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Road Racers Honor Haywood with Phil Hill Award

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Friday, January 24 2014

Sports car driver Hurley Haywood picked up a big honor.

RacinToday.com

Hurley Haywood, winner of more endurance classics than any driver in racing history, has been named recipient of the 2014 Phil Hill Award by the Road Racing Drivers Club.

The award has been presented annually since 1993 to the person RRDC membership feels has rendered outstanding service to road racing. The recipient may be a driver, entrant or outstanding member of a sanctioning body.

Named in honor of Hill _ America’s first Formula 1 World Driving Champion in 1961 with Scuderia Ferrari_ the award not only is a tribute to his accomplishments on the racetrack but also recognizes his contributions as an ambassador for the sport. Hill passed away in 2008.

RRDC President Bobby Rahal presented Haywood with the award during ceremonies Friday in Daytona Beach, Fla., prior to the 52nd running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, season-opener of the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

“When Bobby called me up and told me I was going to get the Phil Hill Award, I was really shocked,” said Haywood, 65, a resident of St. Augustine, Fla. “Any time you could be in the same sentence with Phil Hill is something that is very special to me.

“Phil Hill was an icon in this sport. He won Le Mans three times, was a Formula 1 champion. He was just a class act. If all of us mimicked what Phil Hill was all about, we’d all have a wonderful life. So, thank you very much.”

Haywood has five Daytona 24-hour, three Le Mans 24-hour and two Sebring 12-hour victories on his resume. He also claimed the 1988 SCCA Trans-Am championship, two IMSA GT championships, a SuperCar title and three Norelco Cup championships. The Chicago native competed in the 1980 Indianapolis 500, finishing 18th. He also started 18 IndyCar races, four IROC races and campaigned the 1973-74 SCCA Can-Am Series.

After retiring from fulltime driving in 2008, Haywood returned to the Brumos No. 59 Porsche Riley for the Rolex 24 at Daytona, finishing third in 2009 and fifth in 2011. The next year marked his final run in the 50th Rolex 24 at Daytona. It also was his 40th Rolex 24 start, appropriately ending on the podium with a third-place finish.

In the work-day world, Haywood is vice president of Brumos Porsche in Jacksonville, Fla., and serves as chief driving instructor for the Porsche Sport Driving School and Brumos Driving Experience. He is a member of the Florida Sports Hall of Fame, the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, the Sebring Hall of Fame and Watkins Glen’s “Legends of The Glen” in New York.

“Phil Hill represented everything that was great about the American spirit internationally,” Rahal said during his presentation. “He was a gentleman in the finest sense of the word.

“What a great champion Hurley is. He is considered the best endurance champion in North America in the history of the sport. Phil Hill had won many endurance races in his career, and Hurley had a lot of competition in the ’70s and ’80s, including Porsche 962s, Jaguars, Toyotas _ you name it. It was tough. Hurley is indeed a worthy recipient of the Phil Hill Award.”

Past RRDC Phil Hill Award winners:

1993 _ John Bishop
1994 _ Juan Manuel Fangio II
1995 _ Leo Mehl
1996 _ Charlie Slater
1997 _ Danny Sullivan
1998 _ Rob Dyson
1999 _ Bob Fergus
2000 _ Elliott Forbes Robinson
2001 _ Bill France
2002 _ Jim Downing
2003 _ Derek Bell
2004 _ Brian Redman
2005 _ Jim France
2006 _ Roger Werner
2007 _ Skip Barber
2008 _ Roger Penske
2009 _ Bob Bondurant
2010 _ Nick Craw
2011 _ Rick Mears

2012 _ George Follmer

2013 _ Peter Brock

The Road Racing Drivers Club was formed in 1952 to give champion drivers a voice in their sport, particularly in the area of safety, and has evolved to serve the future of road racing by mentoring new drivers on both amateur and professional levels. Membership includes leading industry professionals, race officials and motorsports journalists, in addition to prominent racing names.

In 2011, the RRDC launched a free on-line training seminar _ www.SAFEisFAST.com _ featuring more than 30 RRDC members and industry experts in high-quality videos covering subjects from physical and mental preparation to driving techniques, driver safety to car setup and sponsorship. Each week a motor racing professional answers readers’ questions on the site in a feature called “Ask a Pro.”

Rahal is the 1986 Indy 500 winner and co-owner with David Letterman and Mike Lanigan of the 2004 Indy 500-winning Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team. Ten-time SCCA National Champion John Fergus, also winner of three Pro Sports 2000 crowns and one IMSA championship, is the club’s vice president/treasurer. Five-time SCCA National Champion Tom Davey is the club secretary.

RRDC also supports the Team USA Scholarship, which has been assisting young Americans in the early stages of their careers since 1990. Membership in the RRDC is by invitation only. Additional information on the organization may be found at www.rrdc.org.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Friday, January 24 2014
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