JIM HAYNES RECEIVES 2006 BOB AKIN MOTORSPORTS AWARD DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 9, 2007) - The Road Racing Drivers Club (RRDC) named longtime track owner, race promoter and race-car driver Jim Haynes as the 2006 recipient of the Bob Akin ...
JIM HAYNES RECEIVES 2006 BOB AKIN MOTORSPORTS AWARD
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 9, 2007) - The Road Racing Drivers Club (RRDC) named longtime track owner, race promoter and race-car driver Jim Haynes as the 2006 recipient of the Bob Akin Motorsports Award at the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway in January.
Each recipient of this honor, considered the top award in motorsports for non-professional drivers, is selected by Akin's son Bobby and RRDC members Brian Redman and Archie Urciuoli and approved by RRDC president Bobby Rahal.
Redman, Rahal and Urciuoli, along with Ellen Akin, presented the fourth annual award to Haynes during a dinner at Daytona USA prior to the start of the Rolex 24 race-week activities.
Born in Port Huron, Mich., in 1933, Haynes turned his BS degree in Industrial Administration into a successful profession as an IBM Methods Analyst from 1955 to 1960 before forming Lakeville (Conn.) Precision Molding in Salisbury, Conn. He sold that company to General Time in 1964 and purchased a controlling interest Lime Rock Park, the unique road-racing circuit in Northwest Conn. Haynes continued as General Manager at LRP until 1986 when he accepted a position as Vice President of Special Projects with the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) in Denver, Colo. In 1988 he became CEO and General Manager of the legendary Road America race track in Elkhart Lake, Wis., then retired in 2000 with a consulting contract.
During this time, Haynes had become a highly-regarded, successful race promoter at Lime Rock Park, Sebring and Road America. He also helped form the Vintage Sports Car Club of America and was a pioneer instrumental in revitalizing the now extremely popular sport of vintage racing.
His other achievements include a 1959 SCCA National Championship in Formula III, and a 1963 National Championship in Formula Junior.
Haynes has been a close friend of the Akin family for a number of years. He and wife Toni, who runs a successful catering business called Cajun Queen, reside in Tampa, Fla.
"Bob (Akin) was the epitome in my mind of the amateur driver in the best sense of that word," said Urciuoli at the presentation. "He raced in many professional races, but he didn't make his living as a driver. That in no way lessened his passion and his capability. His record (lowest overall time) in winning Sebring in 1986 still stands.
"When we created the Bob Akin award some years ago with Ellen's blessing and with Brian Redman's help and with Bobby Akin's help, we styled it as having pretty basic requirements. One, that the winner have had a lifetime of being passionate about motorsports and having been reasonably successful in motorsports, although essentially on an amateur or semi-professional basis. Second, that the recipient be a good sportsman and someone who was a good competitor. Bob was all those things, which never prevented him from winning.
"And the third qualification is that the person selected have given something back to the sport.
"It's especially heartwarming for me to present this award to Jim Haynes. Jim and Toni are good friends of the Akins and spent many great times together."
Added Rahal, "I think I'm right when I say he's also been a member of the Sports Car Club of America for 50 years. And the SCCA has been in existence for only 100 years."
"I'm very honored," said Haynes. "Bob and I were friends for nearly 50 years and during that time frame he became one of my closest friends. He was a tremendous competitor, a gentleman above all, a friend through everything. He had some bad times. I had some bad times. We were there for each other. He was a true gentleman, an amateur sportsman and an individual who should be admired by every coming generation.
"I won a lot of things in my life, and this is probably the best," he added.
"I'm really thrilled that Jim is the recipient of this award in Bob's name," said Ellen Akin. "He is such a good friend personally and has been a great friend for nearly as long as he has been involved in the sport. He has certainly given a lot back to the sport and he is very deserving of this award."
Sam Posey was the first recipient of the Bob Akin Motorsports Award in 2003, the late Charlie Gibson received the award in 2004, and John Fitch was presented the award in 2005.
The distinctive trophy 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., and is given to an amateur, vintage or semi-professional American road racer 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 sport of motor racing.
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 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).