RRDC SELECTS SIX NEW MEMBERS Daytona Beach, Fla. -- Three racers with wins from SCCA Club events to the Rolex 24 At Daytona, a racing official, a sanctioning body owner and a noted car designer-turned-photojournalist have been offered membership...
RRDC SELECTS SIX NEW MEMBERS
Daytona Beach, Fla. -- Three racers with wins from SCCA Club events to the Rolex 24 At Daytona, a racing official, a sanctioning body owner and a noted car designer-turned-photojournalist have been offered membership into the Road Racing Drivers Club.
RRDC President Bobby Rahal announced that RRDC members have voted to invite Vic Elford, Janet Guthrie, John Weinberger, Dr. Donald Panoz, Marty Kaufman and Peter Brock to become members of the RRDC.
The announcement was made at tonight's annual RRDC dinner, held at Daytona USA.
Elford decided at age 13 that he wanted to become a racer. His first international win was the 1968 Rolex 24 At Daytona, driving a Porsche 908. He also raced Porsches to wins on two circuits that racers around the world agree were the toughest and most treacherous of them all -- 1968-70-71 in the Nurburgring 1000km, and the 1968 Targa Florio. Elford also won the 1970 Trans-Am race at Watkins Glen in one of Jim Hall's Chevrolet Camaros. Away from formal competition, he was hired by Steve McQueen to do the high-speed action driving for the "Le Mans" movie.
Janet Guthrie began racing and preparing her own Jaguar XK 140 in the early 1960s, winning her class at Sebring in 1967 and 1970. She also became one of the first woman drivers in NASCAR where she was selected as the top rookie at the Daytona 500 in 1977, placing 12th.
The following year she finished ninth in the Indianapolis 500, breaking down an invisible gender wall for drivers like Lyn St. James, Sara Fisher and Danica Patrick. Her 2005 book, "Janet Guthrie: A Life at Full Throttle", was called "one of the best books ever written about racing" by Sports Illustrated.
Weinberger was a multi-time SCCA divisional champion in the 1960s and 70s, racing Porsche and Lotus cars.
The RRDC also offered membership to three prominent persons in racing community who did forge their reputations behind the wheel.
"Just because the word 'drivers' is in the RRDC's name, doesn't mean they're the only people who have made deep contributions to the public face of worldwide motor racing, and enhanced it by their presence and talents," Rahal said.
"What Dr. Panoz, Marty Kaufman and Peter Brock contributed to the business, from three different angles, is equally as important, and more than qualifies them to be invited to join the RRDC."
Dr. Donald Panoz, the son of a boxer, went on to create a successful pharmaceutical business before turning to specialty car manufacturing, road racing and wineries.
In addition to founding the American Le Mans Series and Elan Motorsports Technologies, which will build all the Panoz chassis for this year's Champ Car series, he has constructed world-class golf courses in Georgia, a golfing resort in Scotland, and has wineries in both Georgia and northern California.
Marty Kaufman is a veteran Chief Steward of world-class races. His racing involvement began in the mid-50s as a driver in NHRA and SCCA events, and later as a course worker and race promoter. He joined the SCCA's Stewards program in 1970, was Trans-Am series Chief Steward in 1986, and was named IMSA's Race Director in 1987. His first race at the helm was the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
After leaving some of his design fingerprints on the 1963 Chevrolet Corvette fastback, Peter Brock became Carroll Shelby's first employee and is credited with designing the famous Shelby Daytona Coupe which earned Ford the 1965 FIA Sports Car World Manufacturers Championship.
In 1970, Brock's team management skills and RRDC member John Morton's driving combined to bring Nissan (nee. Datsun) into American sports car racing, first with a pair of SCCA National Championships in the Datsun 240Z, then Trans-Am titles with the 510 sedan.
Brock is now a highly-regarded photographer and writer with an inquisitive eye toward the mechanical designs of race cars.