By a vote of its current members in 2010, the Road Racing Drivers Club (RRDC) elected 24 race-car drivers and supporters of the sport to membership in the 58-year-old organization. The list includes IndyCar, ALMS, Grand-Am, Formula Mazda, Super Vee, Historic, and Touring champions. The RRDC roster now totals approximately 350 members.
“This is a truly outstanding group that represents virtually every form of road racing in North America,” said RRDC President Bobby Rahal. “Membership in the club is one of the highest honors one can receive in American motorsports, and with it comes something even better: the opportunity to give something back to the sport. These days the RRDC is deeply involved in the development and support of young American drivers, and we look forward to our new members’ active participation.”
The list of invitees to Regular Membership:
Terry Borcheller – Vero Beach. Fla.
Borcheller won championships in Rolex Grand-Am Daytona Prototype (2003), ALMS GTS (2001), Rolex GTO (2000), IMSA Speedvision Cup GS and SPEED World Challenge T-1 (both in 1998). He also won the Skip Barber Formula Ford title (1991) and was WKA National Karting championship (1983).
Kevin Buckler – Petaluma, Calif.
Buckler, founder and CEO of The Racer’s Group and TRG Motorsports, has scored GT class wins in the Daytona 24 in 2002 and 2003 and at the 2002 24 Hours of LeMans, where he was awarded the Porsche World Cup. TRG won Rolex Grand-Am GT championships in 2005 and 2006 and also fields a car in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
John Edwards – Cincinnati, Ohio
Edwards is the youngest-ever driver to be licensed and win a race in U.S. open-wheel road racing: in 2004 at age12 in the Skip Barber Series, also winning the Red Bull Driver Search that year. In 2005 in Formula Renault in Europe he was the youngest-ever to hold an FIA license, winning in the 2006 Anderstrop. He became the youngest-ever Atlantic Championship driver in 2008, also winning the Star Mazda title that year and the Atlantic Championship in 2009.
John Finger – Greenville, S.C.
Finger has raced since 1970, beginning with Formula Vee and the Gold Cup Super Vee Series before moving to hill climbing. He was king of the hill at Chimney Rock a dozen times through 1984. He was also winning in SCCA CProd, GT2 and GT1, ARCA and IMSA GTU. He won the American GT class in the 2000 Daytona 24, then won the ARCA race at Watkins Glen in 2001. He currently runs historic cars in HSR and is still winning hill climbs.
Divina Galica – Lakeville, Conn.
After 10 years as an International skier representing Great Britain at three Winter Olympic Games, Galica (English member of the Order of the British Empire) took up motor racing by a chance invitation in 1974. She has raced everything from Formula 1 to Semi Trucks and still drives in vintage events. In F1, she scored a second at Donington Park and a third at Brands Hatch in 1976, and a second at Zandvoort in 1978.
Chip Ganassi – Pittsburgh, Pa.
Over the past 20 years, Ganassi’s racing teams have won 134 major touring series races and 12 championships. In 2010 alone, the organization claimed 19 major victories, highlighted by the first-ever Triple Crown of American Racing with wins in the Daytona 500, Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400. Ganassi’s teams also scored championships in both the IZOD IndyCar Series (their eighth) and the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series.
Pierre Kleinubing – Pompano Beach, Fla.
Kleinubing was three-time karting champion (1989-1991) in his native Brazil before moving to “tin-tops” and winning the 1992 and 1995 Brazilian Touring Car titles. His U.S. debut was with IMSA in 1996. In 1997 he joined Peter Cunningham’s RealTime Racing and won five more touring car crowns. He was World Challenge Rookie of the Year that first year while winning the T2 class title. He then won back-to-back SPEED Touring Car titles in 2000 and 2001 and notched his fourth and fifth championships in 2006 and 2009.
Shane Lewis – Jupiter, Fla.
Lewis is considered one of the sport’s leading endurance racing and development drivers, earning race victories and championships throughout the world. His 29 24-hour races include 13 at Daytona and three each at LeMans and the Nurbürgring, including a 2010 class victory at the German event. He has also raced in eight Sebring 12s, six Petit LeMans, four One-Lap of Americas and won the 1998 Professional Sports Car Racing’s Rising Star Award.
