep things together, keep the bleeding under control, and get (Mears) to the helicopter to fly to the closest trauma center,” Olvey said.

Again, local doctors recommended amputation and again, Trammell intervened to save limbs after Roger Penske flew him to Montreal on his private jet. “Following the outcome of that trip, it seems that Mr. Penske determined that an orthopedic surgeon would travel with his team to all the races,” Trammell said. “I was that surgeon.”

A safety truck at a CART race.

As both Olvey and Trammell noted, it didn’t take terribly long for drivers and others involved in the sport to change their fatalistic attitudes toward safety. “Mario Andretti was my greatest driver advocate,” Trammell said. “His acceptance of my concerns for the drivers’ safety and prevention of injury started to bring about change in the culture of motorsports. The drivers that had been injured were vocal about being protected from avoidable injury and were very supportive of real study into the science of driver safety into motorsports.”

They got their chance to move from injury response to injury prevention in 1992 when, after a number of crashes at that year’s Indianapolis 500, Trammell began working with Dr. John Melvin on post-crash analysis of the factors that led to the various injuries. “That was the first time that motion analysis and computer simulation was used to study racing crashes to better determine cause of injury,” Trammell said. A couple years later, following Ayrton Senna’s fatal crash, Trammell also joined the expert advisory group formed by Sid Watkins that eventually became the FIA Institute for Motor Sport Safety.

Even with crash prevention at the forefront, trackside response remained critical, and it was perhaps put to its greatest test in 2001 when, during a CART race at Lausitz in Germany, a crash sheared off the front end of Alex Zanardi‘s car and severed both of his legs at or above the knee. “The military wouldn’t stop and mess with that sort of injury on the battlefield because of the immediate loss of blood,” Olvey said. Indeed, as Trammell later told the Associated Press, the track was so slick with such a high volume of Zanardi’s blood, he initially mistook it for oil. Other drivers there that day compared the scene to a war zone. Yet Trammell’s quick response and Olvey’s decision to send Zanardi to Berlin rather than to a local hospital ended up saving Canard’s life. According to Olvey, that was the first time that anybody had survived an above-the-knee bilateral amputation.

Their efforts have led to a sea change in attitudes toward safety not only from the drivers but also from the racing organizations themselves. According to Olvey, when he first started in trackside safety, his entreaties to Indianapolis Motor Speedway management went ignored. “They’d say, ‘What does he know about motorsports?'” he said. “But when we go to the man in charge now, they listen right away. There’s no question of us showing off, it’s all scientific now.”

That cooperation from racing management has allowed countless safety devices to be incorporated into the sport, from the SAFER racing barriers at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to the HANS device, which Olvey called the one big game-changer in terms of motorsport safety.

There’s still work to be done, too, Olvey said, particularly in preventing concussions and brain injuries in crashes. “We’re making progress, but it’s real tricky,” he said. “It’s not just helmets, it’s also how the seats are made, how the drivers sit in the seats, it’s all together as one system.”

However, as Trammell noted, the work that he and Olvey and other medical professionals have done also makes it more enjoyable for him. “I enjoy watching racing more now that I know that it is much safer than it was when I started listening to the 500 on an old RCA radio in the back yard plugged into a garage outlet with a wire antenna strung out on the clothes line,” he said.

The two will be inducted into the motorsports Hall of Fame of America under the Open Wheel category at the official induction ceremony March 6-7 at the hall in Daytona Beach, Florida. According to hall president George Levy, while other racers have been inducted in part due to their safety innovations – Bill Simpson, for example – Olvey and Trammell are the first to be recognized primarily for their contributions to racing safety. Other inductees in the hall’s class of 2023 include Corvette engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov, NASCAR crew chief Ray Evernham, NASCAR racer Fonty Flock, drag racer Darrell Gwynn, land-speed racer Ab Jenkins, longtime USAC official Henry Banks, and motorcycle racer Dick Burleson.

For more information about the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America class of 2023, visit

[All images courtesy of Rapid Response movie]

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The RRDC Annual Dinner was held on the Wednesday prior to the running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the Speedway’s banquet hall. This year’s fete was well attended. Photographer Wes Duenkel captured the shindig for us to enjoy later. Here are a few of his images.

A solid crowd turned out for our winter festivities. [Wes Duenkel image]

RRDC President Bobby Rahal presided over the food, fun and honors. [Wes Duenkel image]


Phil Hill Award recipient Mark Raffauf is interviewed by Leigh Diffey. [Wes Duenkel image]

John Fergus holds the Bob Akin Award presented by Bob’s son Bobby Akin (left) and Akin Selection Committee chair Judy Stropus. [Wes Duenkel image]

Jason Ott was presented the Mark Donohue Award for his outstanding performance at the 2022 SCCA National Championship Runoffs at VIR. Presenters were Donohue Committee chair and past recipient Calvin Stewart (left) and 2021 winner Eric Prill.  [Wes Duenkel image]

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Mark Raffauf, the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) Senior Director of Competition, was honored by the Road Racing Drivers Club with the 2022 Phil Hill Award. The 2019 recipient, RRDC President Bobby Rahal, made the presentation at the annual RRDC members’ dinner on January 25 prior to the running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the season opener of the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Phil Hill [Al Satterwhite image]

The Phil Hill Award has been presented annually since 1993 to the person who the RRDC feels has rendered outstanding service to road racing. The recipient may be a driver, entrant or outstanding member of a sanctioning body.It is named in honor of America’s first Formula 1 World Champion (in 1961), and is not only a tribute to his masterful accomplishments on the rac track, it also recognizes his contributions as a great ambassador for the sport. Hill passed away in 2008.Born in 1958 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Raffauf worked SCCA regional and National events in New England as a tech inspector at the age of 14, tagging along with his older brother Martin, while attended high school in Boston,

By the age of 16 he was holding a National SCCA Tech license and was introduced to New England SCCA workers John and Peg Bishop, Charlie Rainville and Bob Raymond, all of whom would become the core of the original race staff at IMSA, founded in 1969 by the Bishops.

Raffauf joined IMSA full time in 1978 following four years at the University of Florida, and held a variety of positions in the company, including industry support, technical and car regulation development and enforcement, event creation, sport and racing operations and as race director. Upon John Bishop’s retirement in 1989, Raffauf took over as President of IMSA. He also served on the ACCUS-FIA board of directors and on several international FIA commissions in Europe.

He left IMSA in the 1990s to work with MOMO Racing, then returned to the sanctioning body to help launch the Grand American Road Racing Association in 1999. He’s been based in Daytona Beach ever since, through the acquisition/merger of the ALMS and the return of the IMSA name.

Raffauf’s position with IMSA today encompasses both sporting and technical regulation oversight and development. He was instrumental in creating the Daytona Prototype category and was race director for the entire history of Grand-Am for over a decade. Currently, he oversees all seven of IMSA’s series and all of IMSA’s Race Direction, and is on the IMSA Technical committee.

His insight into every aspect of the decades of IMSA cars, their development, how they raced and the people who raced them, is an important part of IMSA’s history. Raffauf is one of the few remaining individuals who was there near the very beginning and has worked for the company for more than 45 years.

Mark Raffauf, right, receives the RRDC Phil Hill Award from RRDC president Bobby Rahal. [Wes Duenkel photo]

 “This just might be the coolest trophy you’ll have in your trophy cabinet regardless of what you’ve won. It is to me, as a past recipient of the Phil Hill Award,” said Rahal.”I’m really proud to have known Mark Raffauf for many, many years. I know how hard he’s worked at the sport over all those years. It is my honor to present Mark with this year’s RRDC Phil Hill Award.”

