Back in October, the legendary Bondurant Racing School in Arizona filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in an effort to continue operations while working to pay down what was reportedly millions of dollars of debt. Unfortunately, it appears as though their plans have failed, as yesterday morning, the management team informed driving instructors, mechanics and other employees that the school was closing their doors for good.

Since this news broke early yesterday afternoon, a few other outlets have shared this story based on the input from a representative of the Bondurant management team. The representative is confirming that the school is closed, but no other details have been offered. Fortunately, I am fortunate enough to know some of the people who work at the facility and they were all quick to reach out to me with information on the sad final day of the school that was Bob Bondurant’s legacy.

It should go without saying that the folks who reached out to me with information on Bonduant’s sudden closing have requested that their names be withheld, as they are searching for new jobs while trying to let the rest of us know how the end really went down. We should point out that these are not all quotes from one employee, as to protect their identities, we have combined all of the input into one basic conversation.

“Bondurant is closed. If you want to let your guys know they should contact FCA about what's going on.”

That was the first message that I received, to which I responded by asking if the individual meant closed altogether. Sadly, that is the case. For those wondering “my guys” are the group of Hellcat and Demon owners in the Mopar community who have booked trips to attend the school, but who are now forced to see what refunds they can get on their travel expenses.

“Yes, it is closed for good. Pat Bondurant was planning on closing it on Friday and filing for chapter 7, but our finance department told us our paychecks for this week would go into the filing and we would be out the money.

Basically we would be working two weeks without pay. Employees asked to be paid in advance due to the potential issue and she basically said **** off and left the property. We were left there without pay or promise of pay and were forced to close the school.

She didn't even stay to tell the students basically left the property and never looked back.”

This happened on Monday, the 12 th , about three hours into the day’s schooling sessions. The employees left behind after the management fled had to explain the situation to the students who were in classes that many of them had paid for, and after sending the dejected students home, the workers had to pack up their belongings, turn off the lights and leave Bondurant Racing School for what will likely be the last time.

“I was on my way into work when I got the call that we were closing. A coworker told me that it was over, we were closing for good and that I should be prepared to pack up my stuff when I got there. When I arrived, the students had already left and all that remained was unhappy coworkers carrying out boxes of their belongings that they had kept at work. It was a terrible sight.”

Of course, I expressed my condolences for my connections at the school losing their jobs, as they put together a great program and when participating in the school, the enthusiasm and passion of the employees was unmistakable. While Bob Bondurant founded the school on his legendary racing career, it was the employees of the school who made the program so fantastic and I consider myself very lucky to have been able to experience the school before it closed.

However, it seems that employees are not completely without hope.

“We feel that the complex will be used again with a similar feel to it but with new management. So most of us are hopefully to be back eventually.”

For those who haven’t attended Bondurant, it is a sprawling piece of property with an assortment of garages and administrative buildings, but it also has an impressive spread of race tracks. In addition to the 1.6-mile main road course, there is a smaller kart track, several smaller road course tracks, a huge skid pad and a quarter mile drag strip. The property has everything that a driving school or motorsports park could want – now it just needs someone to run it.

For the past few years, purchasing an SRT vehicle came with a free day of instruction at Bondurant and before that, SRT buyers were treated to the SRT Experience. We have spoken with several Hellcat and Demon owners who have booked trips to Bondurant in the coming months, all of whom are scrambling to try to get a refund for their travel expenses. We have reached out to FCA for more information on what can be done about the loss of the driving school, but we have not yet heard back. It seems likely that this comes as a surprise to the folks at FCA as well, so they may be working on a solution to a problem with which they really had no part in causing.

Once we have more information, we will share those details with the community, but in the meantime, the legendary Bob Bondurant Racing School appears to be gone forever.