Some brands—like Kleenex, Xerox and Popsicle—are so popular they’ve become the generic name for a product category. Bondurant School of High Performance Driving is nearly that, and the famous race car driver’s name is probably the first that comes to mind when someone thinks about an academy where aspiring racers can hone their skills.
However, everything in the world is subject to change—save for the laws of physics—and the Bondurant School of High Performance Driving, founded in 1968 and located in Chandler, Ariz., has been renamed the Radford Racing School. The title adjustment reflects a new direction for the renowned and respected institution that has helped so many drivers realize their potential for more than 50 years.
The school has benefited from major updates since it was purchased in 2019 by Stig Investments, a small group of auto enthusiasts, collectors and graduates of the school. The renaming marks the school’s association with the team behind the Radford brand, a legendary name among automobile aficionados for its coachbuilding legacy.
The Radford ownership team is comprised of four enthusiastic partners, including English television personality Ant Anstead, Formula 1 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. Stig Investments’ multimillion-dollar transformation of the facility makes it an experience destination for neophyte racers and international car enthusiasts alike.
Improvements to the school include the first resurfacing of the main track in 30 years, in addition to renovation and expansion of the event center, visitor center, gift shop, student lounge, classrooms, skills pad and viewing platform. The curriculum has been enhanced to include new and updated courses that range from classes in Formula cars to road racing. Additionally, teen driving courses reinforce safety and skills applied to real-world motoring situations. And for racers who measure success by the quarter mile, Radford is the first school of its kind to offer professional drag racing instruction, with the opportunity for students to earn an NHRA Drag License.
New Dodge/SRT owners will discover that the Radford Racing School is the Official High Performance Driving School of Dodge/SRT, and the brand provides a fleet of instruction vehicles. Not surprisingly, the drag racing course features the 840 hp Dodge Challenger SRT Demon.
In addition, Radford offers Ligier JS F4 open-wheel machines, vintage Dodge Vipers, go-karts and vehicles prepared specifically for police instruction as well as military training, including special forces. Along with new programs and schedules, look for an upcoming TV show that will expand the reach—and elevate the profile—of the new Radford Racing School to a worldwide audience.