Raffauf was then “interrogated” by the evening’s M.C. Leigh Diffey, discussing his decades-long tenure in the sport.

“It’s an honor I never expected,” said Raffauf, in front of an audience of nearly 200 RRDC members and guests. “Looking out at this room it’s like five decades of driver meetings where everybody is in the wrong clothes.

“I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to have worked with people like John Bishop, who was the first winner of this award, and I believe I’ve had the opportunity to work with every recipient of the award in some way or another and, more importantly, learn something about this sport from them.

“Whether they were drivers, officials, industry people, it’s just been a great opportunity. I appreciate the recognition and I will still be doing this more. It’s just amazing to look at the room at this dinner over the years after becoming a member and seeing old friends – people who raced with us, people who raced under my race direction, people who were with IMSA in the 1970s, to today where we have a whole new generation in the sport.

“It’s about passion and that passion for me started very, very early, obviously, because I’m still here and I’ve survived this long in the industry. I’ve always been on the other side of the fence from the drivers, but I think, to have the opportunity to work with you and people who have won the award before me, my best comment would be that without everybody who came before me I wouldn’t be standing here.

“I thank all of you and all of those who aren’t with us anymore who gave me the opportunity. It’s great. Thank you. Appreciate it.”



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John Fergus, a racing champion with multiple titles, businessman and Vice President/Treasurer of the RRDC, was named the 2022 recipient of the RRDC Bob Akin Award. He was honored at the annual Road Racing Drivers Club members’ dinner on January 25, prior to the running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the season opener of the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Each recipient of this honor, considered the top prize in motorsports for amateur, vintage/historic or semi-professional drivers, is selected by Akin’s son Bobby, RRDC members Brian Redman and Judy Stropus, and approved by RRDC president Bobby Rahal.

The distinctive trophy was conceived by the RRDC in 2003 to honor the memory of longtime RRDC member and past president Bob Akin, who lost his life following a testing accident in 2002.

It was designed by Steuben Glass in Corning, New York, and is given to a driver who best exemplifies the extraordinary qualities and characteristics that Akin represented, including a passion for motorsports and automobiles, a high level of sportsmanship and fair play, and who has contributed to the sport of motor racing and the community at large.

The primary award, etched with the names of the recipients, is displayed at the International Motor Racing Research Center in Watkins Glen, New York. Each honoree receives a smaller replica.

John Fergus (center) accepts the RRDC Bob Akin Award from Bobby Akin and Judy Stropus, the Akin Award Committee Chairman. [Wes Duenkel photo]

John Fergus is often called a “natural,” as he’s earned championships at an early age and continued his success primarily on an amateur level throughout his adulthood. He began his racing career in SCCA Solo II, claiming National Championships in 1977, ’78 and ’79, before moving into SCCA “club” racing in 1980 and being named SCCA Rookie of the Year in his first season.

He then entered the Pro Sports 2000 series in 1985, taking the overall titles in 1988 and ’89, becoming the winningest driver in Pro Sports 2000 history. After moving to IMSA in 1991 he grabbed the GTU championship the same year. 

Fergus has driven for Ford, Dodge, Oldsmobile, Porsche and BMW factory teams in IMSA endurance racing, sometimes sharing seats with such teammates as Derek Bell, Tommy Kendall, Mark Martin and Robby Gordon. 

He added eight more Sports 2000 championships to his resume in 1999, ’00, ’01, ’02, ’04, ’07, ’08 and ’11, and was inducted into the SCCA Hall of Fame in 2020. Currently, he serves as a Race Director for SRO-America.

Off the track, Fergus started his own development company in the late 1980s, serves on the advisory board of a number of organizations and is an instrument-rated pilot. He lives mostly in Naples, Florida, with wife Ronnie. His son Corey is a third-generation race-car driver, RRDC member and champion. Fergus has also served as Vice President/Treasurer of the RRDC since 2008.

“A heartfelt thank you to the RRDC for continuing to honor my father in this special way. It means a lot to our family,” said Bobby Akin. “This year’s winner of the Akin award is someone we know well. He’s a dedicated member of the RRDC team, who frankly has one of the most thankless tasks one could ask for.”

As the RRDC Vice President/Treasurer, Fergus handles day-to-day financial duties and manages The Mark Donohue Foundation, which supports the RRDC’s popular initiative.

“John won the IMSA GTU championship in 1991 and was chosen to drive for some top factory teams such as Porsche, Dodge, Ford and BMW,” continued Akin. “I know first-hand how fast he was while driving for the factory Dodge team. I was his teammate, but he was on a different level!

“He’s an SCCA Hall of Fame inductee and his love of racing continues to this day as he’s worked as race director for the SRO since 2020 and works with the RRDC as the Vice President/Treasurer and ‘voice of reason.’

“Outside of the track, John has been a part of a very successful business specializing in commercial development that has projects all over the United States.

“The Akin Award was created to celebrate people who love the sport, are pretty darned good at it and, most importantly, are good persons. I can think of no better example than the RRDC’s own John Fergus.”

“I knew Bob,” said Fergus. “He embodies what the RRDC is all about. He was a very competitive champion driver on the track, and, more importantly, an even greater person off the track. That’s why the award is named after Bob, because he was the guy.

“Bob was a pal of my uncle Bob, whom I was very close to, and I knew all about the RRDC. I knew about this award because I’ve been involved with the club. For me, this is the award because it’s about the passion of the sport, and what you give to the sport. And it’s a great thank you to me and I really appreciate it.”

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Jason Ott, winner of the 2022 SCCA Touring 3 National Championship on September 30, 2022, was named the 2022 recipient of the Road Racing Drivers Club’s Mark Donohue Award. Ott was honored at the annual Road Racing Drivers Club members’ dinner on January 25, 2023, prior to the running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the season opener of the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Selected by members of the RRDC each year since 1971, the award recognizes the driver exhibiting the most outstanding performance at the annual Sports Car Club of America National Championship Runoffs in terms of personal spirit and skill behind the wheel. The honor was named after Mark Donohue, a former SCCA Champion and president of the RRDC, following his death in 1975.

Making his 20th appearance at the SCCA Runoffs (September 24–October 2, 2022) at VIRginia International Raceway in Alton, Virginia, Ott earned his first-career Runoffs pole position to lead the Touring 3 class field that included five past SCCA National Champions to the green flag. While qualifying was held under perfect conditions, the remnants of Hurricane Ian brought heavy rain and 40 mph wind gusts to the 40-minute, winner-take-all championship race.

Jason Ott’s No. 09 Alpine Motorsports BMW Z4M, slogging through Hurricane Ian at VIR last September. [Mark Weber image]

Driving his No. 09 Alpine Motorsports BMW Z4M, Ott held off a flurry of attacks and kept his car on the pavement and in the lead while his rivals slid off track in pursuit. He took the checkered flag 2.236 seconds ahead of his brother, and teammate, Steve Ott, to earn his first career SCCA National Championship after finishing runner-up three times previously.

“To win this award is a huge honor and one that was not expected,” said Ott. “To be mentioned in the same breath as a man who accomplished so much in racing is humbling. Also, in reading ‘The Unfair Advantage’ and learning how hard he and Mr. Penske worked to win is inspiring. Thank you to the members of the RRDC for this incredible honor.

Jason Ott, center, accepts the RRDC Mark Donohue Award from past honorees Calvin Stewart, left, and Eric Prill. [Wes Duenkel image]

“I would say, honestly, this year we put in more work and development than we have in the last couple of years and that is what it takes to win. I must give a special thanks to Dan Spirek, Alpine Motorsports’ Jim Leithauser and my brother Steve. These guys are incredible and absolutely were the reason we were able to win. We did everything you are not supposed to do at the Runoffs, had a crash in the test day, then essentially threw multiple changes at the cars to win. 

