The 2013 edition of the Legends of Riverside Racing Film Festival and Gala will be staged March 23rd at the Riverside International Automotive Museum in Riverside, California. The fifth annual event will honor racing great Bob Bondurant.
Bondurant started in his teen years racing motorcycles and in 1956 he switched to sports car racing with a Corvette and won the West Coast B-Production Championship winning 18 of 20 races.
During a battle between Cal Club and SCCA, Bondurant was banned from racing for 6 months. He used this time to learn to fly helicopters and got to be a good pilot. Bondurant then went to work where they rebuilt wrecked helicopters. He never went to school, but learned to follow the cars around the racetrack. He went to the driving school at Sears Point and flew the helicopter every day where he would chase the students around the track.
1961 saw Bondurant hired by Santa Barbara Chevrolet dealer Shelly Washburn to drive his #614 1959 Corvette. He drove Washburn’s new 1963 Corvette Z06 Stingray in the Times Grand Prix at Riverside Raceway. Bondurant won 30 out of 32 races in Washburn’s Corvettes.
In 1963 Bondurant became a member of the Carroll Shelby Cobra team, winning his first race. Bob raced Cobras in the states at Colorado’s Continental Divide Raceway, Riverside, and Sebring, and then went to Europe racing at the Targa Florio, Spa and Nurburgring. He also raced Le Mans.
Bondurant served as a technical consultant for the film Grand Prix and trained actor James Garner to drive Formula cars. In addition to Garner, Bondurant was a driving instructor to actors Paul Newman, Clint Eastwood, Robert Wagner, Tim Allen, Tom Cruise and Nicolas Cage.
While recuperating from a 1967 Can Am series race accident, Bob had an idea for a high performance driving school, which opened in early 1968 at Orange County Raceway, then moved to Ontario, Sears Point and in 1989 to Phoenix, Arizona. Bob is not only the honoree at Legends V in 2013, but his school turns 45 years old and Bob himself turns 80 years young.
Bob will be joined at the 2013 Legends of Riverside Racing Film Festival by close to 50 veteran drivers.
Legends V will include special awards presented to those who contributed so much to our racing heritage, a silent auction of assorted racing memorabilia, an autograph signing by drivers and VIPs (for ticket holders only), cocktail party, dinner, a live auction and interview by Ed Justice Jr. with Bob Bondurant. In addition, there will also be a ‘Meet and Greet’ on Friday evening, March 22nd for all ticket holders.
Only 150 tickets are available to the public and proceeds will go to The Boys Republic.
The 2013 Legends of Riverside will be held at the Riverside International Automotive Museum, 815 Marlborough Avenue #200, Riverside, California 92507. Tickets for the 2 day event are $149.00 each. For more information, call 951-369-6966 or visit riversideinternational.org.