Bob Akin Memorial Motorsports Award announced

Bob Akin Memorial Motorsports Award to be presented in 2004 NEW ALBANY, Ohio (March 26, 2004) - In memory of the late Bob Akin, who lost his life in a tragic vintage-racing accident in 2002, the Road Racing Drivers Club (RRDC) has established...

Bob Akin Memorial Motorsports Award to be presented in 2004

NEW ALBANY, Ohio (March 26, 2004) - In memory of the late Bob Akin, who lost his life in a tragic vintage-racing accident in 2002, the Road Racing Drivers Club (RRDC) has established the Bob Akin Memorial Motorsports Award.

This unique award will be presented for the first time in 2004 to an amateur, vintage or semi-professional American road racer who best exemplifies the following qualities and characteristics of Bob Akin, a longtime RRDC member:

*  A passion for motorsports and automobiles

* A history of successful amateur and/or vintage racing
* A high level of sportsmanship and fair play
* An articulate and courteous presence
* A sharp wit and mischievous sense of humor
* A broad range of interests and meticulous attention to detail
* A record of contribution to motorsports and the community
* A devotion to family and friends

"The award is for 'speed with style,' which describes Bob Akin," says RRDC President Bobby Rahal. "To become an RRDC member, it isn't necessary to have won Sebring or LeMans, or even be a professional racer. Many of our members only barely touched the pro side of the business, and that's OK, because a prime criterion to be considered for membership is being universally regarded as one of 'the good guys.' And that was Bob Akin a true good guy."

"Bob Akin was an excellent race-car driver, a businessman of distinction, a devoted family man, a former president of the RRDC and, above all, a gentleman in the truest meaning of the word," adds former RRDC president and road-racing champion Brian Redman. "He is sadly missed. This award has been provided by his friends to perpetuate his memory."

"Suzy, Bobby, JoJo and I are touched and pleased by the honor the RRDC is bestowing upon Bob," says Akin's widow, Ellen. "The RRDC and his racing friends meant so much to him and I know this award would have made him as proud as it does us."

The first recipient of this engraved trophy created by Steuben Glass artisans in Corning, N.Y., will receive the award this spring at a racing venue to be determined. Future awards will be made at the end of each year.

The annual recipients of the Bob Akin Memorial Motorsports Award will be selected by RRDC members Brian Redman and Archie Urciuoli, as well as Akin's son, Bobby. A permanent trophy, listing annual winners, will be on display at the International Motor Racing Research Center in Watkins Glen, N.Y. The recipient will receive a smaller, engraved version of the award.

Robert Macomber Akin III was a successful businessman away from the race track and a successful Porsche team owner/driver on the race track. He shared 1979 and 1986 overall wins in the famed 12-Hours of Sebring, and in 1983 shared the GTP-class win and placed second overall. Akin, along with co-drivers Hans Stuck and Jo Gartner, continue to hold the record for the "fastest Sebring ever," with their 115.82-mph average winning speed, set in 1986. He also co-drove to the 1979 Trans-Am II class win at Watkins Glen International Raceway, his "home" track.

There was another side to Bob Akin an ever-helpful gentleman, always willing to give something back to racing, and always remembering that road racing was his enjoyable time away from his business.

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 Memorial 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

-rrdc/js-

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About this article
Series IMSA , LE MANS , VINTAGE
Drivers Bobby Rahal , Phil Hill , Jo Gartner , Brian Redman , Archie Urciuoli , Bob Akin , Mark Donohue