“The race this year was intense. Hurricane Ian kept getting worse during the race. The track conditions were changing every lap and we really had to adjust our line almost every lap to compensate for new puddles or water flowing across the track. Steve was coming in a hurry. One more lap would have most likely seen him take the win.

“Finally, without the support of family, friends and sponsors, this could never happen. Thank you very much to Hoosier, BimmerWorld, BimmerHaus, Spyglass Engineering, G-Loc brakes and of course to SCCA and all the volunteers.”

The unique award has a glass top and sits on a race wheel with a historic provenance. RRDC President Bobby Rahal presented Ott with the award, which included a wheel donated by Mike Shank Racing that was used on the Acura ARX05 DPi car driven by Tom Bloomqvist, Oliver Jarvis, Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud to victory at the 2022 Rolex 24 At Daytona, as well as the 2022 Petit Le Mans and the 2022 IMSA WeatherTech Championship.

“Winning the SCCA Runoffs is a tremendous achievement for any race-car driver,” said Rahal, the 1985 Indy 500 Champion and a fellow SCCA National Champion. “Jason’s perseverance through his career and outstanding performance in very challenging conditions at VIR is worthy of special recognition. We congratulate Jason and welcome him into the RRDC family.”


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This shot of the RRDC Hospitality Motor Coach was scanned by Steve Knoll from Bill Dobbins’ extensive archive of some 15,000 images. Shot at the 1967 U.S, Grand Prix at Watkins, this is so long ago that Judy Stropus was not yet hosting the at-track soirees.

RRDC Hospitality Coach at the 1967 USGP at The Glen. [Bill Dobbins image]

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A race weekend can often be a pretty hectic experience – with a lot going on to distract you from being ready for the race itself.

Cliff Dempsey’s garage space makes a comfortable environment for TeamUSA this Fall in England. [TeamUSA Schlorship image]

In our latest video, a group of top IndyCar and IMSA drivers discuss what they do to prepare themselves – both mentally and physically – to make sure they’re in full race mode when it comes time to snap down the visor.

And it’s showtime, as Simon Pagenaud, Kyle Kirkwood, Jordan Taylor, John Edwards, Filipe Albuquerque, Callum Ilott and Earl Bamber reveal their personal race preparation routines. 

Best wishes for a very happy – and winning New Year.


Bobby Rahal

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Sonny Balcaen – An Engaging Memoir

“Raoul ‘Sonny’ Balcaen: My Exciting True-Life Story in Motor Racing from Top-Fuel Drag-Racing Pioneer to Jim Hall, Reventlow Scarab, Carroll Shelby and Beyond,” by Raoul F. Balcaen III with Jill Amadio and Pete Lyons, is now available in the U.S.

This engaging memoir from one of American racing’s unsung heroes is the very personal history of a momentous time and place in which we meet a who’s who of West Coast road-racing heroes.

Raoul ‘Sonny’ Balcaen grew up in Los Angeles at a time when it became the epicenter of American motor racing, nurturing a vast talent pool of people whose influence has echoed through to today. As a teenager, he successfully competed with his home-built Top Fuel dragster during the formative years of the sport. With Lance Reventlow, he worked on the famous Scarab sports cars and was standing in the dyno room when the team’s all-American Formula 1 engine was fired up for the first time. A period as Jim Hall’s crew chief and a close association with Carroll Shelby added to the know-how that guided him toward becoming a successful entrepreneur and led to all that followed.

Key points:

·         Aged 17, Balcaen built his own Top Fuel drag racer, the ‘Bantamweight Bomb,’ which he developed relentlessly and drove to many successes. 

·         His role in the fabulous Scarab sports cars — the landmark all-American racers — and insights into life with their creator, the incomparable Lance Reventlow.

·         Working as crew chief to the brilliant Jim Hall, preparing and running his Lotus Eleven and Lister-Chevrolet long before the famous Chaparrals emerged.

·         A second spell with Scarab, this time with the Formula 1 project — the first American Grand Prix car — plus a special job for Reventlow converting a Scarab sports racer into a street car. 

·         Onwards into setting up his own successful business, IECO (Induction Engineering Co.), to create and sell high-grade performance and appearance accessories, with Chevrolets — especially Corvair and Vega — featuring strongly.

·         His many-faceted dealings with Carroll Shelby, leading to consultancy and even assignments as occasional Shelby American company pilot.

·         Along the way we meet many other big names of the era, including Chuck Daigh, Bruce Kessler, Warren Olson, Dick Troutman, Tom Barnes, Phil Remington, Ken Miles, Leo Goossen, Jim Travers, Frank Coon, Ed Donovan and Peter Brock. 


Sonny Balcaen’s state of the art at the time dragster ran a quick 136.98 mph in November ’55. It was powered by a 302” GMC fitted with a Wayne 12 Port head and Hilborn injection. Before Sonny sold it, he ran a quick 142 mph in 10.13 seconds.

About the Authors:

Jill Amadio is the author of several fiction and non-fiction books and has a background in journalism with National Speed Sports NewsMotor TrendKelly Blue BookLos Angeles Daily NewsCondé NastWashington Examiner and Gannett Newspapers as well as a spell as communications director for Skoal Bandit Racing.

Pete Lyons is a revered racing journalist who has had positions with publications such as AutosportAutoWeekCar and DriverRoad & TrackRACECAR and Vintage Motorsport, and is also the award-winning author of more than a dozen books, the most recent being “Shadow: The Magnificent Machines of a Man of Mystery” (Evro, 2019).


Evro Publishing books are distributed in North America by Quarto Publishing Group USA. Books can be ordered from Quarto by email:; phone number: 800-328-0590; or website: Please use the relevant ISBN number when ordering.

“Raoul ‘Sonny’ Balcaen” 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


Safety?!? That’s Sonny’s dragster sans body. At least they had decent crowd control.

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Team Penske became the first organization in history to capture both the NASCAR Cup Series and the IndyCar Series championships in the same season. Team Penske has now notched 43 titles.

Will Power clinched his second NIT IndyCar title in September at Laguna Seca, the 17th IndyCar title for Team Penske.

Meyer Shank Racing captured the 2022 IMSA WeatherTech Daytona Prototype Championship including the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Meyer Shank Racing celebrates victory in the 2022 Rolex 24 at Daytona. [IMSA image]

A.J. Allmendinger (front-page image) repeated as NASCAR Infinity Series Champion in 2022, while running partial schedules in the Cup Series both years.

Chris Dyson is the 2022 SCCA Trans-Am Champion.

Andretti Autosport won the 2022 Indy Lights Team Championship.

Team Pabst’s Michael d’Orlando captured the 2022 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship.

The 2022 SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Virginia International Raceway had five RRDC members win titles: Eric Prill (F Production); Tony Ave (GT3); Peter Shadowen (GT Lite); and multiple-winner Andrew Aquillante (GT2 and Touring 1). In addition, Joe Aquillante’s Phoenix Performance team took four titles (GT2, Touring 1, 2 and 4).

Chris Dyson celebrates SCCA Championship with season finale victory at COTA. [Trans-Am Series image]

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The Road Racing Drivers Club is a U.S. organization made up of many of the America’s and Europe’s most successful racing drivers. Members are elected by their peers and include Formula One World Champions, Indy-500 winners, Champion Sports Car Drivers, and top American amateur road racers.

The membership also includes leading industry professionals, race officials, and motorsports journalists who have made significant contributions to the sport.

