The Peter Bryant Award
First presented in 2010 at the Racing History Project's "Legends of Riverside" event at the Riverside Raceway Museum, one year after Peter Bryant's passing, the Lexan and titanium permanent award features a representation of Bryant's famous T-22 race car and pays homage to the body of work that he did in the technical and design side of the racing sport. "We wanted to be able to remember Peter Bryant and his many contributions to motorsports by recognizing and honoring the people behind motorsports engineering," said RHP founder Dave Wolin.
"Not only was Peter a great designer and engineer," Wolin went on, "he was a genuinely hale fellow; his love and enthusiasm for our sport was contagious, he always seemed absolutely captivated with the art and science of motorsports."
There have been nine awardees named since 2010. Formula One driver and car builder Howden Ganley was the first recipient, followed by the legendary Phil Remington in 2011. Designer/engineer Bruce Burness was the RHP's 2012 choice, followed by Trevor Harris in 2013 and Tyler Alexander in 2014. Porsche racing great Alwin Springer was the committee's choice in 2015. Master mechanic Ike Smith and driver/constructor Dan Gurney were co-awardees in 2016 (one at the beginning of the year and one later in year). Gurney, who was far more celebrated for his driving prowess and not degreed as an engineer, had a huge influence on race car engineering in working with the designers and fabricators of his fabled Eagle race cars. In 2017 race car fabricator/restorer Joe Cavagleri's name was added to the unique roll call above .
INDIANAPOLIS-WINNING CREW CHIEF CHOSEN AS 2018 BRYANT AWARDEE
Jimmy Dilamarter, mechanic, brilliant fabricator, car builder, crew chief, and team manager has been named the 2018 recipient of the Peter Bryant Challenger Award for Excellence in Engineering.
Dilamarter's name will be placed on the perpetual award as part of the evening's activities at The Racing History Project's special "Riverside Revisited" dinner event which will be held on the evening of September 8 at the Automotive Driving Museum in El Segundo.
"This is another very worthy name that we're very proud to add to the Bryant Trophy," said Racing History Project founder Dave Wolin. "Jimmy Dilamarter ranks among the best ever; he brought a lot to the sport. He's a proud guy for sure but he's never boastful about his many achievements. We're giving it a shot at doing that for him with this recognition," adding: "I know that this award's late namesake Peter Bryant would heartily approve."
In his long and distinguished career, Dilamarter worked on cars that literally raced across the world's most famous racetracks. He was there from Indy Car Crew Chief to Formula One cars where he functioned as team manger. A modest person by nature, he was taken by surprise with the honor. When he was informed about he pretty much had to be "leaned on a little" to accept the honor by some of his closest racing friends.
His name is almost always paired with his boss and long-time friend Parnelli Jones. Dilamarter's work on race cars with the "Vel's Parnelli Jones" logo on them includes victories at the Indianapolis 500 as well a host of other races.
A BIT OF BACKGROUND ON THE MAN FROM TWO GUYS WHO WERE THERE:
"... Dilamarter was the first mechanic I ever saw carry a briefcase, he was way ahead of the curve in terms of being organized. He was plenty smart and learned a lot from George Bignotti and then hooked his wagon to Parnelli and they've been together for five decades. Jimmy was old school with a new outlook and it worked." - Robin Miller - June 2018
"As a young man Jim Dilamarter left his native Canada for California to pursue his dream of becoming a professional racecar driver. He and a buddy were set to share driving duties in a Sprint Car, but one night at the legendary Ascot half-mile in Los Angeles Dilamarter ran up against Bobby Unser, Johnny Rutherford and Parnelli Jones and astutely noticed that they went past him like he was "tied to a post." It was about then that Dilamarter realized he could probably be far more successful as a mechanic.
Subsequently he hooked up with master mechanic George Bignotti, whose career résumé includes seven Indy 500 wins, and set about learning all he could. When Bignotti joined Parnelli Jones and Vel Miletich to guide their new IndyCar program, Dilamarter went along, and VPJ won Indy in 1970-71.
When Bignotti moved on Dilamarter stayed at VPJ and oversaw the team's ongoing IndyCar efforts, it's branching out into Formula 5000 and eventually Formula 1. Those VPJ cars were renowned for their level of preparation and it was Dilamarter who called those shots. All of which makes him a worthy recipient of the Peter Bryant Award." - John Zimmermann - June 2018