Zavodsky One of 2012 Sports Faith International
Hall of Fame Inductees
access to this web
Birthday: November 18
Residence: New Boston, MI
Hobbies: Teaching piano, gardening, working
with children, stressing the importance of
education and goals, visiting with church and civic
Dr. Audrey is shown on stage with her 2nd place
trophy. The award ceremony was held at the Road
America track. Dr. Audrey faced some tough
competition throughout the year from 26 American
drivers in the Great Lakes region of NASA. Dr.
Audrey races in The National Auto Sport
Associations (NASA) American Iron Division.
NASA was formed in 1991 to deliver high quality
motorsports events to enthusiasts at major racing
venues throughout the nation. It is the fastest
growing racing organization in the United States.
* * *
Zavodsky competed in the Grand-Am Cup race at
Laguna Seca May 6, 2006. With transmission problems
throughout the weekend, she was gridded 32nd in
class, drove her car to 12th place overall during
her 1.5 hour stint in the car, while her partner
finished the car 30th in class.
Zavodsky One of 2012
Sports Faith International Hall of Fame
Sports Faith International, an initiative that
honors exceptional athletes (and sports
coaches/administrators) who live exemplary lives,
has announced that Audrey Zavodsky is one of its
2012 Hall of Fame Inductees.
Audrey Zavodsky is a professional race car
driver and a motivational speaker who works for
Ford Motor Company in global middle management
leadership/professional development. As a race car
driver her accomplishments include the Global GT
Championship, SCCA Regional Championship, first
certified female Hi-Performance driving instructor
by the Bondurant School, Panoz GT Pro wins, Panoz
GTS win, SVTOA driving instructor, Ford Motor
Company proving ground Tier-3 driver, several IMSA
wins, first "2 women team" to finish the 13 hours
of VIR, and class winner at the 24 hours of
Zavodsky is involved in Ford's Professional
Women's Network. She has received numerous awards
for her contributions to educational
Sharing her experiences with children of all
agesZavodsky visits schools, hospitals, and
youth homes, presenting a message to stay in
school, eat and live right, stay off of drugs, set
goals, and live your dream.
Sports Faith International Induction Ceremony.
The Induction festivities will be held on February
26th, 2012. A Meet and Greet Luncheon Reception,
sponsored by Franciscan University of Steubenville
will be held at the Country Squire in Grayslake,
Illinois from 10:00am12:30pm, immediately
preceding the Induction Ceremony. The Induction
Ceremony and Sunday Mass will begin at 2:00 p.m. at
the home of the Chicago Bears, Halas Hall, in Lake
Forest, Illinois. Music will be provided by
Franciscan University of Steubenville.
Audrey makes history
at Road America
Road America is a legendary fixture in the racing
community. Racers relish the circuit's challenging
14 turns, curves and high-speed straights. The 4.08
mile track follows the sweeping, rolling hills of
the glacially-formed terrain providing drivers with
dramatic elevation changes. Many world champions
have tested their skills here and return yearly to
set new records.
It is here on October 8, 2011 that Dr. Audrey
took her Poe prepared Mustang out twice and came
home a winner both times. This is a historical
first in racing because it is hard enough to win
one race on a given day. It is even more difficult
to win two races on the same day. This is due to
the fact that drivers and cars are so much more
evenly matched in today's racing.
Dr. Audrey's consistency is based on her
philosophy of "focusing on her driving and the
track; while meeting each turn, each pass, each
challenge without getting distracted." "I am
fortunate that the drivers in NASA for the most
part respect one another and are helpful. As an
example of this as I was preparing to go to grid
the mechanic noticed a cracked rear rotor on my
race car as he was putting the rear wheels on. This
was noticed with 10 minutes to go before I had to
grid. As my mechanic Steve was starting to change
the rear rotors the Chris Ferraro team noticed that
we were not going to make grid if they didn't help.
They jumped in and helped Steve to change the rear
rotors and get me to the grid with a little over a
minute to go. This is important because if I fail
to make the grid then I must start at the back of
the pack." "However, this is how the teams work
together to make this an exciting series."
