LOS ALTOS HILLS,
Calif. (April 29, 2002) - Bob Dorricott, one of most respected
names in North American formula-style, open-wheel racing and
two-time Dayton Indy Lights Championship team owner, passed
away Friday, April 26, at his family home in Los Altos Hills,
Calif., of cancer. He was 65.
Born in Los Angeles in 1937, Dorricott first developed his
motorsport skills during the 1950's as a drag racer in Altered
class. He later gained national recognition as a consistent
front-runner in SCCA Pro Sports 2000 competition that included
five National titles between 1989 and 1995.
Dorricott Racing's roots extend back over 13 years when
Dorricott and son, Bob Dorricott Jr., increased their racing
interests from a Championship-winning Sports 2000 program to
running partial Firestone Indy Lights Championship schedules
from 1990 through 1993 with the younger Dorricott behind the
wheel. Their initial entry was the 1990 season finale at their
home track of Laguna Seca where Bob Jr. qualified 15th and
Dorricott Racing ran its first full season in 1994. The year
was highlighted with the team's first pole for both team and
driver at Nazareth. It expanded into a two-car effort in 1995
and won its first race at Detroit's Belle Isle with Robbie
Buhl, of Cleveland. Buhl, who finished second in that year's
championship, also won three poles at Milwaukee, Detroit, and
New Hampshire while Dorricott Jr. earned his second
consecutive pole at Nazareth.
In 1996, Dorricott Jr. took the year off. Jeff Ward and
Shigeaki Hattori completed the two-car program and earned 12
top-10 finishes in 22 race starts. This included a pair of
poles for Ward at Toronto and Vancouver. Dorricott Jr. resumed
racing for the team in 1997 and was joined by Luis Garcia Jr.
The team's best showing was a fourth-place in Savannah with
Dorricott Jr. retired from racing at the end of the 1997
season, but Dorricott Racing maintained a multi-car program
with Austrian driver Philipp Peter and Catalonian Oriol
Servia. Bob Dorricott then orchestrated the framework for a
three-car team when he added young sprint car ace Bud Kaeding
to the mix for four Indy Lights races.
A combined four second-place finishes in 1998 prefaced a
visible rise into the motorsports elite in 1999 when Dorricott
ran a his first full-season with three drivers including
Servia, Peter, and Casey Mears. The result was multi-record
breaking that included 35 finishes in 36 starts and first,
second, and third place in the Dayton Indy Lights Championship
with Servia winning the title.
A second place finish for Dorricott Racing in the 2000 Dayton
Indy Lights Championship and Indy Lights rookie Townsend Bell
was accentuated by a third place finish for Mears, sixth place
for Australian Jason Bright, and a combined four victories.
Dorricott Racing concluded an outstanding Indy Lights tenure
by winning the 2001 Dayton Indy Lights Championship behind
Bell, and Damien Faulkner, of Ireland, finishing in third
place. It was the third consecutive year that Dorricott Racing
placed at least two drivers in the top-three final driver
Dorricott changed his team's direction for 2002 with its entry
into the Toyota Atlantic Championship. The success of the
venture was never more evident than when he watched his team
and second-year Dorricott Racing driver Jon Fogarty, of
Portola Valley, Calif., win its first Atlantic race in its
very first attempt at Monterrey, Mexico, this past March.
Dorricott made all decisions on his choice of drivers
throughout his career. His last selections reaffirmed his
unrivaled ability to see talent just as it is beginning to
blossom. His appointment of Luis Diaz, of Mexico City, was
overwhelmingly validated when Diaz won the pole position
outright at Monterrey. The introduction of Alex Gurney, of
Newport Beach, Calif., to the Dorricott Racing moniker not
only brought one of America's greatest racing names back to
the forefront, it also showed how Dorricott could see a young
driver's major-league ability before it happened.
A leader on and off the track, Dorricott was also acknowledged
in national and international business circles for his success
as a high-profile business executive in the "high tech"
Silicon Valley. Dorricott retired from his non-racing business
pursuits in the spring of 2001 after a career-long tenure as
President and Chief Executive Officer of Sunnyvale Valve and
Fitting Co., Inc., a northern California-based distributor of
high quality fluid control components. He was also a member of
the American Racing Series, Inc. (ARS) Board of Directors, the
former corporate operating body of the Dayton Indy Lights
Dorricott and his wife, Phyllis, devoted much of their
off-track energy to the advancement of medical research,
development, and care of children afflicted with life
threatening and disabling illnesses. They remain actively
engaged in the promotion and missions of the Lucille Packard
Children's Hospital and Ronald McDonald House, in Palo Alto,
Bob Dorricott is survived by his wife, Phyllis; daughter Pam,
of Los Altos, Calif.; sons Bob Jr., of San Mateo, Calif., and
Jeff, of Grants Pass, Ore.; and six grandchildren.
Services will be held on Wednesday, May 1, at Spangler's
Mortuary, in Los Altos, Calif., beginning at 1:00 p.m. (PT).
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the
El Camino Hospital Foundation, 2500 Grant Road, WIL 210,
Mountain View, Calif., 94040-4378, or to the Mid-Peninsula
Hospice, 201 San Antonio Circle, Suite 135, Mountain View,
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