The Road Racing Drivers Club elected 29 new members for 2011, bringing its rolls to 380 significant racing drivers and contributors to the sport. The organization will celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2012.
Twenty racing drivers whose resumes include championships in karting, FIA GT2, SCCA Nationals, Indy Lights, European rallying, USAC National Sprint Car, British Formula Renault, and numerous major event victories around the world, were voted in as Regular members.
Five notable supporters of the sport, with stellar backgrounds as drivers, team owners and/or officials, were elected to Associate membership, while four Honorary members from the organizational and medical ranks accepted invitations to join the exclusive club founded in 1952.
“We at the RRDC are proud to welcome this truly outstanding group of drivers and supporters from virtually every form of racing on the globe,” said RRDC president Bobby Rahal. “The caliber of these men and women and their contributions to the sport are a true reflection of what the RRDC represents.
“Membership in the RRDC is one of the highest honors one can receive, and with it comes something even better: the opportunity to give back to the sport. The RRDC is deeply involved in the development and support of young drivers, and we look forward to our new members’ active participation.”
Regular Members voted in for 2011:
Joao Barbosa – Daytona Beach, Fla. – A native of Portugal, began racing karts at age 11, winning the ’88 Portuguese Junior Kart championship, following that with Formula A and Super A titles. Has championships in Portuguese Formula Ford and Italian Formula Europa Boxer. Was second in the ’96 Italian Formula 3 championship winning Rookie of the Year and is ’97 Formula Atlantic Rising Star. Has raced at Le Mans, in ALMS and Grand-Am, winning class at ’10 Daytona 24.
Justin Bell – Los Angeles, Calif. – SCCA Trans-Am Rookie of the Year in ’01, has competed in Barber Saab, British club championships, Asia Pacific Touring Car Championship, Indy Lights, Le Mans, FIA GT2 and Grand-Am. GT2 Le Mans winner in ’98, second in ’99, and second o/a in Corvette in ’00 Daytona 24. Also third o/a (second in class) at ’95 Le Mans.
Allen Berg – Calgary, Alberta, Can. – Won ’82 Tasman Series, then moved to England, finishing fifth as a rookie in ’83 British Formula 3 Championship, and second in ’84. Made nine Grand Prix starts in ’86 with Osella F1 team. Re-established his career in Mexico, winning ’93 Mexican F3 Championship and ’01 Pan-American Indy Lights title. Runs Allen Berg Racing Schools in Calgary, Alberta, and Northern California.
Bobby Brown – Hicksville, N.Y. – An SCCA racer since the ’60s, competed in Corvettes and Cobras. Won GT class at ‘66 Daytona 24, earned multiple top-five finishes in Can-Am and F-5000 in ’70s, Formula B/Atlantic SCCA National champion in ’76. Retired in ’80, but returned to historic racing in ’90 in Formula 70 Series. Winner Gilles Villeneuve Grand Champion Trophy in ‘95, ’98, ’01 and ’03.
Helio Castroneves – Coral Gables, Fla. – Started in karting, then moved to UK in ‘94 to race Formula 3. Third in ’95 British F-3 championship, second in ’97 Indy Lights championship. Entered CART in ’98, finishing second in Rookie of the Year standings. Has 25 career IndyCar wins, including three Indy 500 victories, in ’01, ’02 and ’09. Drives for Penske Racing.
Ron Fellows – Mississauga, Ontario, Can. – Versatile racer, first racing karts, F-1600 and F-2000. Turned pro in ’80s and has 19 career Trans-Am wins, three NASCAR Nationwide wins, two NASCAR Truck wins. Players/GM Challenge champion in ’89, ’01 Daytona 24 winner, ’01 and ’02 Le Mans class winner on Corvette team, and ALMS GTS champion in ’02, co-champion in ’03 and ’04. Charter member of the Corvette team and member of Corvette Hall of Fame. Runs Fellows Performance Driving School in Nevada.
Scott Goodyear – Newmarket, Ontario, Can. – Raced in CART and IRL in ’87-’96, scoring eight victories in 136 starts including 12 straight Indy 500s. Most notable were a second to Al Unser in the ’92 Indy 500, a near-win loss to a penalty in the ’95 Indy 500, and second to Arie Luyendyk in ’97. Finished third in class in his only Le Mans start in ’96. Was ’02 inductee into the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame. Currently is a TV broadcast color commentator for IndyCar Series.
Roberto Guerrero – San Juan Capistrano, Calif. – Began racing karts at age 12 in South America, then moved to England in ’70s to race in Formula Ford. Raced Formula 3 and Formula 2 in ’80s, graduating to Formula 1 in ’82. In the U.S. In ’84 won Rookie of the Year in CART series and at Indy 500. Finished second, third, fourth and second in first four Indy 500 starts. Recovered from bad crash in ’87 to qualify on ’92 Indy 500 pole. Scored two IndyCar wins.