The club was founded in 1952 by a group of prominent American road racers as a way to give champion drivers a say in their sport – particularly in the area of safety.

At the time racing was enjoying a post-war boom with new circuits springing up throughout the country – haybale-lined tracks that proved to be quite dangerous and for the fans there are very special cars on the used car dealership. Led by respected champions, the drivers decided to organize and the club they formed was the RRDC.

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Leigh Diffey, David Hobbs and Steve Matchett are returning to the stage with their “Inside F1 2022 Year in Review” at back-to-back events in Connecticut and Pennsylvania, November 28 and 29. The popular trio with be joined by “The GOAT” Ricky Carmichael, 7-time AMA motorcross national champion. They will be at the Ridgefield (Conn) Playhouse the 28th, then on the 29th at the Sellersville (Pa) Theater 1894.

David Hobbs, Leigh Diffey and Steve Matchett (Left image) are joined by Ricky Carmichael for two season review programs.

Carmichael, who holds the all-time record for wins and championships, will provide his thoughts on the mind of a champion, elite athletes in motorsport and the 2022 racing season along with Diffey, Hobbs and Matchett who’ll discuss all racing series for the year with emphasis on Formula 1.

“Ricky love all forms of motorsport,” said Diffey, “and will be talking about the mindset of a champion and elite athletes, especially given what Max Verstappen has achieved at such a young age – very reminiscent of what Ricky achieved himself at such a young age.”

The Ridgefield show is presented by Lime Rock Park and sponsored by Porsche Danbury & Audi Danbury. Tickets are available at this link.

Tickets for the Sellersville program are available at this link.

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Mike HullManaging Director for Chip Ganassi Racing, has joined the impressive, growing list of featured webinar speakers during the 3rd Annual RACE INDUSTRY WEEK,

EPARTRADE, RACER and SPEED SPORT are providing 55 hours, over 5 days, of Live webinars from race industry leaders, race sanctioning organizations and key industry suppliers from around the world.

No charge to attend.

The live webinars will run from 6:00am to 5:00pm PST, November 28 through December 2, 2022. To view the full schedule please go to:

RACE INDUSTRY WEEK is Business-to-Business. Attendees will receive complimentary registration for access to the EPARTRADE Platform.Monday through Friday, Nov 28 – Dec 2, 2022. Register now to receive the link. No charge to attend. Register now and receive a link that will give you access for the entire week.

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With Joey Lagono’s NASCAR Cup Series title Sunday, Team Penske notched its second major championship of 2022, matching Will Power’s NIT IndyCar title clinching drive at Laguna Seca in September. It was the team’s first dual title effort in 31 seasons of competing in both series.

Lagano prevailed in a four-driver shootout at Phoenix International Raceway by winning the race. It was the second career championship for both Lagano and Power.

2022 was a banner Cup season for Team Penske with the series title, the opening day Memorial Coliseum victory for Lagano and team manager’s son Austin Cindric winning the Daytona 500.

“It’s about time,” Roger Penske said. “Joey did a great job, and for me to have two championships in the same year, that’s what we’re here for. That’s the goal we have every year. I think we’ve been close, but we got it this year.”

Roger Penske in Victory Lane Sunday [Phoenix Raceway image]

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One year ago, Max Esterson carried Team USA Scholarship colors to second place in the 50th BRSCC Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch, with teammate Andre Castro taking third. This afternoon, Esterson, from New York, N.Y., went one better, making a step back from his GB3 campaign and emerging with the victory spoils, including the coveted Neil Shanahan Memorial Trophy, for Ammonite Motorsport after the Grand Final was red-flagged after just three laps following a torrential downpour. Esterson, which might be suitable for betting on sites like 벳엔드 사이트, became only the second American to claim a Festival Final victory after Josef Newgarden carried Team USA’s patriotic red, white and blue livery to top Kent honors in 2008.

Max Esterson was fast qualifier and led every lap of three races to put his stamp on the 51st Formula Ford Festival.

This year’s Team USA Scholarship winners, Thomas Schrage and William Ferguson, also produced memorable performances. Schrage, 17, from Bethel, Ohio, finished third in his Semi Final race earlier this afternoon and was classified fourth in the Grand Final. Ferguson bounced back brilliantly from his incident on Saturday to dominate his Progression race, then overcame a poor start in his Semi Final to climb from 30th to 10th and secure a place in the Final.

The third Team USA driver, Elliott Budzinski, 20, from Ann Arbor, Mich., was in a position to advance to the Final before another untimely red-flag stoppage dropped him out of contention.

Another spectacular day of Formula Ford action began with a pair of Progression Races this morning for those drivers who were unable to qualify directly for the Semi Final round of the traditional knock-out competition. And the track conditions were completely different to Saturday following heavy rain. Ferguson lined up ninth on the grid after his Saturday incident, but began his charge to the front immediately. The Californian rose to second place by the completion of the opening lap before romping away to a clear victory over Team Canada Scholarship winner Jake Cowden, who narrowly beat Ferguson to this year’s Canadian Formula Ford Championship.

William Ferguson dominated his progression race to make the Semi-Final.

“I managed to pull a gap to Jake and then maintained it for the remainder of the race and grabbed the win,” recounted Ferguson. “Huge thanks to the Ammonite boys for getting the car back together after an unfortunate incident yesterday that put us in the barriers on the exit of Druids. We’re looking very strong for the Semi Final. Time to make up some more spots!”

Ferguson was good to his word. Despite a poor start which saw him plummet from 25th on the grid to 30th and last at the first corner, Paddock Hill Bend, Ferguson fought back magnificently, passing seven cars on the first lap and ending up a fine 10th to ensure direct qualification for the Final. The race was won by Michael Eastwell’s Kevin Mills Racing Spectrum 011C.

“Super comeback so far after an unlucky day yesterday,” said Ferguson, who posted the second fastest lap. “This means I made it into the Final, and I will start 20th. It’s a 20-lap race so there’s plenty of time to make it happen.”

Fergusin passed that clatch of cars behind him in the Semi-Final.

Schrage and Budzinski contested the other Semi Final, lining up in fifth and 16th positions respectively on a still wet – but drying – track. An excellent first lap enabled Schrage to leapfrog to third place, after which he was embroiled in an entertaining battle with Jordan Dempsey (Kevin Mills Racing Spectrum) and veteran Joey Foster (Don Hardman Racing Firman) as Esterson romped clear in the lead.

Foster used his experience to dive inside Schrage at Paddock Hill Bend on the seventh lap, then battled past Dempsey and closed rapidly on the leader, Esterson, who held on for a narrow victory as the track rapidly began to dry. Schrage was equally impressive in fourth.

“I had a much better start than yesterday,” said Schrage, who set the third fastest lap of the race, fractionally slower than the race winner. “After an intense battle with Joey Foster, I brought home a fourth-place finish in a stacked lineup.”

Budzinski was less fortunate, being inadvertently tipped into a spin at the first corner as he attempted to pass veteran Roberto Moreno’s Ray. Budzinski resumed at the tail of the field and drove well to rise up to 17th by the completion, which ensured him a place on the grid for the Last Chance Race.

Not a totally satisfying weekend for Elliott Budzinski but a great learning experience.

Unfortunately, after rising from ninth to fifth on the first lap, a red flag was displayed, and the race restarted from the original grid positions. This time he made up only one place before the red flag flew again, leaving him two shy of a Final transfer.

