The Road Racing Drivers Club has been around for over 60 years now has three-time Indy 500 winner Dario Franchtti to spread their word. He was forced to retire after injuries sustained in the Houston Grand Prix last year.
The Road Racing Drivers Club (RRDC), founded in 1952 to promote motorsports safety, has a new ambassador to spread the word. Now that he’s no longer in the driver’s seat, it appears Dario Franchitti has yet another item on his rapidly filling plate of activities.
Not only is Franchitti, the four-time Verizon IndyCar Series champion and three-time Indianapolis 500 titleholder serving as an advisor to the Target Chip Ganassi Indy car team of Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Charlie Kimball and Ryan Briscoe, he’s now joined RRDC’s SAFEisFAST.com program that assists drivers in learning all facets of their craft.
He’s not the only addition to join RRDC’s safety programs, as Honda is now the presenting sponsor of SAFEisFAST.com. Honda’s assist in getting global presence to the program can’t be understated. It’s easily one of the most important facets of the SAFEisFAST.com training site, as Honda’s financial assistance can only make SAFEisFAST.com accessible to ever more aspiring racers around the world.
RRDC was formed in 1952 with the intent of promoting safety in racing - at that time a novel idea. According to club president Bobby Rahal, the group began as a regional exercise, then grew to national proportions and is now a worldwide entity with drivers and ancillary members from around the world.
Some of the coaches that have assisted drivers online include prominent members of the INDYCAR community and also drivers competing in Formula 1, World Endurance Championship, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the TUDOR United Sports Car championship.
As Rahal put it, “Dario is the perfect ambassador for SAFEisFAST.com. He has been a model professional throughout his carer and young drivers worldwide would do well to follow his example.” Graham Rahal, driver of the No. 15 National Guard Dallara/Honda/Firestone Indy car put it succinctly when he spoke of Dario’s pending assistance to RRDC: “Not many of us have the foundation both Dario and I had coming up in the sport. I had my dad (Bobby Rahal) and Dario had Jackie Stewart to guide him. We’re looking forward to helping young drivers that don’t have that (infrastructure).”
SAFEisFAST.com is dedicated to more than gilding driving skills. There is advice throughout the website for those interested in engineering, tire management and aerodynamics. For the drivers, personal online driving instruction is available with some of the best racers in the world. Questions may be posed by anyone with an interest and the driver who’s answering is customarily a famous and accomplished shoe.
There’s also the historical perspective: a recent post had Brian Redman and Dario Franchitti talking about the advances of motorsports safety over the years. Both drivers have been, to put it mildly, beat up in the course of their careers and each has a unique perspective on the changes that have occurred since the RRDC was formed.
We all know that racing is dangerous, but the Road Racing Drivers Club is doing everything in its power - and that power has magnified over the years - to make sure the next crop of talent, whether it be drivers, mechanics, engineers, team owners and other personnel, have the best advice at their fingertips.
Anne Proffit - RRDC