Nick Ham – Evergreen, Colo. – Raced Formula Ford in ‘75, ran IMSA Showroom Stock in ’90-’96, with 11 wins, ’92 GS champion, raced Supercup in ’92-’94, earning sixth in Monaco. Six class wins in ’94-’97 IMSA GT, including two at Sebring 12. Raced in FIA GT and Le Mans 24 in ’97-’98 and Grand-Am in ’04-’10, scoring eight class wins, including two in Daytona 24. Ran ALMS GTC in ’11, finishing fourth at Sebring 12.
Ludwig Heimrath Jr. – Spanaway, Wash. – Won ’79 and ’80 Ontario Formula Ford championship, raced in IMSA and Trans-Am in ’81 and ’82. Robert Bosch Super Vee Rookie of the Year in ‘83, winning at Phoenix in ’83 and ‘84. Drove prototype in Le Mans 24. Raced in Trans-Am and IMSA GTP in ’84-’86 and in IndyCar in ’87-’90, finishing 13th at ’89 Indy 500.
J.R. Hildebrand – Sausalito, Calif. – Won ’04 SCCA Formula Russell championship, second in ’05 Pacific F2000 championship and Team USA Scholarship winner. Is the ’06 U.S F2000 National champion and ’09 Indy Lights champion. Tested Formula 1 for Force India team, contested two IndyCar races in ’10, setting fastest lap of race at Infineon Raceway. As a rookie in ’11 IndyCar Series, famously led the Indy 500 until the final turn.
Stefan Johansson – Playa Del Rey, Calif. – Won ’80 British Formula 3 championship and two European Formula 2 championship races before making ’83 Formula 1 debut. Made 79 Grand Prix starts, recording 12 podium finishes. Debuted in ’92 CART IndyCar and was Rookie of the Year. Won ’97 Le Mans 24.
Bruce Leven – Mercer Island, Wash. – IMSA driver/team owner from ’78 to ’90 with two victories as a driver. His Bayside Motorsports Camel GT team’s best year was ’87, scoring six victories in 11 starts – Sebring 12, Laguna Seca, Mid-Ohio, Sears Point, Columbus and Del Mar – with drivers Jochen Mass and Bobby Rahal. The team repeated at Sebring in ’88. His drivers read like a Who’s Who of international talent, and he often fielded multiple cars. Also fielded a CART team in ’89 and ’90.
Kelly Marsh – Columbus, Ohio – IMSA GTU, GTO and Camel Lights racer in ’80s and ’90s, Won Daytona 24 and Road America and earned eight other podiums in ’85. Set two Bonneville land speed records in Mazda 323GTX in ’91 and ’92. Active vintage racer since 1977.
Allan Moffat – Toorak, Victoria, Australia – Canadian-born, raced Cortina and Cougar in ’60s Trans-Am, then moved to Australia, where he won over 100 Touring Car races from ’65-’71, including three Bathurst 500 victories, one leading from pole to flag. Co-drove with Brian Redman to ’75 Sebring 12 win, and co-drove with Bobby Rahal in ’80 Le Mans 24.
Michele Mouton – Monaco – French-born rally driver competed in the FIA World Rally Championship in ’74-’86, winning ’81 Rallye Sanremo, the first – and so far only – woman with a WRC win. Followed in ’82 with victories in Portugal, Greece and Brazil and finished a close second for the WRC title. Won Pikes Peak International Hillclimb in ’84 and ’85, setting the Hill Record in ’85. Her rallying career included nine podiums and 160 stage wins in 50 starts. First President of the FIA’s Women and Motor Sport Commission.
Johnny O’Connell – Flowery Branch, Ga. – Pro driving career began as ‘87 Formula Atlantic West Champion and Rookie of the Year. Scored class wins in Sebring 12 in ’93 and ’95 and won overall in ’94. Also in ’94 scored a GTS class win at Le Mans 24. Ran one IndyCar season, and joined Corvette in 2001, winning class in Daytona 24, his first race with the team. Was ALMS GTS co-champion in ’03 and ’04 and ALMS GT1 co-champ in ’08.
Kathy Rude – Spanaway, Wash. – Began racing karts in the Pacific Northwest in ’76, graduating to Formula Ford, then tackled the Kelly American Challenge in ’80, winning the Women’s Championship. Joined Mazda factory IMSA GTU team in ’81 with three podiums; scored the first IMSA class win by a female racer, ‘82. Switched to Porsche in ’83 and survived a near-fatal crash at Brainerd. Later flew a Boeing 727 for the USPS. Currently corporate driving consultant and instructor.
Johnny Rutherford – Fort Worth, Texas – A three-time winner of the Indy 500, “Lone Star J.R.” is a tireless ambassador for American motorsports. In addition to the ’74, ’76 and ’80 Indy titles, won 24 other champ car races and 23 poles. Was ’80 CART Champion. In ’86 won all three 500-mile champ car races, a first. Won ’63 Daytona 500 qualifying race in his first NASCAR drive and competed in five IROC championships. Member of three motorsports Halls of Fame.
