Employee claims paint a grim picture at the Bob Bondurant driving school

Former employees of the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving say their workplace was a hostile environment. There are claims of racism, belittlement, and unfair treatment, according to a report from the ClassicCars.com Journal. Recently, the school made news when it closed its doors ahead of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. Classes eventually resumed, but the picture painted by former employees is grim.

Jason Bondurant is the adopted son of school founder Bob Bondurant. His mother Pat Bondurant ran the school before stepping into a consulting role. She maintains a 51% stake in the business. Jason stands by the claims of his employees and he too states that the workplace is a hostile one. Pat denies these claims while stating that the school is working to ensure its future and long-term success.

The allegations are numerous and serious. Read about the ongoing state of affairs at the ClassicCars.com Journal (and Jalopnik, as well).

No matter the full truth, it’s a shame to see this performance driving school fall into its current state of disrepair. Bob founded his namesake school in 1968. That was after tremendous success at the wheel of many race cars. Bondurant drove some all time greats and won at the highest levels of motorsport. His first school, the Bondurant Driving School, opened in 1968 in Riverside California. A handful of locations at other tracks soon spawned before the massive purpose-built facility opened in Chandler, Arizona in 1990.

Bob Bondurant stepped away from the grind of his driving school empire because he wanted to enjoy life during his later years. He’s 85 years old now, and his son says Bob would never let his business get into this shape had he been running the show.

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10 responses to “Employee claims paint a grim picture at the Bob Bondurant driving school”

  1. Batshitbox Avatar

    Sounds like there’s a loose nut behind the wheel.

  2. neight428 Avatar

    Sounds like Thanksgiving at the Bondurant’s was awkward. Wouldn’t be the first family business flushed down the tubes by successors.

    1. 0A5599 Avatar

      The whole setup has me scratching my head. Bob and Pat marry in 2010, he adopts her adult son and gives her 51% of the stock almost as soon as the paperwork could be drawn up?

      Kinda reminds me of the way Anna Nicole Smith found her true love in an old rich guy.

      1. neight428 Avatar

        Even weirder, the adopted adult son sides against his mom.

        1. 0A5599 Avatar

          It is also puzzling that she has an IMDB listing, but no film credits.


          1. neight428 Avatar

            Are we sure this isn’t a Coen brothers movie?

  3. Victor Avatar

    So the boss was a bitch , welcome to the world kiddies.
    The school’s newly hired chief restructuring officer, Timothy Shaffer, said employees were always paid.
    “In going back through the records, Bondurant never missed a payroll. They were never late on a payroll,” he said, adding that he was unsure what the conversations were prior to his arrival or what the employees had heard.

  4. Lokki Avatar

    “A contributing factor to the walkout was Pat Bondurant’s refusal to accept an employee petition that called for her to step down — but keep ownership — and allow Jason Bondurant to oversee the entire school.”

    There ya go. Power struggle. The rest is mud tossing hoping that if you throw enough something will stick.

    No doubt though, she didn’t have a clue on how to run the business, nor any leadership experience (or ability). The situation suggests that Bob, at 85, is no longer , ahem, ‘focused enough’ to be able to decide anything, since he’s not mentioned at all except as a totem. I’d guess that when this became apparent, the wife just stepped in. If she’d had more experienced she’d have hired a “Stig” to run things, and limited her involvement to Mary Holman levels- i.e. appearing each morning to say, “Gentlemen, start your engines!”

    I am also a little confused about Jason “Bondurant”. If mom is 63, and married Bob 10 years ago, how did he become an ‘adopted son’? A name-change as power-grab move on his part? The new Dread Pirate Roberts? I will also note that just because it’s obvious mom has no business skills, it does not necessarily follow that Jason will be any better.

    TL/DR: Get the Bondurant School a Stig, or give it bankruptcy!

  5. arlenekaddy Avatar

    This is not the first time I’ve heard of such an incident! unfortunately, people who have power consider that everything is allowed to them (including offending their employees, but alas, they do not take into account the existence of legislation! I did not long ago help with writing resume to my friend, who had worked as a driver for 10 years, so from his past job he left the scandal. so now is the trial of the vessel, in which, I hope, my friend will win.

  6. Harry Wilson Avatar
    Harry Wilson

    Great article!

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