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Legendary American driving school Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving is looking to finally grow out of its operations within the United States.
After more than four decades of success as the largest purpose-built driving school in the world, founder Bob Bondurant intends to take the brand global, electing former Bondurant driving instructor and sports-car champion Johnny O’Connell to serve as Bondurant’s vice-president of global operations.
Bob Bondurant said, “The school is ready to expand into the global arena and Johnny is groomed to be our international guy to take the school o the next level. Being an instructor at the Bondurant School is truly an elite fraternity of the world’s first-class instructors. This is one of the greatest days in Bondurant history. Johnny O’Connell, welcome back!”
Johnny O’Connell first became a part of Bondurant Schools as an instructor of Sears Point and Phoenix from 1988 to 1995. During his racing career, he has been a factory driver for GM at Corvette Racing and has earned four class wins in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a record of eight 12 Hours of Sebring class wins, three ALMS class championships with 38 ALMS victories and 80 podiums, and a winner of the Rolex 24 at Daytona as well.
Now, O’Connell is responsible for the international business and marketing of Bondurant Schools. Addressing his role at Bondurant School, O’Connell said, “For 11 years and counting, it is those same skills that I’ve relied upon as a factory driver for GM to win races and championships. And just as GM is a global leader, I look forward to bringing the Bondurant training method to other parts of the globe and sharing what Bob has mastered in 44 years of training here in the U.S. I’m also really looking forward to working with fellow Corvette lovers on the ZR1 program, and making sure that each student recognizes what a world-class car the Corvette ZR1 truly is.”
The Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving is headquartered at Firebird Raceway of Phoenix, Arizona. Featuring a high performance 15-turn, 1.6 mile road course, the academy accommodates more than 200 race-prepped vehicles, sedans and open-wheel races. Details on the locations of Bondurant’s international expansion has yet to be revealed.
The world of racing is a tough one to break in with. Sadly for some, no matter how much talent you have, unless you get a big break or have real deep pockets you might never get the opportunity you deserve. The Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving is looking to change that, offering a full ride into the 2011 Bondurant Championship Race Series for one extremely talented driver.
Hosting its first-ever Bondurant Driver Search on October 4-5th, 2010, Bondurant has partnered up with Championship Karting International to give a driver an opportunity to showcase their skills on the track. The Bondurant Championship Race Series is also fresh to the scene, launched in September of 2009 and sanctioned by ASA Racing. The series is built on helping drivers achieve their dreams with prizes packages including test days in a World Speed Motorsports Pro Formula Mazda, or even a Finlay Motorsports Daytona Prototype racer. Finlay Motorsports also lends a helping hand with driver management services.
Not everyone can simply waltz on up and participate in the driver search however. Bondurant has a list of requirements and the search is limited to only 20 participants:
- $1,500 fee
- Must be between 15-19 years old
- Completed the following: Bondurant School’s 4-Day Grand Prix Road Racing course, 2-Day Advanced Formula Car Racing course or submit a qualified resume
The deadline to submit your entry is July 15th, 2010 and the 20 participants will be selected by July 30th, 2010. So if you have any interest, don’t waste another minute and get ready to shine.
Check out the official press release from Bondurant after the break.