Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving
|Key people||Bob Bondurant (founder)|
The Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving is an American performance driving school, specializing in racing, karting, teen driving, and law enforcement driving education. It is located in Phoenix, Arizona.
Founded by former Formula One driver Bob Bondurant in 1968, it was originally located at Orange County International Raceway in California, later moving to Ontario Motor Speedway in 1970, and to Sears Point International Raceway in 1973. In 1990 a purpose-built training facility was opened in Phoenix, Arizona.
The Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving is the largest purpose-built driving school in the world. It features a 15-turn, 1.6-mile road course, an eight-acre asphalt pad for advanced training, and more than 200 race-prepared vehicles, sedans, and open-wheel cars. It teaches competition driving, police pursuit driving, evasive driving for chauffeurs and bodyguards, stunt driving, and other courses.
The Bondurant Driving School was initially opened by Bob Bondurant at the Orange County International Raceway near Los Angeles, CA. He initially approached Porsche for backing, but was declined due to the uncertainty of his school. Bob then approached Datsun, which immediately agreed to support his plans. The starting lineup of cars included two Datsun roadsters and 510, a Lola T70 Can-Am car, and a Formula Vee. By 1970, the school relocated to the nearby Ontario Motor Speedway. Porsche, after witnessing how the school increased Datsun's profile, donated a few 911s and two 914s. The Bondurant School relocated to Sears Point International Raceway (now Infineon Raceway) near Sonoma, CA in 1973.
In 1976, Nissan was not able to further support the school with additional loaned cars. Bob turned to Ford, who gladly stepped in and has sponsored the school for the rest of its time in California.
The Bondurant School has seen over 300,000 drivers since its opening. Many NASCAR drivers have used the school for road course training, and many film actors and actresses have used it for driving scenes. Paul Newman was one of his first students.
In January 2012, Johnny O'Connell, former Bondurant instructor and sports-car champion, was assigned to serve as the school’s vice president of global operations. On April 25, 2012, the Bondurant School announced a new joint business venture with Pikes Peak International Raceway in Fountain, Colorado.
General Motors is the official vehicle supplier of the Bondurant School. The current lineup of cars include the Chevrolet Corvette Z06, Grand Sport, Corvette ZR1, Camaro SS, and Tahoe. In addition to the passenger cars, the school also uses karts on their three kart tracks. The school also features the Formula Mazda in one of their more expensive package offerings.
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