Monthly lunch - April 13 2011
Chairman, Formula1 Austin Project
Reared for most of his life in Austin, TX, Tavo Hellmund has built a reputation as a winner and fierce competitor on and off the racetrack. His record as a winning race car driver in NASCAR, FIA and SCCA sanctioned events, both domestically and internationally, have enabled him to develop a successful career as a race promoter and major special events producer. Tavo, who is fluent in Spanish and English, is one of the most qualified authorities in the United States on Formula 1 racing.
Tavo’s interest in racing started early on – fueled by his father’s work in promoting Indy Car and Trans-Am races in Mexico City, as well as his efforts to bring F1 back to the country in 1986. Tavo has been actively involved with some of the various organizing and promoting companies of past FIFA World Cups, international business conferences, music festivals, national USAC and regional NASCAR events. His 25+ years of experience in racing, promoting, marketing and consulting global, national and regional professional sporting events have focused on commercial and non-profit partners.
His relationship with Bernie Ecclestone has spanned nearly 40 years; knowing him as a young boy, followed by a stint doing grunt work and earning his keep on the Ecclestone-owned Brabham Formula 1 team (led by triple World Champion driver Nelson Piquet of Brazil), and later working to learn more about the business side of the Formula 1 brand. In 1993, with support from Chevrolet and Pontiac dealers from Austin and San Antonio, Tavo started the Safe & Sober® program. The Safe and Sober® program curriculum, was offered free of charge and targeted high school students with a hard-hitting message about the importance of not drinking while behind the wheel and the need to always wear a seat belt. Tavo donated his time to personally deliver over 300 presentations to high school students and civic groups throughout Texas and the southwestern United States. His educational efforts to promote safety among America’s youth were recognized and commended by President George W. Bush.
His outreach toward America’s youth continued with the introduction of Racing for Education®. This highly regarded program, now established in several cities nationwide, was developed to involve teenagers in after-school programs that utilize the racing experience to emphasize the importance of continuing their education.
Tavo’s ability to innovate has never been lacking. Leveraging his driving experience, Tavo invented and patented a non-blind spot rearview mirror for automobiles and sold the concept and design to GM in 1996. He formed Full Throttle Productions in 2004 and was the promoter who successfully brought the national USAC Midget Series back to Texas after a 40 year absence. Now in its sixth year, Texas Racefest is one of the most successful short track events in the country and the only one that has featured NASCAR and USAC races at the same event on the same day. He is married with two daughters and enjoys working out, any motorsport activity, fishing and UT football.
- About YMBL
- Joining YMBL
- Photo Gallery