"I trust that the residents of New Boston and
the many fans take a measure of pride in my racing
accomplishments as I truly appreciate their support
and warm comments."
Zavodsky Burns Rubber
Audrey Zavodsky is a corporate nurse with Ford's
Clinical Operations Department and one of the few
female professional drivers on the Grand Am
Most people graduating from college receive
presents like money, maybe a class ring or a car
for the fortunate few. When Audrey Zavodsky
graduated with a Ph.D. in Human and Organization
Systems, her husband Rich gave her four days of
racecar training in Arizona. Dr. Audrey, as she's
known in the world of Grand Am racing, hasn't
looked back since.
Zavodsky is a corporate nurse with Ford's
Clinical Operations Department and one of the few
female professional drivers on the Grand Am
circuit. When not checking the health status of
Ford employees, Dr. Audrey entertains herself by
accomplishing such feats as winning this year's
Panoz GTS Pro Series race at the Mid-Ohio road
(For the racing impaired, GTS cars are highly
modified production cars, like Mustangs or
Corvettes, as opposed to the better-known GT class
of only slightly modified Porsches and Ferraris.
Zavodsky races both.)
"I started with those four days at Bondurant
Driving School in Phoenix and got addicted to
racing," Dr. Zavodsky recalled. "It's one of those
activities where you get immediate feedback from
your actions. There's nothing like the feeling you
get when a race starts. And it's very gratifying
when you win."
In her eight seasons of racing, Zavodsky has
averaged more than 20 races a year, although 2004
saw her schedule drop when her former sponsor,
Visteon, dropped their support. "Like everywhere
else these days, Visteon had to make some financial
choices and unfortunately I was cut. At the moment
we're actively looking for a new sponsor. What
happens with my career in the future all depends on
finding a new sponsor."
During her career, Audrey Zavodsky consistently
finishes among the top 10. More often than not she
finishes in the top five.
During her career, Zavodsky has won a number of
races, including the Inaugural Womens Global
GT series race at Road Atlanta; Panoz GTS Pro at
Mid-Ohio; Panoz GT Pro at Mosport Canada and
Sebring Florida; Panoz GT at Sebring Florida and
Mosport Canada. She is consistently among the top
10 finishers in her races, more often than not
finishing in the top five.
The list of cars Dr. Audrey has raced includes
an SVT Mustang Cobra, Panoz Esperante GT/GTS,
Trans-Am Mustang, Mosler MT 900, Corvette Z06,
Toyota MR2, Mustang Mach 1, Datsun 240Z, BMW M3,
Mazda RX-7, Formula Ford, Formula Dodge, Formula
Mazda, MGB-GT and Datsun 510.
"We own and race a Spec Racer Ford (SRF) capable
of doing 140 miles per hour in the straightaway,"
Dr. Zavodsky said. "The Rehagen race team is
working on customizing a 2005 Mustang to make it
In Dr. Zavodsky's case, customizing means taking
a Mustang, the same as anyone else would buy off a
lot, and then stripping away any non-essential
weight. "We take off everything that doesn't
matter, from the headlights to the passenger side
window controls. Of course, we modify the
By "we" Dr. Zavodsky means the crew that works
on her cars and in her pits, staffed to some extent
from her colleagues at Ford. She races with Rehagen
Racing in the Grand-Am cup race series, which are
televised on the SPEED network.
Not content to simply display her motor sports
skills on the raceway, Dr. Zavodsky teaches driving
skills to Ford employees through Bumper to Bumper
and Vehicle Dynamics. The programs began with a
racing affiliate that Dr. Zavodsky created through
the Ford Professional Women's Network (PWN) and
Ford Motorsport Enthusiasts (FME) and has evolved
to presenting successful clinics on Engine,
Automatic Transmission & Noise/Vibration
"We take employees through the mechanical side
of a car, then go on the handling course to
demonstrate driving techniques. We stress control
of the car and teach how weight transfers through
the car in different situations. The employees love
it, especially when we're flying at 80 percent of
the car's maximum speed. I emphasize the great
capabilities of our products, said Dr.
