Five-Time Runoffs Champ Posthumously Awarded RRDC Honor

Former SCCA® competitor Tom Davey, who passed away last October at 81 years old, was honored by the Road Racing Drivers Club (RRDC) as the 2023 Bob Akin Award winner during a January 2024 ceremony.

From 1969-’84, Davey participated in 13 SCCA National Championship Runoffs® races. He emerged as Formula Super Vee National Champion in 1970 and ’71, then took three consecutive Runoffs titles in ’80, ’81, and ’82 at Road Atlanta driving a Volkswagen Scirocco in the GT-3 class.

RRDC’s announcement noted that Davey was also runner-up in the World Super Vee Championship, finished third in the Pro Super Vee Championship Series, and third in the World Formula Vee Championship. He also scored GT class victories at Sebring and Watkins Glen. He topped things off with three Baja 1000 runs for good measure.

Off track, Davey deployed his skills as a writer and filmmaker to generate a volume of work that has enriched motorsports for decades. He produced some 200 motorsports TV programs, including ESPN’s Secrets of Speed series, and the motorsports program V-Max seen internationally on Fox Sports.

Davey also lent his knowhow and skills to produce compelling content for RRDC’s initiative. Since its creation, the online driver tutorial portal has been visited by millions worldwide and stands as an encyclopedic storehouse of insider racing knowledge to be used by aspiring racers far into the future.

Davey’s first Runoffs win came in 1970 in Formula Super Vee. Highlights from that race can be found on Davey’s YouTube channel.

RRDC’s Akin Award

Gone now for two decades, Bob Akin was a legendary sports car driver. He had ties to the Sports Car Club of America and was a former RRDC president. Bob Akin Award winners are selected each year by Akin’s son, Bobby, and RRDC members Brian Redman and Judy Stropus. The nomination is then approved by current RRDC President Bobby Rahal.

The Bob Akin Award recognizes those who best exemplify extraordinary qualities and characteristics that Akin himself displayed. Defining characteristics include a passion for both motorsports and automobiles, as well as a high level of sportsmanship and fair play. Mixed in is a significant contribution to the sport of motor racing and community at large. Previous SCCA winners include Rob Dyson, Don Knowles, Augie Pabst, Jim Downing, Cameron Argetsinger, and Sam Posey, to name a few.

Jim Mullen, who spearheaded, accepted the award on Davey’s behalf. He recounted that Davey’s day job as a senior art director in the advertising business helped sell millions of Ford F-150s with the words “Ford Tough.” Later, Davey’s one-man company wrote ads for the Skip Barber Racing School.

The award – designed by Steuben Glass in Corning, NY, and etched with the names of each recipient – is on display at the International Motor Racing Research Center in Watkins Glen, NY.

About the RRDC

The RRDC, founded in 1952, is an organization created to give prominent road racers a voice –especially concerning matters of safety. The club consists of successful race drivers from the U.S. and Europe. Members are elected by their peers and include Formula 1 World Champions, Indy 500 winners, championship sports car drivers, and top American amateur road racers. Included, too, are leading industry professionals, race officials, and motorsports journalists who have made significant contributions to the community.

Since 1971, the RRDC has also handed out the Mark Donohue Award. That honor, selected by RRDC members, recognizes a driver exhibiting the most outstanding performance at the SCCA Runoffs in terms of personal spirit and skill behind the wheel. The 2023 Mark Donohue Award winner was Ken Kannard. Other recent Mark Donohue Award recipients include Jason Ott, Scott Twomey, Spencer Brockman, Broderick Bauguess, and Clay Russell.

Photo courtesy Thomas Davey’s YouTube channel