Johnny O’Connell Joins Bondurant as VP of Global Operations and Corvette ZR1 Instructor


Johnny O'Connell Joins Bondurant as VP of Global Operations and Corvette ZR1 Instructor

The Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving has named Corvette Racing icon Johnny O’Connell as vice-president of global operations, effective immediately.

O’Connell will oversee international expansion opportunities at the request of Bob Bondurant, who founded the school 44 years ago and has since turned it into the largest purpose-built driving school in the world.

“Johnny is another exceptional past Bondurant instructor/champion to have made full circle and returned to my team,” Bondurant said. “Believe me, I could not be happier! Johnny and I planned this day in 1989, when my school was at Sears Point Raceway (now Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.). Wow, it’s here! Johnny will continue his racing career to break a few more records, as well as taking on the role as Bondurant’s VP of global operations.”

O’Connell’s impressive resume includes four class wins in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a record eight 12 Hours of Sebring class victories, winner of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, three American Le Mans Series class championships, and 38 ALMS wins and ALMS records for most starts (102), most podium finishes (80), most top-five finishes (93), and most top-10 finishes (100).

Since most of his success has come in Corvettes, O’Connell was an easy choice to lead the new division of the Bondurant School, where students acquire racing and driving skills in Grand Sports, Z06, and ZR1 Corvettes, among other vehicles. In fact, he’ll even be the exclusive Bondurant Corvette ZR1 expert instructor, conducting a two-day forum each month for ZR1 owners and enthusiasts.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am once again to be working with Bob,” O’Connell said. “Not only has Bob always been a mentor to me, but as someone who has taught at all of the major racing schools in the ’80s and ’90s, I’ve always believed his method was by far the best at ensuring students left the school with the greatest skill set and most confidence.”

The Bondurant School – based on Firebird Raceway’s 600 acres in Phoenix, Ariz. – 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.

Earlier in 2012, O’Connell and Pfadt Race Engineering announced that they would be donating a portion of the sales of their official Johnny O’Connell swaybars made through the National Corvette Museum for its Motorsports Park slated to be finished in fall 2014. The 2.9-mile race track will be a new focal point at the National Corvette Museum, putting the emphasis on performance-related activities, the very core of Corvette heritage.

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