As if that weren't enough, Dr. Zavodsky finds
time to work in some of the perks of the racing
life. For example, 2005 will mark the fifth time
Dr. Audrey has been invited by Super Bowl
organizers to be a female role model for young
girls. She is one of five exceptional women who
hold programs for young people before each Super
"You haven't lived until you talk to 1,000
cheerleaders," Dr. Zavodsky commented. "I try to
use my experiences in racing as a basis for making
life decisions. For instance I sometimes show
videos of a race, pause the tape at a particularly
bad moment, and ask, 'What do I do now? Quit or go
on?' That kind of example makes the point more
powerfully than a dry lesson."
Along with the Super Bowl programs, Dr. Zavodsky
has participated in the National Football League's
Cheerleader of Life program as a positive role
model stressing education, a drug-free life and
attaining one's dreams. In her off time (if such a
thing exists for Dr. Audrey), she works with school
children through civic and church groups.
Thanks to her racing, Dr. Zavodsky has been an
honorary Thunderbird, flying in the cockpit of an
F-16 during the famed Air Force group's maneuvers.
She has also participated in a refueling exercise
with the Air National Guard involving KC-135s and
F-16s. She was also asked to participate in the
U.S. Marines Family Day.
Then, of course, there's her day job. As a
corporate nurse, Dr. Zavodsky oversees 30
locations, including parts depots, assembly plants
and test tracks. Her duties include being an
educator, advisor, facilitator & auditor for
OSHA & SHARP audits, among many other
Racing, for Dr. Zavodsky, has become a metaphor
for her other activities and by extension, life
itself. "Every race is different," Dr. Zavodsky
said. "You simply never know what's going to
happen. You face what happens and deal with it.
Then there's nothing like the feeling of being out
in front and winning."
Hopefully, Dr. Zavodsky will find a new sponsor
and continue being out front and winning.
Racing Series Driver
Audrey Zavodsky, Ph.D., begins her 3rd season of
racing under the Visteon banner. This year will be
her 5th year of racing competition. Audrey has a
list of successes in racing that include the
inaugural win in the Women's Global GT series and 2
out of 3 first place finishes in the last 3 years
in the SCCA's area 4 Central Division.
Audrey has flown a F-16 fighter jet with the
United States Air Force Thunderbirds. Audrey
maintains her contacts with the world famous
Thunderbirds. She uses this connection to keep her
many interactions with high school children groups
current. Audrey encourages the students to look at
the Air Force for career opportunities as well as
pointing out that they are a source of American
Audrey is participating in the Panoz Racing
Series that is an outgrowth of the Panoz Racing
School and WGGT series. This series will have
within it 2 distinct racing groups. They are the
Panoz GT and Panoz GT Pro series. The overall
series will consist of an 8-race schedule. The
Panoz GT Pro series will have 3 races that are
conducted along with the American Le Mans schedule.
This series will feature the Panoz GT and Panoz GTS
Audrey's reputation is that she races "clean"
and is a consistent fast driver. As testimony to
this Audrey holds track records in the Panoz GT car
at the Laguna Seca and Road Atlanta race tracks.
She has made many friends in the racing community
as a result of her skills on and off the race
track. Cindi Lux, Divina Galica, Belinda Endress,
Sascha Maasen, Dick Barbour, Scott Bove, and Sonja
Bayer are amongst her many racing friends.
Audrey shares her experiences with children of
all ages. It is not unusual to see Audrey visiting
schools, hospitals, youth homes, and businesses as
she spreads her enthusiastic message to stay in
school, eat and live right, stay off of drugs, set
goals, and live your dream. Audrey has been invited
as a motivational speaker to speak at colleges,
1000 cheerleaders at the NFL Spirit Week, to
resident engineers, Kids on Track, civic groups,
corporations, and many other groups.
She also works closely with car focus groups to
help bring new ideas and driving experiences into
the mix. She evaluates vehicle systems from a
performance perspective that translates to best in
class characteristics. This is accomplished as she
applies her racing and consumer experience to test
the various product features. Her ability to
communicate helps the engineers to build products
that achieve market excellence.
