Fifteen race-car drivers and motorsports professionals have been voted into the Road Racing Drivers Club in 2014. The group includes 10 Regular Members from the open-wheel and sports-car racing ranks, three Associate Members and two Honorary Members. The current roster of RRDC members now numbers 460. Voting was held among all current RRDC members.
“This year’s lineup of new Regular Members includes professional racing champions past and present, amateur racing champions, and drivers with stellar racing credentials,” said RRDC president Bobby Rahal. “And, of course, each driver has demonstrated his or her outstanding conduct on and off the track, a quality the RRDC members take into consideration when voting in new members.
“The new Associate and Honorary Members are pillars of the racing community who have contributed to the success of motorsports around the world,” added Rahal.
“We are honored that each new member has enthusiastically accepted membership in the RRDC. We look forward to working with them as the RRDC continues to pursue its goals of recognizing and mentoring aspiring race-car drivers through a variety of programs.”
While Regular RRDC members are race-car drivers who have competed successfully at the championship level, Associate Membership includes drivers who have participated successfully in major professional events or in lesser and/or historic events, as well as those who have significant ties to racing, such as in the corporate, sponsorship, mentoring, patronage and promotion arenas.
Honorary Members are distinguished senior international motorsports champions, team owners and others who have demonstrated a life-long commitment in support of racing through active volunteerism, officiating and/or promotion of the sport generally.
In alphabetical order, here are the new Regular Members:
Four-time IMSA GTP champion (”88-’91); ’81 Can-Am champion; ’93 LeMans 24-hour winner; runner-up in Australian Super Touring Championship in ’95 and ’97. Son of Jack Brabham. Ten Indy 500 starts, with best placing a fourth in ’83.
Engineer, mechanic and race-car driver worldwide since ’60. Worked in Can-Am Series; placed third as driver in European F3 championship and second in European F5000 in ’70. Awarded Von Trips Memorial Trophy; founded TIGA Racing Cars in ’76.
Son of Peter Gregg; 2012 Trans-Am champion; 2012 SCCA Southeast GT-1 division champion.
Multiple French rally champion; NSU, Renault, Porsche works driver in ’60s; winner of Tour de Course, Sebring and Nurburgring 1000 in ’69; LeMans 24-hour winner in ’73, ’74 and ’78. Owner, Larrousse F1 ’87-’94. President, LeMans Club des Pilotes since ’09.
Versatile racer, with three wins and five podiums in ’05 Formula Atlantic Championship, finishing third in points; five top-10s in Champ Car World Series in ’06; Audi factory driver in DTM ’08-’09. Also competed in Formula Renault, Daytona 24-hour, Indy 500. Drove Delta Wing in ALMS and IMSA in ’13-’14, with six podiums in ’13.
Three-time SCCA National E Production champion ’05-’07; SCCA Bronze Medal in D Sports Racer Nationals in ’09 and championship in ’10; in ’13 won SCCA F1000 and H Production National championships, and Triple Crown and RRDC Mark Donohue Awards.
European Touring Car Champion in ’72; 107 F1 starts in ’73-’83, including Spanish GP win; winner of 24 Hours of Spa, and RAC TT Silverstone in ’72. Porsche driver for many years, scoring 32 World Sports Car Championship wins from ’82-’95. Won LeMans 24-hour for Mercedes in ’89; ’86 Sebring 12-hour winner with Bobby Rahal.
Overall Daytona 24-hour and Sebring 12-Hour winner in ’96; ’94 GTU series champion; longtime Skip Barber Racing School instructor and vintage car tester/setup guru and racer.
Skip Barber Formula Dodge Champion in ’97; 14 wins in IMSA Continental Tire Championship. His Rum Bum Racing team, with him as lead driver, won Team Championship in ’12 and ’13; won Driver’s Championship in ’13.
RRDC Mark Donohue Award winner in ’80; 10 SCCA divisional titles and multiple lap records; was SCCA Chief Instructor and raced in IMSA and NASCAR. Now runs Lotus Super 7 in vintage racing.
Here, alphabetically, are the new Associate Members:
CONNIE GOUDINOFF DOWNING
Free-lance motorsports photo-journalist for over 20 years; racing program manager for Kelly Services, sponsor of IMSA Kelly American Challenge Series ’77-’82; p.r. rep for Grand Prix of Canada; author of “Mazda Motorsports 20 Victorious Years in America.”
Nissan’s National Manager of Motorsports ’90-’01, in charge of U.S. racing programs for IMSA, SCCA, HDRA/SCORE, Stadium Off-Road Racing and IRL. After 27 years with Nissan, is now President and General Manager at Ed Pink Racing Engines; For nearly 40 years has built and raced cars in SCCA and IMSA and SCCA NASPORT.
An amateur racer early on, is best known as mechanic and chief mechanic/crew chief on a number of major teams, including Charlie Hayes Racing, Dan Gurney All-American Racing; also worked for Wally Dallenbach, Fred Carrillo. Indy Mechanic of the Year in ’77; started FabCar Engineering in ’77; built Super Vees, Can-Am cars, Porsche 935s, 944s, 962s, among others. Designed and built first Daytona Prototypes for Grand-Am.
Here are the new Honorary Members:
Founder of Revs Institute for Automotive Research, which includes the Collier Collection of more than 100 important historic cars and bicycles. Competed in SCCA New England Region in E-Production in the ’60s and ’70s; first recipient of SVRA Driver of the Year ’84. Has Fine Arts degree from Yale and MBA from Columbia University.
Designed three world championship F1 cars (Williams, McLaren and Red Bull). His designs have won two CART titles, 10 F1 World Constructors’ titles and 10 F1 Driver’s World Championships in past 26 years.
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.
In 2011, the RRDC launched a free on-line training seminar – www.SAFEisFAST.com – featuring more than 30 RRDC members and other industry experts in high-quality videos covering subjects from physical and mental preparation to driving techniques, driver safety to car setup and sponsorship. The videos are updated regularly. Each week, a professional from the world of motor racing answers readers’ questions on the site in a feature called “Ask a Pro.”
Bobby Rahal is President, John Fergus is Vice President/Treasurer, and Tom Davey is Secretary.
The RRDC presents three annual awards: the Phil Hill Award, the Mark Donohue Award, and the Bob Akin Award, and 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. For more information, visit www.rrdc.org.
[Source: RRDC; photo: Autosports Marketing Associates]