Bondurant now in SCCA Hall of Fame
Raced Corvettes and won at Le Mans
Eric Kaminsky - March 28, 2014 09:00 AM
Bob Bondurant and wife Pat at the SCCA Hall of Game induction banquet.Photo courtesy of TimePiece PR & Marketing
Bob Bondurant driving a 1959 Corvette at Riverside in 1961.Photo courtesy of the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving
Bob Bondurant piloting the number 614 Corvette at Riverside.Photo courtesy of the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving
Race car driver and high performance driving school founder Bob Bondurant has been inducted in the Sports Car Club of America Hall of Fame. Ceremonies took place in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was accompanied by his wife Pat.
Other 2014 inductees included Dan Gurney, Dr. Bob Hubbard, Kathy Barnes, Jim Downing and Pete Hylton.
Bondurant began his racing career in the 1950s driving Corvettes, and he won the West Coast SCCA B Production National Championship in 1959, finishing first in 18 of 20 races. During SCCA competition from 1960 to 1963, he won 30 of the 32 races.
Driving for Shelby American in 1964, he and Gurney won their class with the Cobra Daytona Coupe at Le Mans. In 1965, he won seven of his 10 races to help Shelby capture the FIA GT Championship title, still the only American team to do so. The following year, Ferrari invited Bondurant to be one of their Formula 1 drivers. He also drove Dan Gurney’s Eagle racecar in F1.
While driving a McLaren MARK II at Watkins Glen in 1967, a steering arm snapped at 150 mph. Bondurant woke in the hospital where doctors said he would never walk again. His racing career over, Bondurant sketched his vision for a racing school. When he recovered from the accident, he went to work making that vision a reality.
Six months later, actors Paul Newman and Robert Wagner were his first students. Starting with four cars, the school was based at Orange County International Raceway in Santa Ana, California. It was the first to be SCCA certified for racing licenses.
The Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving, which is was relocated to Phoenix, Arizona in 1990, is the only purpose-built driver training facility for performance enthusiasts and is the largest driver training of its kind in North America. At the heart of the 60-acre facility is a 1.6-mile, 15-turn multi-configuration track that was designed by Bondurant himself. The school maintains over 200 race-prepared vehicles, sedans, SUVs and open wheel cars.
For more information on the driving school, visit www.Bondurant.com or call (800) 842-7223.