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Bondurant High Performance Driving School Is Now Called The Radford Racing School

Radford Racing School

The Bondurant High Performance Driving School is one of the most popular racing school in the nation, founded in 1968 by racing icon Bob Bondurant. I attended the school back in 1999 when I bought my first sports car, and it was a great experience, cementing skills that have made me a better driver both on and off the track.

Sadly, the Bondurant School filed for bankruptcy a few years ago after getting into some serious debt, and a group of investors came to the rescue and purchased the Bondurant school in May of 2019. Since then, they’ve completed an extensive multi-million-dollar renovation and revamping of its curriculum.

While I think the Bondurant High Performance Driving School name carries some serious brand equity, the school’s new owners (a small group of auto enthusiasts, collectors and graduates of the school) have decided to renamed the facility the Radford Racing School.

According to a press release, the renaming marks the school’s new association with the team behind the Radford brand, a name legendary among automotive enthusiasts for its coachbuilding legacy. That team includes English TV celebrity Ant Anstead, F1 champion Jenson Button, car designer Mark Stubbs, and business partner Roger Behle. The four are reviving the Radford story into a modern lifestyle brand that celebrates auto design and performance, high-performing driving and racing.

By taking on a heritage brand with forward momentum, owners of the school expect to continue to evolve it into an experience destination for international auto enthusiasts, everyday drivers, new drivers, racers, celebrities, and influencers.

The Radford Racing School is the Official High Performance Driving School of Dodge//SRT. Continuing as the school’s primary sponsors, Dodge//SRT provides a fleet of vehicles for driving instruction. The drag racing course features the 840-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, while other high-performance vehicles, including the Challenger SRT Hellcat, Charger SRT Hellcat and Durango SRT are just some of the options available for the on-track performance driving experience.

New Dodge//SRT owners are among the thousands of students who come to the school annually to learn how to achieve optimum performance of high-performance vehicles in a controlled environment.

In addition to the Dodge//SRT vehicles, the school features Ligier JS F4 open wheel cars, vintage Dodge Vipers, go karts, and cars used in its special forces, police, and military training. The Radford team will now build and test vehicles on the Radford Racing School track.

“We’ve rapidly progressed in enhancing and reintroducing this facility as the world’s premier experience for the next generation of drivers,” said Mike Kessler, general manager at the school, who notes recent changes toward that goal:

  • Renovation and expansion, including the first resurfacing of the main track in 30 years, enhancements to the event center, visitor center, gift shop, student lounge, classrooms, skills pad and eagle’s nest viewing platform
  • Diversification of the course offering, by adding open wheel and drag racing courses, with new formula racing courses in development
  • Breaking new ground as the first school of its kind to offer professional drag racing instruction to the public and the chance to earn an NHRA Drag License

“To cap off these moves that broaden the appeal of the school while retaining its legendary reputation, we’re announcing the name change,” said Kessler. He adds the new brand retains the school’s nod to auto legends. Incorporating racing into the moniker represents the brand’s extension into the racing world, positioning the facility as a place for speed, professional race car instruction and experiences, in addition to world-class driving instruction.

While I might not agree with the decision behind the name change, only time will tell if they made a smart choice or not. Regardless, I’m sure the school will be top-notch, and I look forward to checking it out the next time I make it out to Arizona.

For more info about the school, visit RadfordRacingSchool.com or call (480) 403-7600.

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