Arie Luyendyk, Sr. – Fountain Hills, Ariz.
Luyendyk is best known for his 1990 and 1997 Indy 500 victories, but has experienced success in many different forms of racing, with victories in the 1989 Sebring 12 and the 1998 Daytona 24. Luyendyk represented IndyCar racing in the IROC series on several occasions. Recently he has shifted his focus to managing son Arie Luyendyk, Jr. in his IndyCar efforts.
Tim McAdam – Scottsdale, Ariz.
McAdam was a regular competitor on the IMSA circuit in the 1990s after first racing Formula Fords in 1983, often co-driving with Jim Downing in the GTP/Lights Kudzu-Mazda. He won the 1992 Daytona 24 (GT class) and the 1993 Sebring 12 (GTP/Lights). In 1994, he was SCCA Trans-Am Series Rookie of the Year.
Charles Mendez Jr. – Atlanta, Ga.
Mendez was promoter for the famed 12 Hours of Sebring from 1978-1982. With racing partner Dave Cowart, he helped return Sebring to international prominence with official FIA listing and the return of major corporate sponsors, auto manufacturers and the media. In recognition, and as a former winner in 1978, he became one of the original inductees into the Sebring Hall of Fame in 2002. In recent years, he has been active on the vintage circuit.
Charles Nearburg – Dallas, Texas
Nearburg has been racing since 1973 when he ran a self-prepared Lotus Super 7, notching 20 SCCA victories and three divisional championships. He has competed in IndyCars and at the Daytona 24, Sebring 12 and LeMans. He regularly runs his Williams FW07B/06 in historic races. Following his son Rett’s death in 2005, he raced the “Spirit of Rett” streamliner at Bonneville and now holds the six fastest unblown records there at 348, 350, 360, 368, 392, and 414 mph, respectively.
Didier Theys – Scottsdale, Ariz.
At his retirement from professional driving at the end of 2008, Theys had recorded 61 podium finishes in sports cars with 18 victories, including the Daytona 24 (twice), Sebring 12 and the Nurburgring, plus three straight podium finishes at LeMans. The native Belgian was Grand-Am champion in 2002. Before 1993, Theys had 47 CART series starts including three at the Indy 500 and won half a dozen championships in smaller open-wheel cars and karts.
The list of invitees to Associate Membership:
Bruce Foss – Lakeville, Ind.
Foss joined the Hoosier Racing Tire Corp. in 1984 and was charged with developing and marketing the company’s sports-car tire program. Under his management, Hoosier has become a major competitor on U.S. and international road circuits, winning countless SCCA National races and titles, IMSA GTO and GTU races and serving as spec tire for both the Grand-Am Road Racing and SCCA Trans-Am Series. He continues to head the Road Racing Tire division he created.
Jeff Lewis – Newport Beach, Calif.
Lewis has collected and restored historic sports, prototype and formula cars for over 30 years, including Porsches (Spyder, 904/6, 908, 917, 962, GT3R), Ferraris (512M, 206sp, 500 Mondial) and F-1 cars (McLaren, Tyrell and Lotus). He has driven historic races at most North American circuits, as well as most major European circuits.
Chris MacAllister – Indianapolis, Ind.
MacAllister started competing on two wheels at age 16 and graduated to historic racing 25 years ago. He’s an active collector, restorer, tinkerer and general gear head who runs a heavy-equipment dealership to pay for his vehicular interests. He has competed in the Daytona 24 and at LeMans as both owner and driver in 1999-2001 and 2005.
Tom Milner – Winchester, Va.
In his 40-plus years in the racing industry, Milner developed successful programs in IMSA, SCCA, NASCAR and Grand-Am. In an early partnership with Bill Scott Racing he helped produce 10 Formula Vee, Super Vee and Formula Ford championships from 1964-1984. In 1981, his Performance Technology Group scored two IMSA Camel GT victories. Over the last 15 years, PTG has added 14 additional championships in Manufacturer, Team and Driver divisions.
