RRDC MEMBERS JOIN INDUSTRY EXPERTS AT RRDC/FIA YOUNG DRIVERS SYMPOSIUM AT
PRI SHOW DEC. 11
Participants are required to register at www.rrdc.org
HILLIARD, Ohio (Nov. 25, 2009) - Members of the Road Racing Drivers Club (RRDC) will join the panel of industry experts at the RRDC/FIA Young Drivers Symposium at the 22nd annual Performance Racing Industry Trade Show (PRI) in Orlando, Fla., on Dec. 11.
Lending their expertise and advice alongside Townsend Bell (sponsorship/branding), Jacques Dallaire, Ph.D. (mental preparation), Jim Leo, C.S.C.S. (physical fitness), Stephen Olvey, M.D. (safety), and Michael Zimicki (integrated driving), will be the following accomplished drivers/owners:
BOBBY RAHAL (moderator): Current president of the RRDC. Competed in Formula Atlantic early in his career, was the 1975 winner of the SCCA's President's Cup and Runoffs champion in Formula B. Became CART's 1982 Rookie of the Year, driving for Jim Trueman. Won the 1986 Indianapolis 500 and was CART Champion in 1986, '87 and '92, and the series' Driver of the Year in '86 and '92. Only owner/driver to win a CART title. Owner of Rahal Letterman Racing, which fields cars in the American Le Mans Series.
BRIAN REDMAN: Began racing in 1959, collecting 27 overall wins worldwide, ranging from the Nurburgring 1000km to the 24 Hours of Daytona. Has raced Formula One and factory prototypes, and was a three-time USAC/SCCA Formula 5000 champion. The 1981 IMSA Camel GTP champion currently competes in Vintage/Historic races and is a contributing editor to Road & Track magazine. Past president of the RRDC, life member of the British Racing Drivers Club, and 2002 International Motorsports Hall of Fame inductee.
JIM DOWNING: One of the most successful IMSA racers in history, with 41 race wins and five season championships since 1974, all in Mazda cars built by the Downing/Atlanta team. Continues to race in SCCA and Formula Atlantic. Led the manufacturing and distribution of the Head and Neck Support device (HANS) - along with its inventor Dr. Robert Hubbard - which has revolutionized racing safety. The 2008 recipient of the RRDC Bob Akin Award.
DEREK DALY: Former Formula One driver and two-time Sebring 12 Hour winner. Author of "Race To Win: How to Become a Complete Champion." A former champion in Formula Ford and British F3, he also raced six times in the Indy 500. Since his retirement from driving, he's been a TV racing commentator. In 1996 he opened the Derek Daly Performance Driving Academy at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Founder and CEO of MotorVation, which equips companies with tailored performance strategies to reach their goals through the development of their employees.
DON KNOWLES: Five-time SCCA Runoffs champion. Set world record 14 24-hour race victories in IMSA Firehawk and SCCA Escort series. Also competed in and won in VW Rabbit Cup, Renault Cup and IMSA Camel GT. Part of 1990 Corvette team which set three world land speed endurance records and nine international speed records.
DUNCAN DAYTON: As a driver, has more than 100 historic victories including eight wins in the Monaco Historic GP races (a record for the historic F1 circuit). His five ALMS class victories include one win at the 12 Hours of Sebring and two at Petit Le Mans. He also has one third-place overall finish at Petit Le Mans. As a team owner, his Patron Highcroft squad has been the top performing Acura team for the past three years (scoring podium finishes in 70 percent of its race starts) and earned the ALMS LMP1 Championship in 2009.
JIM MULLEN: Began racing in 1975 in Formula Ford and progressed to IMSA Camel GT series, winning the 1982 GTU class in Riverside, Calif. Overall winner at 1983 12 Hours of Sebring. Also raced IMSA GTO and GTP. Now drives HSR in Chevrolet-Spice GTP car. Principal of Mullen Communications, a successful advertising/marketing firm, and Mullen Management, both located in the Boston area.
The panel will also include 2009 IndyCar Series race winner Justin Wilson. The Englishman was a four-time victor in the Champ Car series from 2004-2007, competed in Formula One in 2003, and earned the International Formula 3000 championship in 2001.
The goal of this first of a series of free RRDC/FIA workshops, supported by a grant from the FIA Motor Sport Safety Development Fund, is to help young drivers raise their awareness of safety by teaching them to effectively manage their racing vehicles and themselves in all aspects of their careers.
The workshop is open to drivers from all motorsports disciplines and participants MUST REGISTER for the symposium on www.rrdc.org . Registrations received after Dec. 1 will not include PRI show credentials. PRI credentials are not required to access the meeting rooms, so late registrations for the symposium will be accepted.
"I am delighted to lend my support to the RRDC/FIA Symposium and to see that the young driver of today has the unique opportunity to gain knowledge and encouragement from RRDC members who are experienced in every aspect of this great sport," said Redman.
"Patron Highcroft Racing is a proud supporter of the RRDC's initiatives for young drivers and I believe the program scheduled for the RRDC/FIA Symposium is exceptional," said Dayton. "Natural ability will only get drivers so far. Professional drivers today require an ever expanding skill set and the advice on offer for these stars of the future at the symposium will be invaluable."
Added Wilson, "This is a great opportunity for young drivers to learn from some of the leaders in their respective fields of expertise. There are a great many potential pitfalls in racing, so it's always good to learn from the best, and even if you already know some of the information, it's always useful to get some reminders of things that are important."
Two additional symposiums are planned: in April, in conjunction with the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, and in May, around the Indianapolis 500.
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 now has more than 150 active members, including 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 Formula Super Vee 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 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.