“The Formula Ford Festival is over and it was definitely an experience,” said Budzinski. “I learned a lot and ended feeling quite good in the car. Unfortunately, I just made a few costly mistakes which took me out of contention for the Final, and a decent position at that. Overall though a lot of fun battles were had and the amount I have learned over the week was tremendous. Now it’s onto the Walter Hayes Trophy where hopefully I can clean up the mistakes and show what young American drivers have to offer with some hardware.” 

The Final was shortened due to heavy rain, lightening and dwindling twilight.

The Final began on a largely dry track but with threatening rain clouds looming ever closer. Schrage, from seventh on the grid, made up a couple of positions on the first lap and was right in contention when he tangled with Eastwell under braking for the Druid’s hairpin. Schrage somehow recovered from a major “moment”, but the red flags flew shortly afterward when the heavens opened, and with darkness not far away and the rain still falling heavily, the officials had little option other than to conclude the race early.

“I wish I had more laps to show my true pace with the leaders,” said Schrage. “A fourth-place finish at the 51st Formula Festival Festival still met my expectations for sure. Great job to Max Esterson on the clean sweep and amazing win. The Ammonite Motorsport crew has done amazing job with all the cars, I can’t thank them enough. Thank you to Jeremy Shaw and all the Team USA Scholarship supporters for allowing us three Americans to represent our nation in these great races.”

Ferguson lost a place during a hectic opening lap but had charged his way up to 16th when the race was stopped and was eventually classified 15th when the final results were declared after two laps.

“Well, not the greatest way to end a weekend,” said Ferguson. “It was going to be a good race for us, having put a rain setup on the car. We were prepared for the weather. Even before it started raining I was able to make up four spots and we knew that we had pace in the rain.

“Overall, it was a great weekend. To make it to the Final after being taken out in the first race was a win in itself. Huge congrats to Max for getting the win, awesome result for Ammonite. The team worked really hard all week and I’m very proud to be a part of it. None of this would be possible without their hard work as well from Team USA and all of our supporters.”

About Team USA Scholarship:
The program has been providing opportunities for talented American race car drivers at an early stage in their careers since 1990. Supporters include AERO ™ Sustainable Paint Technology, Doug Mockett & Company, the Road Racing Drivers Club and, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, Chip Ganassi Racing, The Stellrecht Company, Chris Locke, CoForce, Polecat Training Academy, Pratt Miller, Dyson Racing, PitFit Training, RaceCraft1, Sparco USA, Speedstar Management and Styled Aesthetic. Previous scholarship winners include Jimmy Vasser, Bryan Herta, Jerry Nadeau, Buddy Rice, Andy Lally, Phil Giebler, A.J. Allmendinger, J.R. Hildebrand, Dane Cameron, Josef Newgarden, Conor Daly, Connor De Phillippi, Spencer Pigot, Trent Hindman, Tristan Nunez, Oliver Askew and Kyle Kirkwood.

For more information, please visit or find us on TwitterFacebook or Instagram.

All images please credit Gary Hawkins Photography.


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The three members of the 2022 Team USA Scholarship squad – Elliott Budzinski, (below center) 20, from Ann Arbor, Mich., William Ferguson (below left), 18, from Pacifica, Calif., and Thomas Schrage (below right), 17, from Bethel, Ohio – have been in and around England for the past several weeks in preparation for the 51st BRSCC Formula Ford Festival this weekend (Oct. 22-23) at the Brands Hatch Indy Circuit and the Walter Hayes Trophy in two weeks (Nov. 5-6) at Silverstone Circuit. You can read blog entries by Budzinski and Schrage at the Team USA Scholarship website.

The trio will join a strong U.S. contingent in the traditional end-of-season event at the short but challenging 1.2079-mile circuit situated an hour or so southeast of London. Seven former winners are among an entry of over 80 drivers representing at least a dozen nations. Joey Foster, Ivor McCullough, Niall Murray, Rory Smith and Jamie Sharp have accounted for eight victories between them, and will be joined by returning legends Roberto Moreno, from Brazil, who took the honors back in 1980, and 1991 winner, Belgium’s Marc Goossens.

In addition to the Team USA Scholarship trio, similar programs from Australia, Brazil, Canada and New Zealand are supporting promising young talents in this prestigious event which has been won in the past by Johnny Herbert (1985), Mark Webber (1996) and Jenson Button (1998), all of whom went on to win Formula 1 races, as well as two-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Josef Newgarden, who carried the distinctive and patriotic Team USA Scholarship colors to victory in 2008.

American hopes also will be carried by 2021 Team USA Scholarship winner Max Esterson, from New York, N.Y., who finished a close second last year and continued to hone his skills this year after stepping up to GB3, plus Jeremy Fairbairn, from Wellington, Fla., Shaun Rashid, from Atlanta, Ga., and cancer survivor Gabe Tesch, from Mica, Wash.

Esterson and Rashid will run under the same Ammonite Motorsport banner as Budzinski, Ferguson and Schrage, who have gained experience of their Ray GR cars at a variety of venues in the UK, including Castle Combe, where they completed a successful exploratory race event three weeks ago, Pembrey and Snetterton. They also benefited from simulator tuition with RaceCraft1 Motorsport Training’s Kelly Jones before their UK trip, in addition to pounding out laps at Brands Hatch for the past three days, during which they have sampled a wide array of weather and track conditions.

“We’re so thrilled to welcome back Team USA for another year,” said Andy Low, who worked as a crew chief with Cliff and Michelle Dempsey for several years before taking over the organization upon the Dempseys’ retirement a few years ago and then rebranding the team as Ammonite Motorsport for the 2022 season. “Elliott, William and Thomas have settled in very well with the team. They’ve really got to grips with the cars and have done a great job on track so far.

“It’s great to see the guys experience the UK too. It’s been a fantastic cultural experience for them and I’m really impressed with how they’ve embraced the whole package of what the scholarship can offer.”

Needless to say, the drivers themselves are equally enthusiastic about their prospects.

“I’m very excited to get underway for the Formula Ford Festival,” said Elliott Budzinski, who has impressed despite minimal car racing experience prior to his UK trip. “To do well at this race everything has to come together.

Elliott Budzinski

“The team continues to do an amazing job and I believe I have made big strides in the car that will allow us to fight for the top spot on the podium.

“Brands Hatch is a truly special track, the elevation and character it has is unlike anywhere I’ve ever driven… but testing is one thing, I cannot wait to see how 80+ cars race here!

“I also cannot go without thanking Jeremy Shaw and the long list of Team USA Scholarship sponsors that allow us to compete in such an amazing event.”


“I have been waiting to race on such a historic track like Brands Hatch Circuit for all of my life,” added Thomas Schrage, who last weekend traveled back to the U.S. to clinch the FRP F1600 Championship at Pittsburgh

Thomas Schrage

International Raceway with a convincing 11-second victory from pole. “This track is absolutely insane in wet conditions and has taught me a new driving style. I feel that I have a true chance to chase the gold this weekend, and I will be trying to do just that!”



“I’ve had an amazing couple weeks of testing with the 2022 Team USA crew thanks to Ammonite Motorsport,” said Ferguson (above), who finished second in this year’s Canadian F1600 Championship. “We’ve been to multiple tracks and experienced many different types of

William Ferguson

conditions. Because of this, I feel well acclimated to this Formula Ford car and prepared for whatever obstacles and conditions that will be thrown at me this weekend. Having three days of testing at Brands Hatch already in the books, I’ve really gotten a feel for this amazing circuit.

“I really want to thank everyone involved in the Team USA program for putting together such an amazing opportunity for Elliot, Thomas and me. With two other Americans under the tent, and all five of us showing promising speed so far, we’re looking to put the stars and stripes on the top step of the podium come Sunday.”