Racing and Visteon go hand-in-hand with Audrey's
success on and off the race track. She has the
position of Corporate Nurse at Ford Motor Company
with the responsibility of several of their plants
in various locations. She believes that employees
are the lifeblood of the company and that they
deserve the very best in medical care.
Audrey has driven several different brands of
vehicles including BMW's, Toyotas, Datsuns, Mazda
RX-7's, Mazda Spec Racers, Mustang Cobra's, Mustang
GT's, CART 101, NASCAR, Dodge open wheelers, Spec
Racer Ford's, and others. She has her sights set on
Trans-am and CART as future areas to race in.
Audrey Zavodsky is the June 2001 Driver of the
Month in Distant Thunder, the online newsletter of
Thunder Valley Racing.
Thunder Valley Racing is an automobile racing
management and marketing company created to develop
women race car drivers. They believe there is an
untapped market and innovative marketing strategies
that are available to sponsors who support women
race car drivers. Here at racerchicks.com we
applaud them for the great work they do and we
encourage our readers to view www.thunval.com, the
best site for racerchicks across the globe.
GT Pro Series - Zavodsky Wins GT - 3/18/03
Veteran racer Audrey Zavodsky of New Boston, MI,
held off her two arch-rivals to take the checkered
flag in the season opener of the Panoz GT Pro
Series this morning at Sebring International
(The Panoz GT Pro Series is the official support
race for the American Le Mans Series and
immediately preceded the morning start of today?s
classic 12 Hours of Sebring.)
Cruising safely in the GT class with an 8-second
lead midway through the 17-lap race, Zavodsky?s
biggest challenge came when an incident behind her
brought out the yellow caution flag in lap 10.
That enabled closest challenger Eddie Mady of
Boca Raton to close to within a second and for
Gavin Riches of Fort Myers, last year?s GT pro
champion to sail into third after starting the race
at the back of the 17-car pack. When the track was
cleared and the green flag went down again,
Zavodsky fought off both drivers, eventually taking
the class by two seconds.
Zavodsky, runner up in the 2002 GT Pro Series,
is in her seventh year of racing. She holds a Phd
in business and is a Ford Motor Company executive
-- a corporate nurse responsible for 25 medical
Said Mady on the podium, "Audrey drove a great
race. She?s steady and didn?t make a mistake, but
she took full advantage of ours."
GT class pole sitter Barry Ellis finished 14th
overall after continually falling back as the race
progressed and completed only 13 laps.
GTS driver David Barr of Duluth, GA, began at
the pole and was top finisher in the higher
horsepower, privately owned class.
In the Panoz GT Pro Series, racers compete in
two classes, GT and GTS. GT drivers compete in 4.6
liter, 320 horsepower cars owned and set up to
series specification by Panoz Racing Series crews.
In the GTS class, cars are privately owned, 5.8
liter cars putting out 385 horsepower.
9-1st place finishes-7 in the WGGTS/Panoz
Pro/Panoz GT/Panoz GTS Pro series
2003-Finished 3rd in Panoz Pro(ALMS) Series; 3rd in
the Panoz GT series
2002-Finished 3rd in Panoz Pro(ALMS) Series; 2nd in
the Panoz GT series
2001-SCCA Central Division Champion-Spec Racer
Ford- Region IV & V
1999 Womens Global GT Series (WGGTS)
Inaugural Race Winner
2000 5th in points-WGGTS Series
1999 6th in points-WGGTS Series
1998 & 2000 SCCA-Spec Racer Ford-Region IV
Driven competitively in a Datson 240Z, Mazda RX-7,
Mustang GT, Panoz Esperante, Formula Ford, Spec
Successful test in Don Soenen's Trans-Am
Successful drive in the Rehagen SVT Cobra-Grand-Am
Photos: Mazda Laguna Seca,
May 5-7, 2006. Gordon Clay
* * *
©1996-2023 by Gordon