Early in my racing career I was fortunate to have a mentor and what a mentor. Jackie Stewart. He showed me the safest, fastest, and proper way to do things on and off the track. It's the kind of "unfair advantage" that every young driver dreams of. Well now it's no longer a dream, because the Road Racing Drivers Club has created an Online Driver Development Program that allows you to access advice and information from the very best in the business: Indy 500 Winners, F1 World Champions, LeMans Winners, Team Principals, Leading Engineers, Fitness and Mental Training Experts along with Marketing and Communication Professionals not to mention World Renowned Safety Experts. If you?re serious about a racing career, you now have an online mentor to help guide you along the way. Go for it.
- Dario Franchitti
SAFE stands for Skilled, Assured, Fit and Empowered. These are the key qualities that any young race driver must acquire and hone if they are to be successful in motor sport. That is why the Road Racing Drivers Club (RRDC) has created the SAFEisFAST program: to engage with and support aspiring racers.
SAFEisFAST provides online tutorials and guidance to promote and teach the skills necessary to be successful and safe on the track. Featuring expert advice from champion drivers and industry professionals, as well as tutorials on safety, fitness, mental skills, race craft, sponsorship and more, the site is designed to assist drivers at all levels of motor sport.
The site was created by the RRDC, a US organization made up of many of the world's finest racing drivers. Members are elected by their peers and include Formula One World Champions, Indy-500 winners, champion Sports Car Drivers, and top American amateur road racers.
At the time of the club's creation in 1952, racing was enjoying a post-war boom with new circuits springing up but with safety considered of little importance to circuit designers and race organisers. Led by respected champions and prominent American road racers, the RRDC was formed to enable drivers to have greater input into the sport - particularly in the area of safety.
Now, over 60 years later, the club continues to lead the way in motor sport safety and young driver development.
American single-seater legend Bobby Rahal is the current President of the Road Racing Drivers Club. Having raced and managed at the highest levels of motor sport, he brings racing knowledge and business acumen to the role and is passionate about young driver education.
Born in Medina, Ohio in 1953, Rahal began his career in junior formula, competing against the likes of future Formula One World Champion, Gilles Villeneuve. Following a number of successful seasons at lower levels, he competed in Formula One for the Wolf team at the 1978 United States and Canadian Grand Prix with little success.
Rahal then focused his attention on America and entered the CART series in 1982. It would prove to be a career defining move as he went on to win three overall titles and the 1986 Indianapolis 500.
He retired from professional racing in 1998 and began working in a managerial capacity for the Jaguar Formula One team. He also became the interim President and CEO of the CART series for a short period.
He co-owns the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team that competes in the IndyCar Series and the American Le Mans Series, with notable success. He is also engaged with numerous other business ventures and is active in raising money for charity through the Bobby Rahal Foundation.
A three-time Indianapolis 500 winner and four-time IndyCar series champion, Dario Franchitti is the Global Ambassador for SAFEisFAST. An advocate for increased safety throughout his career, he has experienced the highs and lows of motor sport first hand.
Hailing from West Lothian in Scotland, Franchitti benefitted from the expertise of former Formula One World Champion Jackie Stewart in his developmental years, entrenching a belief in the importance of driver education in the young Scot.
He climbed the rungs on the European motor sport ladder before shifting his attentions to America and the CART series. He narrowly missed out on the 1999 title to Juan Pablo Montoya before moving to the IndyCar series for 2003.
He won the Indianapolis 500 and the IndyCar title in 2007 and championship victories followed again in three consecutive years from 2009 to 2011. He also secured further Indianapolis 500 victories in 2010 and 2012.
Franchitti's career was ended following a crash in 2013 when his car made heavy contact with circuit catch fencing. He had always been a supporter of improved safety measures in motor sport, especially after having lost two close friends in Greg Moore and Dan Wheldon in racing accidents.
He retains a number of roles in motor sport including working as a driver advisor for Chip Ganassi Racing and is focused on promoting driver safety and education in his role at SAFEisFAST.
Racing footage courtesy of ALMS, Grand-Am, IndyCar, SPEED, ESPN, and Versus.
Simulator footage courtesy of iRacing.
Produced by the Road Racing Drivers Club.
Tom Davey and Jim Mullen
Jeremy Shaw and Tamy Valkosky
Marc Cutler - Patterrn
Dario Franchitti - Scott Dixon - Roger Penske - Dan Wheldon - Chip Ganassi - Ryan Briscoe - Hurley Haywood - David Donohue - Scott Pruett - Graham Rahal - Patrick Long - AJ Allmendinger - Justin Wilson - Martin Brundle - Bill Auberlen - Darren Law - Joey Hand - David Hobbs - Brian Redman - Andy Lally - Johnny O'Connell - Ryan Dalziel - Tim Cindric - Mike Hull - Dr. Steve Olvey - Bryan Herta - Memo Gidley - Ricky Taylor - Lyn St James - Dr. Terry Trammell - Boris Said - Josef Newgarden - Conor Daly - Max Papis - John Edwards - Jim Leo - Dane Cameron - Mike Zimicki - Dr. Jacques Dallaire - Jim Jordan - Jay O'Connell - Julian Robertson - John Gentilozzi - PJ Jones - Michael Shank - Dale Wise - Henry Wolf - Bruce Foss - Page Mader - Bob Varsha - Chris Neville - Brian Til - Calvin Fish - Leigh Diffey