Firebird Raceway

Firebird International Raceway on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013.

[David Jolkovski/AFN]

The Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving says it will have a bigger presence in Phoenix after signing a new lease with the Gila River Indian Community.

The school announced its new lease on Feb. 14. The lease was signed with the Sun Valley Marina Corporation, which is owned by the Gila River Indian Community (GRIC).

The school previously operated through a sub-lease with Firebird International Raceway, but Firebird’s lease will expire in April.

Bondurant’s new lease includes the school’s current 1.6-mile road course, plus use of Firebird’s west track for future expansion and track rental.

“We will continue to operate on our current property,” Bondurant chief operating officer Darren Law said in a statement. “We are also taking over the west track portion of the facility, which will allow us to expand our classes as well as taking control of leasing to the local race clubs and car manufacturers.

“We are really excited about being able to re-sign our lease with the Sun Valley Marina Corporation and to continue our presence on the Gila River Indian Community. We’re also excited about the potential that will be available with the west track, its paddock and facilities. We have many ideas on new programs and how we’ll expand with the additional space. We bring such a positive impact to the community, we know it will only grow and get better with this new lease.”

The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), which had the Arizona Nationals at Firebird this past weekend has also said its in discussions to continue hosting events at Firebird once the current owner’s lease ends.

“We have no updates at this time but continue our dialogue and are confident we can reach an agreement to continue racing at the facility,” said Jerry Archambeaut, NHRA spokesman.

Bob Bondurant, founder of the Bob Bondurant School, said the lease agreement his facility has reached caps a long, positive relationship between the Bondurant School and Sun Valley Marina Corporation and the Gila River Indian Community.

“Our relationship with Sun Valley Marina and the Gila River Indian Community remains 23 years strong, loyal and extremely supportive,” he said. “The school’s future holds very exciting developments and this lease renewal is just another fantastic day at Bondurant. We are absolutely full throttle this year.”

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or

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