Sam Posey first Recipient of Bob Akin Motorsports Award
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 9, 2004) - Sam Posey was presented the inaugural Bob Akin Motorsports Award by the Road Racing Drivers Club (RRDC) at Watkins Glen International Raceway on June 4. The presentation took place at an International Motor Racing Research Center reception during the Chemung Canal Trust Historic Races.
Posey, 60, best known for his versatility as a racing driver, author, designer and television commentator, accepted the award from Akin's son Bobby and widow Ellen.
This unique trophy, etched with the RRDC logo and the words "Speed with Style," was conceived by the RRDC to honor the memory of long-time RRDC member and past president Bob Akin, who lost his life in a racing accident in 2002. The trophy was designed by Steuben Glass in Corning, N.Y.
Posey, of Sharon, Conn., was selected by Bobby Akin, president Bobby Rahal and RRDC members Brian Redman and Archie Urciuoli as the inaugural recipient for the year 2003 who best exemplifies the extraordinary qualities and characteristics that Akin represented, including a passion for motorsports and automobiles, a high level of sportsmanship and fair play, and who has contributed to the motorsports community.
"I am excited about this award," said Posey, "because the concept behind it, as I see it, is a way each year to celebrate Bob and what he stood for. I think this is something (for which) we can gather together once a year and think about a man who was in love with racing.
"Listen to the list of things that Bob was involved with: as a driver, a car owner, a sponsor, a team manager, a restorer of cars, a writer for Road & Track - I loved his pieces - a television commentator - I was privileged to work with him several times. Each role, as I saw it, was a kind of different color of a rainbow that arched over the sport. In each capacity his enthusiasm was obvious and his generosity of spirit was a catalyst for good things to happen."
"I really can't think of a better place to present this inaugural award than at Watkins Glen," said Bobby Akin, 39, who grew up in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y. "I came up here early on in my life, in 1971, to watch a young Sam Posey race for John Surtees because Sam was really cool. He's been really cool ever since I've known him. His racing record speaks for itself. Beyond that, he is a true Renaissance Man, which to me is why I thought he really deserved the award.
"He does it all. His racing career is second to none. He writes books, he designs houses, he writes articles for not just Road & Track but for other publications, and at the end of the day he's got a devilish personality and tells some really great jokes."
"I want to tell you how thrilled Bob would be that Sam is the first recipient of this award," said Ellen Akin, "not to mention how thrilled he'd be to have this trophy in his name. Sam was and is very special to our family."
As a race car driver, Posey has enjoyed an eclectic career, driving everything from a Jocko Special Formula Junior to a Prototipi Bizzarini GT Strada 530, to a Caldwell McLaren, with stints in Formula 1, Can-Am, Indy 500, Trans-Am, IMSA, Formula 5000 and Le Mans.
As an author, he wrote "The Mudge Pond Express," which chronicles his life in Sharon, Conn., and most recently, "Playing With Trains," about a passion he shares with his children John and Judy for model railroading.
He designed his own home as well as others and several buildings at Lime Rock Park. He's also earned recognition as an expert television commentator on Formula 1 racing and non-auto racing sports such as the Iditarod.
The permanent trophy, listing annual winners, is on display at the International Motor Racing Research Center in Watkins Glen, N.Y. The recipients receive a smaller, engraved version of the award.
The Road Racing Drivers Club was formed in 1952 to promote road racing and driver safety. The RRDC today continues to recognize, promote and mentor road-racing drivers. Along with the Bob Akin Motorsports Award, the RRDC also presents the Phil Hill Award (annually to a driver, sponsor or sanctioning official who makes outstanding contributions to road racing), and the Mark Donohue Award (annually to an outstanding driver at the SCCA National Runoffs).
Membership in the RRDC is by invitation only.
Additional information on the RRDC may be found on www.rrdc.org.