Chris Neville – Scottsdale, Ariz.
Neville brings serious seat time to his job as a motorsports broadcast analyst having scored wins in the SCCA Trans-Am, SPEED World Challenge, Star Formula Mazda, GT America Stock Car series and karts, where he started at age 12. He was Trans-Am Rookie of the Year in 1998. After the 2000 season, the Purdue graduate stepped from the driver’s seat to in front of the camera as part of Fox Sports/SPEED’s broadcast team.
Al Speyer – Nashville, Tenn.
Speyer joined the Firestone Tire & Rubber Company in 1974 and held several technical and management positions in motorsports before being tapped to manage the company’s return to open-wheel racing in the mid-1990s. Since 2001, he has served as Executive Director of Motorsports for Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, directing the company’s racing programs, as well as its motorcycle and karting activities.
Michael Stott – Hohokus, N.J.
Stott has been a racer for more than 50 years, beginning with the SCCA in New England. In 1998, he was one of the founding directors of the International Motor Racing Research Center (IMRRC) in Watkins Glen, N.Y., a reference library and museum dedicated to the preservation of motorsports history. He has sponsored numerous SVRA historic racing events and is a regular participant with many podium finishes.
Bill Wonder – Harleysville, Pa.
With more than 55 years of competing both professionally and for the sheer enjoyment, Wonder has raced an array of automobiles from MG Specials and Porsche Spyders to a Buick-powered Genie and a Ford GT40, plus Can-Am and Trans-Am cars. His first outing was in the 1953 Sebring 12, finishing 16th in an MG-TD. A true privateer, Bill not only drove but was his own engineer and team manager.
The list of invitees to Honorary Membership:
Dan Davis – Jacksonville, Fla.
Davis purchased the Brumos Companies in 1990 and with Bob Snodgrass returned Brumos Porsche to successful road racing. The team won multiple Supercar championships in the early 1990s with Hurley Haywood and Hans Stuck. His proudest moments were the overall wins in the Daytona 24 in 2009 and 2010. He’s come a long way from driving a 1950 Mercury dirt track car in 1964 to owning a championship team.
Marolyn Rogers – Fernandina Beach, Fla.
Rogers was Chief Registrar for IMSA for 15 years and for the past nine years served on the International Motor Racing Research Center’s Governing Council. She worked for several years for Bill Warner as he launched the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. She is currently working with RM Auctions for their Concours at Amelia Island.
Dail Taylor – St. Augustine, Fla.
Taylor is a CPA who has performed valuable services for the RRDC, including obtaining tax-exempt status for the organization. Taylor is a lifelong motorsports fan, coming by it naturally through his father, who was always in the automobile business, and his longtime friend Brian Redman.
For more detailed bios and photographs, visit www.rrdc.org.
About the RRDC:
The Road Racing Drivers Club was formed in 1952 as a way to give champion drivers a say in their sport, particularly in the areas of safety, and has evolved to serve the future of road racing by mentoring new drivers on both amateur and professional levels. The Club’s membership includes leading industry professionals, race officials and motorsports journalists, in addition to prominent racing names.
President Bobby Rahal is the 1986 Indy 500 winner and is co-owner, with David Letterman, of the 2004 Indianapolis 500 winning Rahal Letterman Racing team. Six-time SCCA National champion John Fergus is the Club’s Vice President/Treasurer, and five-time SCCA National champion Tom Davey is the Secretary.
In addition to RRDC members lending their expertise to up-and-coming drivers, the Club presents three annual awards: the Phil Hill Award for rendering outstanding service to road racing; the Mark Donohue Award for personal spirit and performance at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs; and the Bob Akin Award – the top award presented to amateur and semi-professional racers – for speed with style, passion, sportsmanship and contribution to motorsports.
The RRDC also supports the Team USA Scholarship, which has been assisting young Americans in the early stages of their careers since 1990.
Membership in the RRDC is by invitation only. Additional information on the organization may be found at www.rrdc.org.
[Source: RRDC; photo credit: Dennis Gray]