DESTIN — A Destin resident and business owner with a need for speed is the new CEO of a high-performance driving school in Arizona.
Along with two other business partners that make up Stig Investments, Inc., Belser has purchased the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving, Inc.
A former fighter pilot in the Air Force, Belser has attended the Bondurant school twice. He has also founded several businesses, was a pilot for Delta Airlines for 23 years and currently owns Dockside Watersports.
"Destin is definitely my home and I love being there and I love the people," Belser said. "I'm very fortunate to have a manager (of Dockside Watersports) who is more than capable of running the business so I can focus on things here (Arizona)."
The driving school was opened in 1968 by former sports-car racer Bob Bondurant after injuries from a car wreck prevented him from continuing to race. Since then, Bondurant has been a driving instructor to several actors such as James Garner, Clint Eastwood, Tim Allen and Tom Cruise.
The facility, which is located in Phoenix, Arizona, is called “the fastest 60 acres in America,” according to the driving school’s website. Four race tracks enable everyone from first-timers to experienced drivers the chance to improve their skills. It is the only purpose-built driver training facility for performance enthusiasts and the largest driver training center of its kind in the world. Over 100 race-prepared vehicles, sedans, SUVs and open-wheel formula cars are maintained at the school.
“We plan to establish the next generation of race car learning and entertainment as popularity in car racing and interest in consumer destination experiences continues to grow,” said Belser. "I just think it (the school) has a lot of potential and we're going to capitalize on that."
Belser isn't the only member of his investment group to have graduated from the Bondurant school and they all share a passion for racing and automobiles.
"As graduates of the School, we truly honor the lasting impact Bob Bondurant has made on the racing community,” said Belser. “We have a profound respect for Bob and what he has built."
Tim Shaffer, the chief restructuring officer at the school, said for the past six months, they have been working to find new owners who are smart business leaders and will continue Bob Bondurant’s rich legacy.