9th Annual"Racing Goes Safer" Driver Safety Seminar at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach
Saturday, April 9th, 2022
Long Beach Convention Center, Rooms 203 A,B&C
The Racing Goes Safer Safety Seminar returned to the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach with a diverse group of speakers and topics during its three hour, action packed agenda on April 9, 2022.
Beginning with a video message for the group from popular IndyCar driver Romain Grosjean, the theme of the first hour was fire. The French/Swiss pilot referenced his own crash and fire at the Bahrain F1 race in 2000, which reinforced the need to be prepared, because you never know when something might happen resulting in fire.
In the case of the following speaker, Romain Morizot knew beforehand what was going to
happen, as he had volunteered to be set afire to show his faith in the personal safety equipment produced by his company, Stand 21. At one point he described the demonstration as a stunt, but as a result he still felt somewhat connected to what his customers have to be prepared for if something bad happens.
Something really bad did happen to the next speaker. The breakout of a fire in his car may
have happened unexpectedly to sportsman racer Mark Petronis, but he had been prepared for it with top rated, driver safety equipment. Unfortunately, being unconscious with his Corvette ablaze after going off the track backward and hitting a tree, he was in the car longer than the rating of his suit and accessories were designed for. The result was severe body and arm burns requiring two months in the hospital, and months of painful recovery. With a strong will, the love of his family, loyal employees covering for him in his family business, he is back to his regular activities, and now wants to share his experience for other drivers to learn from. A truly inspiring story.
Hour two featured Trans-Am and IMSA Champion Tommy Kendall. He began with frank talk
about his accident in 1998 when his legs were badly broken, and in how he was able to move on physically, also also mentally. Talking philosophically, he explained how he came out of it a changed, and happier person. Recall he did return to racing, winning many championships, and most recently creating a new career for himself as a most engaging TV presenter.
On the half hour, Tommy changed hats, and with his identity as a Motorsports Hall of Fame of America member, assisted that organization’s President, George Levy in publicly announcing the nine 2023 inductees for the MHOFOA. George had decided to make the announcement at Racing Goes Safer’s event because two of the inductees are motorsports safety experts, and long time friends of the Stand 21 Safety Foundation. Congratulations to Dr. Terry Trammell and Dr. Steve Olvey.
Sharing the final hour were Jim Ryan from SCORE International, Dr. Jacque Dallaire of
Performance Prime, and Stand 21 Safety Foundation’s Founder and President, Yves Morizot. Jim Ryan covered the many improvements in the last decade in safety during the running of their off road races in the Baja Peninsula. For example, all riders, drivers, and their vehicles are continually being tracked electronically through the remote deserts, making it much easier and quicker to respond with emergency assistance if needed.
Dr. Dallaire brought his message on the value of proper focus to the group. He took the group through a simple exercise to show how, as humans, we are limited to only processing one thing at a time, and must shift from one topic to the other. The result may be thinking about something else beside the most critical issue at the moment, which might be the one to keep you alive.
Yves Morizot closed the event by sharing photos and stories of his many experiences with top drivers, and golf course ownership, during his fifty years in business as Stand 21 Racewear. These all came from the limited-run book he has produced to celebrate the 50th anniversary. Operating a company for half a century, in this industry, with continuous family ownership is quite an accomplishment.
The audience feedback received after the seminar was very positive, giving the Foundation the encouragement to resume with safety seminars for many other groups this Summer and Fall, and to return to the PRI Show in December.
The Long Beach program was live streamed, on Zoom, for the first time and is available in its entirety anytime in the links below.
Information on the Stand 21 Safety Foundations activities can be found at racinggoessafer.org.
This year’s Feature Driver is Tommy Kendall, four time Trans-Am Champion, and three time
IMSA GTU Champ. Now an automotive TV show personality, he’ll share some stories on his
experiences then and now. Plus you can ask him about his famous Chicken Car.
Plan to come and hear from internationally recognized veterans with practical advice on how to
make your time on track safer, whatever you race.
9:00 Romain Morizot – Stand 21 - How it felt to be set on fire
Romain Grosjean – Special Recorded Message to Attendees
9:15 Mark Petronis – Sportsman driver with a personal story to tell about Surviving The Big One
10:00 Tommy Kendall - TransAm and IMSA Champion, TV Personality, Motorsports Hall of Fame of America member, and Chicken Car owner
10:30 George Levy – Motorsports Hall of Fame of America Making a Major Announcement
11:00 Jim Ryan – SCORE – Safety advances in Off Road Racing, and why you should try it
11:20 Jacques Dallaire – Performance Prime - The Right Focus Can Save Your Life
Yves Morizot – 50 Years of Stand 21 – Dedicated to Safety, looking back
12:00 Light lunch served