Don Garlits Returns to BDRHoF Gala to Honour Mopar

More good news has followed the announcement about Mopar being presented with the Lucas Oil Global Achievement Award during the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame (BDRHoF) Gala Awards Dinner at the Savill Court Hotel, Windsor Great Park, on November 21st. Yes – BIG IS BACK! None other than Big Daddy Don Garlits himself is making a return trip to the UK to make the presentation.

Don has been a Mopar Ambassador for 60 years and at the forefront of developing the Mopar HEMI engine in his series of Swamp Rat dragsters. He was the first to receive the 426 cubic inch Hemi ‘Elephant Motor’ that was installed in Swamp Rat 8 at the end of 1964. He received the Mopar President’s Award in March for his 60 years as a Mopar Ambassador and for this trip he will again be joined by his daughter Donna Garlits, Chief Financial Officer of the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing in Ocala. And Donna’s son Rodney will also be making a return trip to the Gala Dinner.

Don said, “On hearing that the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame had selected Mopar to receive the Lucas Oil Global Achievement Award I knew I had to make the presentation. My relationship with Mopar over most of my drag racing career has been the cornerstone of my achievements. I was honoured to receive the Lucas Oil Global Achievement Award last year and presenting it to Mopar this year will give me a great deal of pleasure and pride. I’m looking forward to meeting the many friends I have made in the UK and celebrating the Mopar HEMI with them. That makes two trips to England this year because I’m also at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on June 25th to 28th”.

 Photos; Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing

The on-stage announcers for the Gala Dinner have been more or less finalised now. The UK team of long serving Santa Pod Raceway and National Street Rod Association announcer John Price will be joined by broadcaster and Chairman of the Guild of Motoring Writers Guy Loveridge, Official Gala MC Paul Wright and BDRHoF Commerce and Marketing Director Brian Taylor. But to introduce the Lucas Oil Global Achievement Award this year and interview those involved, the BDRHoF have invited leading American Sports Network broadcaster Jack Korpela.

A University of Florida graduate, Jack Korpela is a professional broadcaster who has worked for several sports networks, including ESPN, CBS and Fox Sports. As well as commentating on football, baseball and professional wrestling (seen in over 160 countries), he became well known as a pit reporter for ESPN’s Inside Drag Racing, The Mother’s Polish Car Show Series and In The Driver’s Seat. He is also the editor of a popular motorcycle racing news website, and PR Consultant to Larry McBride.

Talking about his trip to the Gala Jack said,

“It is a great honour for me to be a part of such a prestigious and illustrious event – particularly the presentation of the Lucas Oil Global Achievement Award to Mopar. And I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for the late Brian Johnson and I find it very fitting that during my first trip across the pond I will be able to pay homage to him. I’m sure Ann and Brian will be smiling down as Larry ‘Spiderman’ McBride honours their memory. While I’m there I want to interview some drag bike riders because I’m very keen to promote this event and the UK drag bike scene in the USA. “

Check out the video link of Jack at work.

BDRHoF Chairman Stu Bradbury said,

“One of the things we have been trying to achieve with the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame is to enhance its profile internationally; and in turn the profile of British and European drag racing along with our Inductees. Building a special relationship with the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame has been very important and it is very rewarding when someone like Jack also shows an interest. I look forward to meeting him in November and hopefully he can join others now spreading the word in the USA”.

The Gala Awards Dinner

Ticket prices for the 2015 BDRHoF Gala Awards Dinner remain as last year at £60 per person. Corporate tables of 10 are available at £580. Room prices also remain as last year, £99 for double £79 for single including breakfast. Complimentary use of swimming pool, Sauna, Steam room, Jacuzzi, and free car parking are also part of the package.

For advance booking of tickets contact or telephone Stu Bradbury on 01933 279102. When other plans are announced this will again be an early sell-out event. Oh yes – there’s more exciting news to come.

The Savill Court Hotel information

Room Bookings 01784 472000 Opening Times 8.30am-5.30pm Press Option #1

After 5.30pm Press Option #3 Reception. Don’t forget to mention the Hall of Fame dinner 21st November.