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Robert Bondurant (born 27 April 1933 in Evanstonmarker, Illinoismarker) is an Americanmarker former racecar driver who raced for the Ferrari and Eagle teams in Formula One.

During his teens, Bondurant raced an Indian motorcycle on dirt ovals. In 1956 he began sports car racing with Morgan and started to attract attention when he won the West Coast "B" production Championship, in a Chevrolet Corvette. In 1963 he became a member of Carroll Shelby's Ford Cobra team, in which he took the GT class victory at Le Mans 24 Hoursmarker. In 1965 the team won the Manufacturers' World Championship, winning seven out of ten races. In the same year he drove a works Ferrarimarker during the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glenmarker, and handled a Lotus 33 for Reg Parnell at the following Mexican race.

In 1966 he served as a technical consultant for John Frankenheimer's film Grand Prix, and he also drove BRMs in five Grands Prix for Team Chamaco Collect, finishing a fine 4th at Monaco. He finished the Formula One season in North America with two races driving an Eagle for Anglo American Racers.

For 1967 he moved to the CanAm series in a McLaren, but sustained rib, leg, foot and, most seriously, back injuries in a huge accident in which his car flipped eight times. Doctors told him he would likely never walk again, but through courage and hard work he overcame his injuries. Bondurant opened the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving in Ontariomarker and moved it to Sears Pointmarker, where he was an important figure in the track's development. Datsun Motor Company was Bondurant's sponsoring partner in his school from its beginning at Ontario Motor Speedway and continued in that role at the Sears Point driving school. Bob kept a helicopter for a short time at Ontario but it did not follow him to Sears Point.

In the June 1969 run of the grueling off-road Baja 500 race, Bondurant with co-driver Tony Murphy took first place in the passenger car class driving a SC/Rambler for James Garner's "American International Racers" team that was sponsored by American Motors Corporation (AMC) [98507].

Following the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake he moved the driving school to Phoenixmarker, Arizonamarker, where he enjoys close ties to General Motors. He had four NASCAR starts, all at Riverside International Racewaymarker, with his highest finish of 18th in 1981. He occasionally competes in vintage events.

Bob Bondurant was an early driving instructor to actor Paul Newman as well as Tom Cruise.

Award

He was inducted in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 2003.

Complete Formula One World Championship results

(key)
Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 WDC Points
1965 North American Racing Team Ferrari 158 Ferrari V8 RSA

MON

BEL

FRA

GBR

NED

GER

ITA

USA

9
NC 0
Reg Parnell Lotus 33 Climax V8 MEX

Ret
1966 Team Chamaco Collect BRM P261 BRM V8 MON

4
BEL
Ret
FRA

GBR

9
NED

GER

Ret
ITA

7
14th 3
Anglo American Racers Eagle T1G Climax Straight-4 USA

DSQ
Weslake V12 MEX

Ret


External links

  • Bondurant Racing School
  • Bondurant Kart Racing School
  • Bob Bondurant America's uncrowned World Driving Champion (2007, Editions Cotty; ISBN 0-9765247-0-8)
  • Bob Bondurant Des Cobra à la Formule1 la meme passion (2008, Editions Cotty; ISBN 978-0-9765247-3-1)



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