Zavodsky One of 2012 Sports Faith International Hall of Fame Inductees

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Height: 5'8"
Weight: 130
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 groups.


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 Association’s (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.

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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 Inductees

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 Morosso.

Zavodsky is involved in Ford's Professional Women's Network. She has received numerous awards for her contributions to educational institutions.

Sharing her experiences with children of all ages—Zavodsky 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 10:00am—12:30pm, 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 circuit.

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 course.

(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 Women’s 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 race-ready."

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 engine."

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 /Harshness reviews.

"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. Zavodsky.

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 Bowl.

"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 things.

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.


Panoz 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 pride.

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 racecars.

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 we applaud them for the great work they do and we encourage our readers to view, the best site for racerchicks across the globe.


Panoz 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 Raceway.

(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 locations.

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.


Racing Highlights:

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 Women’s 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 Champion
Driven competitively in a Datson 240Z, Mazda RX-7, Mustang GT, Panoz Esperante, Formula Ford, Spec Racer Ford
Successful test in Don Soenen's Trans-Am Mustang
Successful drive in the Rehagen SVT Cobra-Grand-Am Cup Series


 Photo Gallery

Photos: Mazda Laguna Seca, May 5-7, 2006. Gordon Clay

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©1996-2023 by Gordon Clay