The huge entry will be split into four 12-lap Heat races which will be held on Saturday afternoon after qualifying earlier in the day. The top 12 drivers from each Heat will qualify directly into the pair of 14-lap Semi Final races on Sunday. The 20-lap Final, set for 5:06 local time (five hours forward from EDT) will comprise 30 cars.

Click here for the event Final Instructions and here for the weekend schedule, although bear in mind times are subject to change. Live timing will be available at

The entirety of the racing action will be live streamed at

About Team USA Scholarship:
The program has been providing opportunities for talented American race car drivers at an early stage in their careers since 1990. Supporters include AERO ™ Sustainable Paint Technology, Doug Mockett & Company, the Road Racing Drivers Club and, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, Chip Ganassi Racing, The Stellrecht Company, Chris Locke, CoForce, Polecat Training Academy, Pratt Miller, Dyson Racing, PitFit Training, RaceCraft1, Sparco USA, Speedstar Management and Styled Aesthetic. Previous scholarship winners include Jimmy Vasser, Bryan Herta, Jerry Nadeau, Buddy Rice, Andy Lally, Phil Giebler, A.J. Allmendinger, J.R. Hildebrand, Dane Cameron, Josef Newgarden, Conor Daly, Connor De Phillippi, Spencer Pigot, Trent Hindman, Tristan Nunez, Oliver Askew and Kyle Kirkwood

For more information, please visit or find us on TwitterFacebook or Instagram.

[All images please credit Gary Hawkins Photography]

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Ever hear yourself saying, “It feels like I’m driving the wheels off the car; how come my lap times don’t show it?”

We’ve all been guilty of it: You push the car harder and harder, only to find yourself going slower and slower.

In our latest video, a group of top drivers from IndyCar and IMSA explain why this happens and what to do about it.

The great race drivers are minimalists, providing only as much steering and braking input as needed, and asking no more of the car than it can deliver.

Our online instructors – Simon Pagenaud, John Edwards, Earl Bamber, Jordan Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Kyle Kirkwood – preach the same sermon: “Smooth really is fast.”


Bobby Rahal

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Gordy MacKenzie VSCCA, RRDC, WWII

Celebration of Life


Lime Rock Park Chalet


This Saturday, Oct 1,  11am to 4pm

Lime Rock Park 1st Chalet




Come for Gordy’s Photo Gallery….Story Telling….Refreshments


RSVP  Terry   860-248-1799



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The Team USA Scholarship has confirmed that three young American drivers will represent their nation in the prestigious Formula Ford Festival and Walter Hayes Trophy events in England this fall. Elliott Budzinski (center, below), 20, from Ann Arbor, Mich., William Ferguson (left), 18, from Pacifica, Calif., and Thomas Schrage (right), 17, from Bethel, Ohio, have been selected following an intense two-day shootout among six participants at the Polecat Training Center facility in Lynchburg, Tenn.

The trio will follow in the footsteps of an array of former winners including Jimmy Vasser, Bryan Herta, Jerry Nadeau, Buddy Rice, Andy Lally, Josef Newgarden and Connor De Phillippi in sporting the program’s distinctive red, white and blue livery during the formative stage of their careers.

Nadeau, who earned scholarships in 1993 and ’96, Lally (‘99), and fellow former scholarship winners Aaron Jeansonne (2017) and Bryce Aron (‘20) were all present for the two-day shootout. They were joined on the judging panel by Team USA Scholarship founder Jeremy Shaw, Polecat Training Center principals Paul Arnold, Keith Watts and J.R. Speight; Kelly Jones, proprietor of RaceCraft1 Motorsports Training; Honda/Acura Public Relations representative Dan Layton; author and RACER Marketing and Media Editor Steve Nickless; former racer Bernard Rhee; and Jim Leo of PitFit Training, who conducted a fitness seminar and evaluation with the candidates.

“It is no exaggeration to say that the quality of drivers invited to take part in the shootout seems to improve with every passing year,” said Shaw. “The standard this time was incredibly high. All six finalists impressed our judging panel, and we had an extremely difficult task to choose between them. In the end, thanks to the burgeoning enthusiasm of our loyal group of supporters, we have been able to stretch ourselves beyond the original intention which was to select just two winners. I know I speak on behalf of our entire panel when I say that all six have the necessary skill sets to make a mark as they establish themselves on the motorsport ladder.”

Alessandro De Tullio, 16, from Miami, Fla., Ayrton Houk, 19, from McCordsville, Ind., and Colin Queen, 17, from Palm City, Fla., also were part of the selection process.

Budzinski, Ferguson and Schrage have already arrived in the UK to begin preparations for the Formula Ford Festival, which will take place at Brands Hatch on the weekend of October 22/23 and the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone on November 5/6. All three will drive identically prepared Ray Formula Ford cars under the Ammonite Motorsport (formerly Low Dempsey Racing) banner.

“I feel honored to represent the United States, and to be part of the ever-expanding list of alumni coming out of the Team USA Scholarship is something truly special,” said Budzinski, a former kart racer who burst onto the car racing scene by winning a Formula F title at the famed SCCA June Sprints at Road America earlier this summer. “This will be my first time away from home for more than a week at a time, so I view it as an opportunity to get out of my comfort zone and soak in as much information as possible from the many years of experience and knowledge that will be available to me.

“I can’t thank Jeremy Shaw, the whole crew of judges, and program partners enough for all the hard work they put in making this happen every year.”

Jim Leo of PitFit Training puts candidates through agility exercises.

“I am extremely grateful for this opportunity,” added Ferguson, who finished a close second in the recently concluded Toyo Tires Formula 1600 Championship in Canada. “I believe we have a very strong group of drivers and will definitely pose a challenge to all the veterans of Formula Ford. Obviously, the goal is to win but besides that there will be so much new information to take in.

“The racing will be brutal and I know I will learn a lot about driving, but I will also be spending six weeks in another country so that’s very exciting in itself. Being surrounded by such talented and successful people, I hope to bring back new and better ideas for marketing myself and to make the next big step in my career, keeping up the recently strong momentum.”

“It’s such an honor to join the long list of successful drivers who were given this opportunity to further their careers,” said Schrage, who currently leads the FRP F1600 Championship Series by 31 points with three races remaining and also recently won a Kenyon Midget Series race on the high-banked Anderson Speedway oval in Indiana. “The trip to England will be an eye-opener for me as I explore the world of Formula Ford racing. I expect a great experience on and off track, gaining more racing connections along with an incredible amount of seat time during this adventure.

“My focus has been shifted toward building a brand for myself overseas as well as bringing home some hardware from the iconic events I will participate in. Thank you to Jeremy Shaw, the full panel of judges, sponsors and everyone involved in making the Team USA Scholarship program possible.”

PTC school cars were used for on-track evaluations.

About Team USA Scholarship:
The program has been providing opportunities for talented American race car drivers at an early stage in their careers since 1990. Supporters include AERO ™ Sustainable Paint Technology, Doug Mockett & Company, the Road Racing Drivers Club and, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, Chip Ganassi Racing, The Stellrecht Company, Chris Locke, CoForce, Polecat Training Academy, Pratt Miller, PitFit Training, RaceCraft1, Sparco USA, Speedstar Management and Styled Aesthetic. Previous scholarship winners include Jimmy Vasser, Bryan Herta, Jerry Nadeau, Buddy Rice, Andy Lally, Phil Giebler, A.J. Allmendinger, J.R. Hildebrand, Dane Cameron, Josef Newgarden, Conor Daly, Connor De Phillippi, Spencer Pigot, Trent Hindman, Tristan Nunez, Oliver Askew and Kyle Kirkwood.

