Pikes Peak International Raceway partners with driving school

For people who dream about racing a car at 160 miles per hour, the Pikes Peak International Raceway and the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving are about to make that experience happen for them.

Bob Bondurant, the world-champion race car driver who has trained Navy SEALS and readied movie stars for their roles in race car movies, is bringing his high-performance driving school to the raceway in Fountain. Driving enthusiasts can hit the track starting May 1.

“After site visits and a meeting with my team, we voted with enthusiastic high-fives that Pikes Peak International Raceway is the beginning of the Bondurant expansion plan,” Bondurant said in a statement announcing the partnership.

Pikes Peak International Raceway reopened in 2008 and is home to a banked one-mile oval track. The raceway is owned by John Molloy, Guy Kathe and Bob Brockway, whose goal is to create a motorsports community that encompasses all aspects of the motorsports industry.

“Attracting Bondurant to PPIR puts a crown jewel of the motorsports industry in the heart of Colorado,” Molloy said.

The raceway hosts year-round racing, high-performance testing and events for all levels of motorsports. It is the first location Bondurant chose to expand his school, which is located in Phoenix, Ariz.

This new partnership is expected to bolster tourism to the region, said Lisa Cochrun, Fountain economic development director. Part of Bondurant’s business plan is to go after corporate clients interested in offering high-performance driving as a reward or team–building.

Area hotels can add race car driving to the region’s offerings when recruiting conferences, Cochrun said. It gets conference attendees out of the ballroom and onto a track where they can go fast.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have a school of high-performance racing coming to Fountain; it will do wonders for the entire region; it’s a huge tourist attraction,” Cochrun said. “We will have new visitors staying in the hotels — Bob Bondurant is so well known in the motorsports industry.”

Todd Crutcher, Bondurant School spokesman, said corporate business took a hit during the recession, but has been picking up speed in recent months. Driving packages, which include parties and charity events, can start at $150 per person. But the rates depend on the level of activity and participants.

“At the end of the day, everyone is looking to burn some steam,” he said. “Hotels will be a great partner. They are bringing in different corporate events and they are looking for fun activities — most of people have not done something like this.”