Ford Performance, Gurney and Foyt to join in RRDC's Celebration of Emerson Fittipaldi
HILLIARD, Ohio (April 3, 2017) - Ford Performance will support the RRDC Evening with Emerson Fittipaldi Presented by Firestone on April 6. Ford will also commemorate its historic victory at the 1967 24 Hours of Le Mans by reuniting drivers A.J. Foyt and Dan Gurney 50 years after Ford became the first and only all-American team to win the French endurance classic.
A two-time winner of both the Formula 1 World Championship and the Indianapolis 500, Fittipaldi said it will be "an honor" to share the limelight with "these two auto racing legends."
The race-winning Ford GT Mark IV that was entered by Carroll Shelby under the Shelby American Inc. banner in '67 will be displayed by Ford Performance at the cocktail reception, along with the "long-lost" trophy from that victory.
Edsel B. Ford II and Henry Ford III will also be in attendance.
This event marks the Road Racing Drivers Club's ninth consecutive annual banquet honoring auto racing's most influential leaders and champions, and will be held prior to the 43rd Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
"Ford Performance is happy to be joining other members of the industry in supporting the RRDC dinner this year," said Henry Ford III, global marketing manager, Ford Performance. "The opportunity to help commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dan Gurney and A.J. Foyt's Le Mans victory with the Ford Mark IV, as well as help honor Emerson Fittipaldi will make it a special evening. All three drivers have a history of winning with Ford power and we're pleased to be part of the celebration."
Ford returned to Le Mans in 2016 with Chip Ganassi Racing and the Ford GT in the LMGTE Pro Class, capturing the class victory. Ford will attempt to defend its title at Le Mans in 2017.
"We at the RRDC are thrilled to be part of this historic moment, as A.J. and Dan are reunited after 50 years to celebrate their outstanding Le Mans victory for Ford in 1967," said RRDC President Bobby Rahal. "We welcome Ford's support of the Evening with Emerson Fittipaldi and look forward to this momentous occasion."
The dinner's proceeds will help support the RRDC's young driver initiatives, including its groundbreaking SAFEisFAST.com program and the Team USA Scholarship, which the RRDC has backed since 1997 and has been providing opportunities for talented young American race-car drivers since 1990.
The RRDC Evening with Emerson Fittipaldi Presented by Firestone will be held on Thursday, April 6, at the Hilton Hotel, 701 West Ocean Blvd, Long Beach, Calif., with cocktails at 6 p.m., and dinner at 7:15 p.m. The event is very close to being sold out, and all tickets MUST be purchased in advance. For those who wish to attend, please contact Jeremy Shaw at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible to be placed on the waiting list.
Other supporting partners for the RRDC Evening with Emerson Fittipaldi include Firestone, American Honda, Team Penske, 3GT Racing, Porsche Motorsport North America, Doug Mockett & Company, Grand Prix Association of Long Beach, Trefethen Family Vineyards, Pruett Vineyard and TranSystems.
About Ford Performance
Ford's racing program is part of the Ford Performance organization based in Dearborn, Mich. It is responsible for major racing operations globally, including NASCAR (Monster Energy Cup Series, Xfinity Series, Camping World Truck Series), IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, FIA World Endurance Championship, Chinese Touring Car Championship, Formula Ford (Formula Four), and NHRA sportsmen drag racing. In addition, Ford's action motorsport programs involve FIA World Rallycross and Formula Drift. The organization also oversees the development and marketing of Ford's racing engines and performance parts, as well as the outreach programs with all Ford Clubs and Ford enthusiasts. For more information regarding Ford racing's activities, please visit www.fordperformance.com, www.facebook/FordPerformance, FordPerformance on Instagram and @FordPerformance on Twitter.
About the RRDC:
The Road Racing Drivers Club was formed in 1952 as a way to give champion drivers a say in their sport, particularly in the areas of safety, and has evolved to serve the future of road racing by mentoring new drivers on both amateur and professional levels. The Club's 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 - SAFEisFAST.com - featuring more than 30 RRDC members and other industry experts in high-quality videos covering subjects from physical and mental preparation to driving techniques, driver safety to car setup and sponsorship. The videos are updated regularly. Each week, a professional from the world of motor racing answers readers' questions on the site in a feature called "Ask a Pro."
Bobby Rahal is President, John Fergus is Vice President/Treasurer, and Tom Davey is Secretary.
The RRDC presents three annual awards: the Phil Hill Award, the Mark Donohue Award, and the Bob Akin Award, and supports the Team USA Scholarship, which has been assisting young Americans in the early stages of their careers since 1990. The RRDC also honors icons of the sport at its annual dinner at the Long Beach (Calif.) Grand Prix. Honorees have been Dan Gurney, Parnelli Jones, Roger Penske, Jim Hall, Brian Redman, Mario Andretti, Bobby Unser and George Follmer.
Membership in the RRDC is by invitation only. For more information, visit www.rrdc.org.