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Bondurant Helps Raise $150,000 for UTI Foundation

2012-UTI

The Bondurant School of High Performance Driving drives for charity, too.

On March 24 and March 31, Bondurant sponsored its annual charity kart race to benefit the UTI Foundation’s programs supporting technical education in automotive industries.

The Drive to Succeed event raised approximately $150,000, says Veronica Meury, vice president and executive director of the Phoenix-based Universal Technical Institute Foundation.

“The Drive To Succeed competition is all about turning dreams into reality for deserving students who wish to pursue careers in the automotive-service industry,” she says. “The competition at Bondurant challenges our corporate education champions to excel, and the scholarship money raised will help more than 20 students achieve a first-class technical education at any one of UTI’s 11 campuses throughout the country. It’s a great partnership all around.”

The UTI Foundation supports technical education in the automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle, marine and NASCAR industries through scholarships, grants, career development and other programs. Established in 2005 as the philanthropic component of Universal Technical Institute Inc., it assists students to get into school, stay there and graduate into careers.

To help, the Bondurant School donated its world-class facilities and reduced the cost for the track so that company teams Valleywide could participate in the Pro Kart Enduro-style racing. Other major sponsors were UTI, Snap-on and Bridgestone/Firestone.  

“It was a great event for both the UTI Foundation and Bondurant,” says Alan Rudolph, vice president and general manager and chief instructor of the Bondurant SuperKart School and a champion kart driver. The school donated his services for the event.

“It’s all about raising money for the UTI Foundation and having fun at the same time; we accomplished both. I look forward to the next one in 2013,” adds Rudolph, who, as a result of of his recent national karting title, will represent the U.S. in this year’s World Championship.

For the first time, Bondurant coordinated a “Media Face Off” March 24 in which teams from Valley media outlets competed to place into the Drive to Succeed finals the following Saturday. Those teams were the Arizona Republic, KOOL-FM, Channel 3, bravely represented by a lone Scott Pasmore, and KTAR, which won the event.

Sue Cardillo, a principal of Pittsburgh, Pa.-based McMahon & Cardillo Communication, the UTI Foundation’s media firm, initiated and coordinated the media event. “She spent many hours to secure the attendees and provided media kits and materials, tee-shirts and trophies,” Meury says.

The following Saturday, 15 teams, each contributing $5,000, competed, with three or four participants tag-teaming as drivers. The winners:

  • First: Penske Automotive
  • Second: Firestone
  • Third: Van Tuyl Group
  • Challenge Round or B Main: GE Capital

For the winning Penske Automotive Group  team, the win was a multiple success.

“We were competing for the title last year against the same three teams, only to come up with third place. That was enough fuel to launch our enthusiasm for the second annual event,” says Mark Siffert, captain of the five-man Penske team and sales consultant for Porsche North Scottsdale, a Penske dealership.

“However, this year we stressed team building, open lines of communication and constant focus in order to acquire our objective,” he adds, noting that the team was assisted by their energetic UTI student-representative.

“The secret to our success was all five drivers were blistering quick and consistent throughout,” Siffert explains. “Our pit strategy was Formula 1 fast, and driver rotation was a mathematical marvel. In the end, we all had fun and for the right reason.”

Siffert and the Penske team acknowledge the importance of the UTI Foundation and its commitment to automotive/motorcycle education.
“The UTI foundation has been very impactful over the past decade,” he says. “They promote a consistent product worldwide in which every aspiring student who graduates is qualified to match the required expectations by the manufacturer/dealer network. “It’s an honor to be a part of such an event — even if it’s racing around a go-kart.”

For the winning Penske five, Drive to Success was exhilarating: “It reaffirmed camaraderie among co-workers, and best of all, we accomplished the goal we set out for: the finishing podium in first! What a feeling.”

For more information on helping the UTI Foundation, visit www.utifoundation.net
—David M. Brown

2012-UTI2

LOCATION

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20000 S. Maricopa Road, Gate #3
Chandler, AZ 85226

Mailing:
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Phoenix, AZ 85076

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