Bob Bondurant, legendary driver and founder of the Bondurant School of High Performance Driving, was recently elected to the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Hall of Fame for the Class of 2014. Dan Gurney, Kathy Barnes, Dr. Bob Hubbard, Jim Downing, and Pete Hylton are also Hall of Famers. The honor recognizes Bondurant’s lifelong contribution to motorsports, in particular the SCCA, which is based in Topeka, Kansas.
The formal induction of the Class of 2014 will be held on March 8th at the Hall of Fame Banquet, taking place during the annual SCCA Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“When you look through the list of the Sports Car Club of America Hall of Fame members, it is clear that they are also legends in the wider world of motorsports. Bob Bondurant’s sensational driving record would make him a contender, but the advent of and his continued work with the Bondurant School of High Performance Driving cements that,” said Lisa B. Noble, SCCA president and CEO.
“We know that SCCA racers are among the best in the world, and many of them got their start in Bob’s programs,” she added. “His selection as an SCCA Hall of Fame inductee is well deserved.”
Bob’s life has revolved around going fast. As a teen, he competed with dirt bikes in Southern California before racing Corvettes in the mid-‘50s and accomplishing 18 of 20 wins, which led to his taking home the victory at the west coast SCCA B Production National Championship in 1959. That same year, Valvoline honored him by naming him Corvette Driver of the Year. A USSRC success for Carroll Shelby and a Le Mans class win in 1964 (along with co-inductee Dan Gurney) followed, and soon-after he won seven of his ten races in Shelby Cobras and Daytonas to help claim the 1965 World Manufacturers Championship with the rest of the Shelby American team. A year later, Enzo Ferrari invited Bondurant to represent the United States in the Formula 1 World Championship.
Tragically, a terrible accident while racing at Watkins Glen, New York in 1967 ended his racing career, but he bounced back by opening the Bondurant School at Orange County International Raceway in Santa Ana, California, which moved to Arizona in 1990.
“It’s great that so many fans submitted letters for my induction,” says Bondurant, “That means so much to me to know just how many people appreciate my contribution to racing and education. It’s fantastic!”
“I was so happy to be with Bob when he received the call from the SCCA Board,” added his wife, Pat, President of the Bondurant School. “He was the SCCA vice president in 1959–60, won countless races and his school was the first to be SCCA certified for racing licenses. Now his induction has made full circle to thank him for his contributions to the entire racing world. For him, for us, for the school, life is good!”
The SCCA National Hall of Fame came to be in 2004 and was created to record the history and accomplishments of its members. Nominations are reviewed by the SCCA Hall of Fame Nomination and Selection committees before inductees are announced.
For more information on the Sports Car Club of America and the SCCA Hall of Fame, visit www.scca.com.