American Speed Association officials have announced that 1986 Daytona 500 and 1987 IROC Series Champion Geoff Bodine will be competing in the “Championship Between the Continents – South Africa versus USA Motorsports” that will take place on January 29-31, 2010 at the Phakisa Freeway Circuit in Welkom, South Africa. The first ever ASA venture outside of North America.
Bodine is no stranger to international activities as he has made two trips to visit the American Troops and this year his Bo-dyn Bobsled that will be used by the United States Bobsled Team as they strive for the gold at the Winter Olympics.
“I am looking forward to making this trip,” Bodine said. “This will be my first time traveling to the continent. The thought of going to South Africa to race is very exciting and I would certainly like to be the first driver to win this enormous event.”
“It’s an honor to have a legend such as Geoff Bodine compete in this historical event,” Dennis Huth, ASA President said. “When I asked Geoff if he would like to be part of this event, he said yes right away. Geoff has always been someone who enjoys a challenge and I think he finds this event to be so unique that it really wasn’t a surprise that he wants to participate in it.”
Bodine has been competing in the ASA sanctioned International Sport Compact Auto Racing Series (ISCARS) DASH Touring, driving for car owner Joey Jones where he is currently third in the point standings. Bodine also lends his expertise to mentoring drivers in the Geoff Bodine/ISCARS Driver Development Program which is a new arm of the Drive Tech Racing School.
Drive Tech Racing School is the Official Racing School of the American Speed Association. The school will be open the month of January to train the drivers who will be going to compete in this historical event.
“ASA has a great history of drivers who have made it to the top levels of stock car racing which included guys like Mark Martin, Dick Trickle and Rusty Wallace. I am excited that my involvement with ISCARS and ASA has opened the door for the opportunity to compete against not only the racers from the USA but also South Africa’s finest,” added Bodine.
Huth sees the 1986 Daytona 500 Champion playing a vital role in this event, “Geoff Bodine enjoys helping new drivers learn more about this sport that I think he will enjoy this opportunity to share his expertise with our new friends in South Africa along with the American talent that will be going over to compete as we have had many local drivers express interest in competing in this event. He will be a great ambassador to this sport.”
Phakisa Freeway Circuit is a multi-purpose racing facility featuring a 1.5-mile oval which is where the “Championship Between the Continents” will be contested. This D-shaped oval, located southwest of Johannesburg is reminiscent of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. As an interesting side note, “Phakisa” means “Get Moving” in South Sesotho language, a fitting name for a racetrack.
“When I first received the invitation to go, I viewed photographs of the track on Google. I wasn’t aware that such a track existed there.” says Bodine. “Now to think I will actually be racing there is really a big deal.”
The American drivers invited will not only get a chance to compete on one of the finest racetracks outside of the United States, but will enjoy many off-track opportunities to see the various sights of South Africa; this includes a private tour of “Savannah” the wildlife preserve that holds the distinction of being just one of three accredited worldwide breeders of the Cheetah.
“The ‘Championship Between the Continents’ is designed to foster friendship, competition, and knowledge both on-and-off the racetrack between South Africa and the United States. I have no doubt this will be a life-changing experience for those that attend from both our countries and that this will foster a bond that goes beyond just a motorsports competition,” said Huth.
To learn more about Phakisa Freeway, visit http://www.phakisa.com/GeneralInformation.htm .
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