For more information, please visit or find us on TwitterFacebook or Instagram.

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Skip Barber Racing School announced this week that Townsend Bell is joining the organization as Brand Ambassador. He is a graduate of the school and a former instructor.

Bell is the 2001 Indy Lights Champion, the winner of the 2014 Daytona 24, the 2015 IMSA GTD Champion, the 2016 LeMans 24 winner and a 10-time starter in the Indianapolis 500 with a best finish of fourth in 2009.  

He competed in the 1997 SBRS Formula Dodge School Championship and the Barber Pro Series Championship in 1998 and 1999. In his new role as Brand Ambassador, Bell will help promote the school and act as a key advisor to future SBRS growth initiatives.   

“My professional career in motorsports would simply not be possible without the Skip Barber Racing School,” Bell said. “They are the gold standard in race car driver education, and I am really excited to support them with their growth. The school’s all-new fleet of Formula 4 cars provides an ideal platform for teaching the techniques that Skip Barber established over 40 years ago. While the proven core curriculum remains, the implementation of advanced telemetry analysis and onboard video systems has taken the school to levels on par with the world’s best race teams. I’m a proud SBRS graduate and even prouder to return to the program in this new role.” 

Bell currently competes in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with Lexus Racing. When not behind the wheel, Bell is a broadcast analyst for NBC Sports covering the NTT IndyCar Championship and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.  

“To be able to bring Townsend Bell back into the fold at SBRS is both exciting and gratifying. His knowledge, success, experience, and present role in the industry will serve our team and our students extraordinarily well”, said Dan DeMonte, SBRS Chief Marketing Officer. 

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It was a triumphant weekend for Will Power at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Sep 9-12. On Saturday, Power took his 68th career pole, eclipsing Mario Andretti’s all-time IndyCar record by one with Mario witnessing the feat from the pitlane.

Then on Sunday, Power drove his No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet to third overall in the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey, clinching his second NTT IndyCar Series Championship having been runner-up on four previous occasions. Power’s Penske teammate Josef Newgarden secured his third straight Championship runner-up position with a second-overall finish in the race.

It was the 17th IndyCar Series title for Team Penske and the 42nd championship for Penske in its motorsport’s history.

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Adrian Newey was spotlighted on Sky Sports Grand Prix Sunday in the run-up to the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort. The subject was the RB18 Red Bull F1 car and why it has been so dominant this 2022 season. The consensus is that chief aerodynamicist Newey has made the difference. Responsible for many championship race cars over the years, Newey is the only current designer with extensive experience with ground effects which feature prominently on the current F1 car. Unlike the other F1 designs, the RB18 has not suffered from pitch control or “porpoising”.

A clip showed Newey at his drafting table, essentially the only current aerodynamicist to not rely on CAD. Nico Rosberg rightly placed Newey in the company of Colin Chapman and Ross Brawn. One could also include Rory Byrne and John Barnhard in that group. If you have any questions about Adrian Newey, just ask our president Bobby Rahal who earlier in his career benefited greatly from Newey’s genius.

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Fellow Racers, the old saying goes, “No race has ever been won in the first corner, but many have been lost there.”

Well if that’s true, then why do so many drivers go for it at the start?

The answer is simple: With today’s race cars, passing is very difficult, and starts and re-starts present the best opportunities for overtaking – along with the greatest risks.

In our latest video, a group of top IMSA and IndyCar drivers – including Filipe Albuquerque, Simon Pagenaud, Jordan Taylor, John Edwards, Kyle Kirkwood, Earl Bamber and Callum IIlott – reveal their secrets of making fast, but safe getaways.

Bobby Rahal

P.S.: Be sure to check out the latest Ask A Pro Q&A session with online instructor Pato O’Ward.



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For the 33rd consecutive year, the Team USA Scholarship will provide opportunities for talented young American race car drivers to gain some international recognition at an early stage in their careers. Next week at the challenging Polecat Training Center facility in Lynchburg, Tenn., six finalists will participate in 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.

Ultimately, a pair of winners will be invited to contest the 51st Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch, England, on October 22/23, and the equally prestigious Walter Hayes Trophy event at Silverstone, held in honor of the founding father of Formula Ford, on the first weekend in November.

The finalists have been chosen from a group of 12 candidates, each of whom was invited to submit a variety of assignments which were evaluated by more than 35 auto racing insiders representing virtually every aspect of the sport.

The six finalists are:
•    Elliott Budzinski, 19, from Ann Arbor, Mich. – partial season in the FRP F1600 Championship Series
•    Alessandro De Tullio, 16, from Miami, Fla. – currently second in USF Juniors Presented by Cooper Tires
•    William Ferguson, 18, from Pacifica, Calif. – currently leads the Toyo Tires F1600 Championship (Canada)
•    Ayrton Houk, 19, from McCordsville, Ind. – currently second in the FRP F1600 Championship Series
•    Colin Queen, 17, from Palm City, Fla. – currently second in the BRSCC National Formula Ford 1600 Championship (UK)
•    Thomas Schrage, 17, from Bethel, Ohio – currently leads the FRP F1600 Championship Series

Thomas Annunziata, 16, from Colts Neck, N.J.; Matt Christensen, 17, from Orlando, Fla.,; Nicholas Rivers, 18, from Wheatley Heights, N.Y.; Timothy Steele, 18, from Westfield, Ind.; Jack Sullivan, 16, from Hamilton, Ohio; and Westin Workman, 17, from Charlotte, N.C., also were part of the original selection process.

The six 2022 TeamUSA Scholarship Shootout finalists (knealing) with judges/instructors. [TeamUSA Scholarship image]

The final decision will be made by a panel of judges which will include former Team USA Scholarship winners Jerry Nadeau (1993/’96), Andy Lally (‘99), Aaron Jeansonne (2017) and Bryce Aron (‘20), as well as Kelly Jones, proprietor of RaceCraft1 Motorsports Training, Honda/Acura Public Relations representative Dan Layton, author and RACER Marketing and Media editor Steve Nickless, and Team USA Scholarship founder Jeremy Shaw.

“Racing at the Brands Hatch Formula Ford Festival in 1993 and then the Nations Cup a few years later with Tony Renna were two of the greatest experiences in my career,” said Nadeau, a former NASCAR Cup Series race winner who has not competed since sustaining a serious head injury in an accident at Richmond International Raceway in 2003. “I learned a whole lot during my time with the Team USA Scholarship and am very grateful for the opportunities I was given. I’m really pleased that Jeremy has kept the program going for all these years and I’m excited to be part of it again.”



2021 Team USA Scholarship winners, Andre Castro (left) and Max Esterson, are well into their 2022 professional racing programs, boosted by stellar performances in England last fall. In the 21st Annual Walter Hayes Trophy Grand Final at Silverston, Esterson became the fourth Team USA Scholarship driver to win top honors, following in the wheel tracks of Conor Daly (2008), Connor De Phillippi (2009) and Tristan Nunez (2012). Castro bowed out early with a balky shifter. Earlier, both Esterson (second) and Castro (third) finished on the podium in the 50th BRSCC Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch.

2022 has proved productive for both drivers as they advance their careers. Castro is competing in inaugural USF Juniors season for International Motorsport and Doug Mockett & Company and is running consistently in the top five. Esterson is driving this season for Douglas Motorsport in the GB3 Championship, formerly the BRDC British F3 series. In three races at Donington Park in late May/early June, Esterson scored his first pole, his first podium, his first victory and two fastest laps. The lads are rolling.




Scott Dixon’s come-from-behind victory in what proved a messy Music City Grand Prix in Nashville last weekend was the 53rd of his stellar Indy Car racing career and moved the New Zealander one win ahead of Mario Andretti on the all-time list, now behind only A. J. Foyt, Jr. still comfortably ahead with 67.

