Bob Bondurant, American Motorsport Icon, Dies Aged 88

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The man who taught America how to drive fast.

Robert Lewis Bondurant, professional racecar driver and world-renowned driving instructor sadly passed away on 12 November 2021 at the age of 88, leaving behind a legacy of motorsport achievements. The legendary driver ran the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving which he founded in 1968, becoming responsible for training numerous celebrities and countless professional drivers across the globe. Bondurant's driving school closed its doors in 2018 after declaring bankruptcy but was bought by new owners and is now called the Radford Racing School. The school, which is well-known for its use of Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat coupes as instruction vehicles, is still located in Chandler, Arizona.

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Bondurant started off on two wheels and was racing motorcycles by the age of 14. He started seriously competing with cars at the age of 23 behind the wheel of a Morgan Plus 4 and would come to race against and alongside legends such as Carroll Shelby and Dan Gurney. In the 1960s, Bondurant eventually made the move to Europe where he scored a class victory at the 1964 24 Hours of Le Mans piloting a Cobra Daytona Coupe with co-driver Dan Gurney. Bondurant also had a successful, albeit brief, race-winning stint in F1 and eventually moved on to the Can-Am series and the United States Road Racing Championship (USRRC). After sustaining serious injuries in a racing accident, Bondurant got the idea for a racing school, which he finally opened in 1968. Nevertheless, he continued racing until the age of 79

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Bondurant was still actively involved in training when Christian Bale attended the school to prepare for his role in the 2019 film Ford v Ferrari. Radford GM, Mark Kessler, had the following to say:

"The team at Radford Racing School is saddened to learn of the passing of Bob Bondurant [...] Bob dedicated his life to helping others develop their driving skills, both on the street and the track, training some of the biggest names in racing, celebrities, professional athletes, and everyday drivers who would go on to credit his teaching methods for keeping them safe behind the wheel."

Bob Bondurant is survived by his wife Pat, who aims to reopen the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving in 2022. Rest in peace, legend.

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