Guy Smith – Hull, East Yorkshire, England – Won British championship in ’87, his first year racing karts. Graduated to auto racing in ’92, winning the British Formula Renault title in ’95 and tested F1 car for Williams Grand Prix. He went through British F3 (’96-’97) to Indy Lights in ’98 where he was Rookie of the Year. Since ’00 has run primarily in ALMS. Won the ’03 Le Mans overall for Bentley. Had a brief stint in ChampCar in ’04.
Associate Members voted in for 2011:
George Bruggentheis – Plymouth, Wis. – Has been President and General Manager of Road America since ’99. A vintage racing enthusiast and a founding member of Monoposto Racing, was group’s Grand Champion in ’89 and ’91. Won the Formula Junior 35th anniversary race. Also a founding member of the Vintage Motorsports Council.
Buz McCall – Boca Raton, Fla. – Race driver and team owner, enjoyed great success in Trans-Am fielding championship-winning Camaros for Scott Sharp and Jack Baldwin, ’91-’93 – Sharp in ’91 (Baldwin runner-up), Baldwin in ’92 (Sharp runner-up) and Sharp in ’93. As a driver, competed in SCCA Club Racing beginning in ’82, IMSA GTU and GTO, finishing second in both championships and named Most Improved Driver in ’88. Fielded NASCAR team, ’94-’98.
Augie Pabst III – Oconomowoc, Wis. – Third generation of storied racing family, currently owns and runs a variety of cars in vintage and various open-wheel and sports car categories. Began racing an SCCA Spec Racer in ’91, competed successfully in Shelby Pro Series, ’93-’95. Has run US F2000, Grand-Am GS and vintage racing, often in his 1958 Meister Brau Scarab.
Dr. Lee Talbot – McLean, Va. – Has raced for more than 60 years on four continents and in most every kind of race car. When an ecological research scientist in Africa, won class in ’61 East African Safari Rallye for the Rootes Group. Factory driver for BMC in California, Team Lotus in Asia (second in Malay GP), and Opel in European race and rallye. In the U.S. from ’83 to ’03, competed in both SCCA and vintage races, fielding multiple cars. SVRA ’10 Driver of the Year, is still a regular race winner, currently in a Ginetta G-4.
Roy Walzer – Litchfield, Conn. – Raced at top level of historic and vintage events since early ‘90s. Multiple HSR Sprint and Enduro class victories with seven overall championships – ’99, ’02-’06, ’08-’09. Second o/a in Williams FW07, FIA Championship, Zolder in ’04. Merrill Lynch Award, Jefferson 500, ’99; New Driver Award, Spa, ’99; Rolex Award at Monterey, ’06; Driver of the Day at Silverstone and Earwood Sportsmanship Award, ’09.
Honorary Members voted in for 2011:
Bill King – Charlotte, N.C. – Publicist, marketer, journalist and race series organizer, working for Nick Craw, Leo Mehl, Paul Pfanner and Roger Werner. Original program manager, SCCA Spec Racer/Sports Renault, ’84. Created Playboy Endurance Series (now World Challenge) from clean sheet of paper, ‘85. PR manager for Goodyear Racing. ’86-’92; contributing editor and special projects manager for RACER, ’94-‘01, general manager, Speedvision.com, ’99-’01; and business development for Swift Engineering.
Dr. Steve Olvey – Miami, Fla. – Working as a track physician at Indy in ’66 led to many years in motorsports medicine, specializing in concussion and traumatic brain injury. Director of Medical Affairs for CART, ’78-’03. Author of Rapid Response, a bio of his career in motorsports medicine. Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery at University of Miami Medical School; member of American College of Medicine Sports Safety Task Force; founding member of International Council of Motorsports Science; and founding fellow of the FIA Institute for Motorsport Safety.
Mark Raffauf – Daytona Beach, Fla. – A 30-year-plus racing official, worked for John Bishop at IMSA from the early ‘70s, continuing through the mid ‘90s. Has been Grand-Am Road Racing’s race director since its inception in ‘00. Is currently Managing Director of Competition, responsible for rules enforcement, events, regulations, driver conduct and briefings, and directing the Grand-Am operations staff. Is a past Race Director, Technical Director, Vice President and President of IMSA, as well as a past ACCUS/FIA board member and FIA Sports Prototype Commission member.
Dr. Terry Trammell – Pittsboro, Ind. – Began motorsports orthopedic medical career at Indy in ’70s. Particular focus on motorsports safety, with emphasis on injury prevention, management of acute injury, and rehabilitation. Was principal orthopedic physician to Indy drivers from ’81-’96, and Director of Medical Services for CART ’87-’96, continuing as Senior Consultant for orthopedic and spinal trauma until ’04. Founding member of International Council of Motorsports Sciences, and fellow of the FIA Institute for Motorsport Safety.
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: Jim Haines]