{CBS image]

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Racemaker Press has announced that “Boost! Roger Bailey’s Extraordinary Motor Racing Career” – the latest biography from author Gordon Kirby – is now available at

Perhaps nobody in the history of automobile racing enjoyed a career of wider reach and diversity than Roger Bailey. Over the course of 52 years, from 1959-2012, Bailey competed as a mechanic, engine builder, crew chief, sanctioning body technical inspector and, finally, co-founder and administrator of the Indy Lights series. 

“Boost!” details Bailey’s life and career, documenting the many skills that made him so successful. “Roger was such a great guy,” said Roger Penske, founder and chairman of Penske Corporation and decades-long owner of multiple race teams. “He worked with us in the SCCA Can-Am Series in 1967 and you could see that his passion for racing was as strong as anyone’s. He brought a lot of good ideas to us and was one of the hardest workers we ever had in our organization.

“You could see that when he took over running the Indy Lights series. He had a wide wing span of what he could do and people liked him as a person to be their leader. If you can lead people like Roger has done over the years you build real momentum and he was at the top of that list.” 

“In ‘Boost!’ I’ve tried to capture not only Roger Bailey’s talents but his ability to work with a variety of different personalities in this sport to achieve success and maintain lifetime relationships based on his tactful straightforwardness. He made it work, and it worked well,” said Kirby, who now counts eight books that he’s authored for Racemaker Press of the 17 of his career.

Bailey started his career in 1960 with the Jim Russell School in England. He then worked for the Cooper Car Company, winning the 1961 British Saloon Car Championship with Sir John Whitmore’s Mini-Cooper and the 1964 British Formula 3 Championship with Jackie Stewart’s Ken Tyrrell Cooper. He worked on Bruce McLaren’s F1 Cooper in 1965, then worked on Ford’s Le Mans program, building Ford GT mk 2s for the 1966 and ’67 Le Mans 24 Hours. After a season in the Can-Am with George Follmer’s Penske/Lola T70, Bailey spent two years at Ferrari preparing Chris Amon’s Formula 1, Tasman, sports cars and Can-Am cars. He was the first non-Italian to work for Ferrari’s race team.

In 1970 Bailey worked on George Eaton’s BRM Can-Am cars then spent five years with McLaren Engines in Detroit building turbo Offenhausers for Johnny Rutherford’s McLaren Indy cars, twice winning the Indy 500 with Rutherford. He moved on to run at McLaren turbo BMW 320i in IMSA for David Hobbs before spending four years with IMSA as the sanctioning body’s technical director. 

His career as a mechanic came to its culmination in 1986 when he co-founded the American Racing Series with Pat Patrick. In 1991, the ARS became the Indy Lights series with Bailey at the helm of the category through its heydays until his retirement in 2012.

“Boost!” Is a large format, hard-backed book filling 210 pages with 120 photographs. The book retails for $60 plus shipping and is available from Racemaker Press at 39 Church St., Boston, MA 02116. The book may be ordered at



David Donohue drove the iconic liveried No. 59 Brumos Porsche to first in the Time Attack Class and third overall in the 100th running of the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 26. [BPPIHC image]



Dr. Frederick Simeone, founder of Philadelphia’s Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum housing one of the world’s more eclectic automobile collections, passed away June 11, three days after his 86th birthday. The museum’s frequent Demo Days highlight events, people and machinery from across the motoring spectrum. RRDC members have been honored over the years during the Museum’s annual festival. Dr. Simeone will be sorely missed.



ALAIN de CADENET (1945-2022)

Image from the Alain de Cadenet Collection

Alain de Cadenet, racer, constructor and television commentator, passed away July 2 at age 76. As a telecaster, de Cadanet did stints with Speedvision, Speed Channel, ESPN and Velocity, hosting such iconic shows as Legends of Motorsport and Victory By Design for Speed where he drove vintage racing cars and discussed their history. One of his last productions was Velocity’s Renaissance Man covering cars, motorcycles and racing at Monaco. A fascinating man and a zany character, his obituary appeared in The Guardian.

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Rob Walton and the Walton-Penner Group have purchased the Denver Broncos for a reported $4.65 billion, a record for the sale of an American professional sports franchise, far surpassing the $2.4 billion paid for the New York Mets in 2020.

Walton-Penner is headed up by Walton’s daughter Carrie Walton Penner and son-in-law Greg Penner. The sale is subject to approval by the NFL finance committee and team owners.

“We are thrilled to be selected to move forward with the purchase of the Denver Broncos!” Walton read in a statement. “Carrie, Greg and I are inspired by the opportunity to steward this great organization in a vibrant community full of opportunity and passionate fans. Having lived and worked in Colorado, we’ve always admired the Broncos. Our enthusiasm has only grown as we’ve learned more about the team, staff and Broncos Country over the last few months.”

Walton, a member of RRDC since 2006, has one of the world’s most valuable and eclectic post-1950 automobile collections consisting mostly of racing cars, many uniquely famous like Lance Reventlow’s Scarab MKI.

Rob Walton nestles into his Maserati Tipo 60 birdcage. [ image]



To celebrate the golden anniversary of BMW M Motorsport, a very special 30-minute invitational race was held to kick off the annual 24-Hours of Nurburgring race weekend. Twelve legendary BMW pilots, both car and motorcycle, from the past five decades competed in identically prepared BMW M2 CS race cars.

Bill Auberlen led qualifying and started last in the inverted grid which included a second American, Eddie Cheever. In addition, there were German drivers Jochen Mass, Dirk Adorf, Harald Grohs, Olaf Manthey and HRH Prince Leopold of Barvaria; Venezuelan Johnny Cecotto; Italian Arturo Merzario; Brit Steve Soper; Dutchman Franciscus van Meel; and Belgian Eric van de Poele.

Auberlen battled to the front, taking the checkered flag from FIA President Jean Todt who helped van Meel and Jochen Neerspasch hand out the trophies to Auberlen and runners up Cecotto and Soper.

“That was so much fun,” enthused Auberlen. “I had a superb time on the track with these guys. I knew Johnny Cecotto would be the toughest nut to crack – and he did shove me into the gravel once. Once I passed him, I simply enjoyed watching his duel with Steve Soper in the rear-view mirror. Overall, a fantastic event from BMW M. Thanks for letting me be part of it.”


A scrambling start for the 30-minute BMW M Motorsports Legends race at the Nurbringing. [BMW M Motorsport image]

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Hagerty has named the RRDC’s Judy Stropus as Grand Marshal for the 2022 Greenwich Concours d’Elegance, held at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park overlooking Greenwich Harbor on June 3-5, 2022.

Judy Stropus’ talent, passion, precision and creativity have been a pivotal part of American and international motorsports for over half a century, she literally wrote the book on race timing and scoring. In an era before computers were tasked with the job, race timing and scoring would require doctoral thesis-level intellectual poise under extreme and unrelenting pressure in a noisy and often dangerous environment. Her text “The STROPUS GUIDE to Auto Race Timing & Scoring: Modern Sports Car Series” is often recognized as the standard on the disciplined and cerebral art.

“Judy’s accomplishments are only overshadowed by her incredible spirit,” said McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty. “She has been a key player, often behind the scenes, at the Greenwich concours for many years. We can’t think of a more fitting occasion to celebrate her inspiring motorsports story and life-long passion for driving.”

Most recently honored by selection to the Motor Sports Hall of Fame of America, Stropus’ storied career is summed up in the RRDC’s membership directory.

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