The Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving has entered a unique partnership with the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) and the new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
The Bondurant School, celebrating 46 years of training the best professional drivers, has been named the preferred driving school of IMSA. The school will provide the official safety car drivers for the TUDOR Championship, which debuts this weekend with the 52nd Rolex 24 At Daytona, the opening round of the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup. Bondurant instructors will also pace Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge races, starting with today’s season-opener at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.
“The Bondurant School has earned a reputation of excellence in driver instruction,” said David Pettit, IMSA vice president, marketing. “Having Bondurant instructors as our official safety car drivers for the TUDOR Championship and the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge fills an important role for our series and places the spotlight on this partnership.”
Darren Law, Bondurant’s chief operating officer, outlined details of the new program. Both he and Johnny O’Connell, the school’s vice-president of global operations, are former Rolex 24 winners and current sports-car competitors. They will be active participants in the new IMSA program.
“This is a unique and great opportunity to join forces with IMSA and to be here for the first year of the united series,” Law said. “The Bondurant School will provide instructors to drive pace cars for all events. We will also be driving a Bondurant-branded 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray in the IMSA Hot Lap Experience program. We will offer tech talks and track talks for the manufacturer car corrals at each race, and we’ll have a Bondurant kiosk and display in the fanzone, so fans can get information about the school. Johnny O’Connell and I will be regular guests at the tech talks and track talks.”
The Bondurant/IMSA partnership highlights the school’s long-term contribution to sports-car racing.
“Bondurant has a storied history in sports-car racing, with Bob Bondurant winning his class at Le Mans and racing at Daytona for Carroll Shelby,” Law noted. “There is a lot of past history, both with Bob himself and with many of the instructors and principals in the Bondurant School. We also have many sports-car drivers who have worked for Bondurant, like Terry Borcheller and Buddy Rice. And a large majority of the drivers at Daytona this weekend have been through a Bondurant program.”
Law believes car and driver development are both crucial elements for a winning team.
“The Bondurant School is really an amazing high-performance professional driving school and we’d like to showcase what we can do,” he said. “Many people are willing to spend money on the car to gain an edge for a lap time. Investing in themselves and working on their personal driver development can give them an even bigger performance boost.”
FOX will broadcast the opening of the Rolex 24 live, with coverage beginning at 2 p.m. EST. A total of 15 hours of the race will be broadcast live on FOX Sports, with the remainder of the event streamed on IMSA.com. For complete broadcast information, visit www.imsa.com.
The full television schedule to watch all of the action is as follows:
Saturday, Jan. 25
2-4 p.m. EST on FOX
4-9 p.m. EST on FOX Sports 2
Overnight (Jan. 25-26)
9 p.m. – 7 a.m. EST on IMSA.com (includes live images, in-car cameras and announcers)
Sunday, Jan. 26
7 a.m. – 3 p.m. EST on FOX Sports 1
The Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving provides a full range of driving training, from grooming future race stars to helping families improve their driving skills to specialized training for law enforcement and military special forces. Bob Bondurant, an internationally recognized leader in advanced driving training, opened the school in 1968. It is now an official driving school of Chevrolet. The largest purpose-built driving school in the world, the Phoenix facility includes a 15-turn, 1.6-mile road course, an eight-acre asphalt pad and more than 200 race-prepared vehicles. Bondurant SuperKart School offers two karting tracks with state-of-the-art equipment and training. Bondurant is also the premier leader in hosting unique corporate and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) events.
The International Motor Sports Association, LLC (IMSA) is the sanctioning body of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, the professional road-racing series resulting from the merger of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón and the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. IMSA also sanctions two developmental series, the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge and the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda, as well as four single-make series: Porsche GT3 Cup USA by Yokohama; Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Canada by Michelin; Ferrari Challenge North America; and Lamborghini Super Trofeo.
IMSA is the exclusive strategic partner in North America with the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) which operates the 24 Hours of Le Mans as a part of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The partnership enables selected United SportsCar competitors to earn automatic entries into the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans.