Dick Troutman and Tom Barnes worked at Kurtis Kraft where they polished their metal-smith craft and fine-tuned their engineering expertise. They were responsible for the Troutman-Barnes Mercury Special of 1952, the Reventlow Scarabs of 1957 and 1958, and the fist Chaparral of the early 1960s. They were pioneers of early American racing and helped push the classic front-engined sports racing roadsters to perhaps the height of their evolution.
Troutman and Barnes left the Reventlow operation in the fall of 1960 and went searching for a new source to back their venture. Their goal was to utilize a GM powerplant in a short wheelbase vehicle where the engine would be mounted as far back as possible, in an effort to achieve near 50-50 weight distribution. The design was basically an improved Scarab that was lower, lighter, shorter, and weighed a few hundred pounds less. The racer was to have a fully independent rear suspension, all-wheel disc brakes and centralized fuel tanks. Barnes and Troutman called it their 'Riverside Sports Racer.'
At Riverside in November, the partners found Texas oil businessman, Jim Hall. Hall had competed in his first race in 1954 driving his brothers Austin Healey 100. This was the start of a passion that would continue to flourish throughout the years.
Johnny Rutherford joined the elite group of 5 other 3-time Indianapolis 500 winners driving the Chaparral 2K to victory in 1980. The Chaparral, built and owned by Jim Hall with chief mechanic Steve Roby, sat on the pole and led 118 laps of the race. Rutherford achieved this 3rd Indianapolis triumph in seven years driving Jim Hall's revolutionary Cosworth-powered John Barnhard-designed Pennzoil Chaparral. Affectionately nicknamed 'The Yellow Submarine,' this car, plus a twin with which Al Unser dominated the first half of the 1979 race, were the first to have 'ground effects' incorporated into the design.
Rutherford drove the 2K to four Indy car victories during the 1980 season and won both the USAC and CART National championships. He was also named the Olsonite 'Driver of the Year' for his accomplishments in this car.
|John Barnard's Finest: Some of the Greatest of Barnard's Design|
The latter-part of Barnard's Formula One career would be filled with disappointments and disputes. However, there was no disputing the genius of the man from London. In fact, a couple of innovations that are mainstays in Formula One design were first introduced by this man who had been involved in motor racing in some form or manner since the 1960s.
John Barnard would be born in London on the 4th of May in 1946. The war was over and a whole new world loomed on the horizon. It was t...[Read more...]|
|Emerson Fittipaldi to be honored by RRDC in Long Beach|
|Firestone returns as presenting sponsor for eighth consecutive year
HILLIARD, Ohio (March 2, 2017) - Two-time Formula 1 World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi, who also won a pair of Indy 500s, will be honored by the Road Racing Drivers Club at the 'RRDC Evening with Emerson Fittipaldi Presented by Firestone' in Long Beach, Calif., on Thursday, April 6. This is the RRDC's ninth consecutive annual banquet honoring auto racing's most influential leaders and icons, and will be held prio...[Read more...]|
|Roger Penske Feted as He Receives the IMRRC's Cameron R. Argetsinger Award|
| ||CORNING, N.Y. (July 1, 2016) - A capacity crowd at the Corning Museum of Glass was treated to a celebratory evening of tributes, shout-outs, slide shows and interviews on Thursday as the International Motor Racing Research Center presented the Cameron R. Argetsinger Award to racing icon Roger Penske.
The presenting sponsors of the evening and award were NASCAR, IMSA, International Speedway Corp. and Watkins Glen International. The sell-out event was supported by Sahlen's.
This was...[Read more...]|
|American Honda Lends Support to RRDC Evening with Bobby Unser in Long Beach|
| ||HILLIARD, Ohio (April 6, 2015) - American Honda Motor Co., Inc., will support the RRDC Evening with Bobby Unser presented by Firestone by hosting the cocktail reception for the sixth consecutive year at the Road Racing Drivers Club's seventh annual West Coast banquet, held prior to the 41st Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Calif.).
'American Honda is profoundly pleased to support the Road Racing Drivers Club in its salute to racing legend Bobby Unser,' said John Mendel, Executive Vice ...[Read more...]|
|CHEVROLET TO SHOW CHAPARRAL VISION GRAN TURISMO CONCEPT|
|• Boundary-pushing, Chevy-powered race cars changed motorsports design|
DETROIT – When racers Jim Hall and Hap Sharp founded Chaparral Cars in 1962, few could have guessed how they would shake up the conformities of the racing world – and fundamentally change it.
Through pioneering applications of aerodynamics and aerospace technology, and a partnership with Chevrolet Research and Development, Chaparral Cars advanced the science of racing cars. It also triumphed on the track o...[Read more...]
|RRDC VOTES IN 37 NEW MEMBERS FOR 2013|
| ||HILLIARD, Ohio (Nov. 7, 2013) - Thirty-seven race-car drivers and motorsports professionals have been voted into the Road Racing Drivers Club in 2013. The group includes 13 Regular Members from the open-wheel and sports-car racing ranks, 20 Associate Members and four Honorary Members. The current roster of RRDC members now numbers 440. Voting was held among all current RRDC members.
'This year's crop of new Regular Members truly represents the spirit of the RRDC, as each driver has de...[Read more...]|