Cliff White presented with annual RRDC Mark Donohue Award in Daytona

This award for 42 years has gone to the driver at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs who the RRDC members feel exhibited the most outstanding performance of the weekend in terms of personal spirit and performance behind the wheel

Cliff White presented with annual RRDC Mark Donohue Award in Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH Cliff White, winner of the 42nd annual Road Racing Drivers Club Mark Donohue Award for his Spec Racer Ford class victory at the 2012 SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Road America in September, was presented with the unique wheel trophy at the RRDC's annual dinner held prior to the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Cliff White is presented with annual RRDC Mark Donohue Award from Dorsey Schroeder, Mark Donohue and Bobby Rahal
Cliff White is presented with annual RRDC Mark Donohue Award from Dorsey Schroeder, Mark Donohue and Bobby Rahal

Photo by: RRDC

RRDC members David Donohue, Dorsey Schroeder and Don Knowles made the presentation.

"This award for 42 years has gone to the driver at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs who the RRDC members feel exhibited the most outstanding performance of the weekend in terms of personal spirit and performance behind the wheel, " said David Donohue, Mark's son. "There are two important aspects to being eligible for this award: one, you don't have to actually win the race or be the champion, and the other is the winner is chosen by RRDC members, who view each race and can identify each driver's talent and effort."

Every year, the RRDC Mark Donohue Award trophy is an engraved glass top mounted on a special, racing-experienced wheel, provided through the efforts of an RRDC member. This year's wheel was donated by RRDC President Bobby Rahal on behalf of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. It was mounted on the BMW Team RLL M3 GT during the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park, Conn., this past July.

White is a CPA and MBA who runs the family business operating assisted-living communities. He is a veteran of the Spec Racer Ford (SRF) class with 11 years in the seat – he started at age 16. This was his first SCCA National Championship.

Schroeder, a retired race-car driver turned TV commentator, was working with Speed TV on the coverage of the Runoffs. "One of the two privileges I've had since retiring in 2000 is of course being able to do television with great people and covering the SCCA National Championship Runoffs every year," he said. "We, the RRDC members who are at the Runoffs, look at each of the races and we take this award very seriously."

White's drive to victory was anything but leisurely. According to Knowles, who chaired the 2012 Donohue Award selection committee, “I watched the SRF race from turn 13 and then on the live computer broadcast. Cliff and the other three SRF frontrunners ran what is almost unheard of – a clean Runoffs race! Three leaders on the last lap with Cliff coming from fourth to first – a real tough tactical battle. Winning the arm-wrestling contest with that field is a great driving accomplishment.”

"Thank you very much for the opportunity to learn that so many RRDC members watched my race and voted for me," said White, 26, of Huntsville, Alabama, in front of an audience of 200 members and guests. "This is an incredible honor. My crew chief told me to not let these guys push me around anymore and it worked. And I have to thank my parents and my grandmother for being here and supporting me. Everybody in this room knows that you have to start somewhere in racing and most everyone got their start because of their parents. So, thank you very much."

"Mark Donohue would have been proud to see Cliff win this award," said Rahal, an Indy 500 winner. "The communication between Cliff and his engineer proved key to his dramatic victory. Mark was both driver and engineer and knew better than most the importance of that linkage.”

About the RRDC:
The Road Racing Drivers Club was formed in 1952 as a way to give champion drivers a say in their sport, particularly in the areas of safety, and has evolved to serve the future of road racing by mentoring new drivers on both amateur and professional levels. The Club’s membership includes leading industry professionals, race officials and motorsports journalists, in addition to prominent racing names.

shares
comments
Miles Collier named recipient of RRDC's 2012 Bob Akin Award

Previous article

Miles Collier named recipient of RRDC's 2012 Bob Akin Award

Next article

The Big Picture 2013-01-30

The Big Picture 2013-01-30
Load comments
The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under Prime

The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under

Joey Mawson made waves in the middle of the last decade, beating future Haas Formula 1 driver Mick Schumacher - among other highly-rated talents - to the 2016 German F4 title. A run in F1's feeder GP3 category only caused his career to stall, but now back in Australia Mawson's S5000 title success has set that to rights

General
May 20, 2021
Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth Prime

Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth

Jean Todt has signalled that he will not stand for re-election as FIA president. Mark Gallagher analyses the strong credentials of one potential successor…

General
May 2, 2021
The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing Prime

The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing

OPINION: The greed-driven push for a European Super League that threatened to tear football apart is collapsing at the seams. Motor racing's equivalent, the football-themed Superleague Formula series of 2008-11, was everything that the proposed ESL never could be.

General
Apr 21, 2021
The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction Prime

The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction

The forthcoming Netflix film linking the world of underworld crime and motorsport plays on a theme that isn't exactly new. Over the years, several shady figures have attempted to make it in racing before their dubious dealings caught up with them.

General
Jan 31, 2021
The cherished curios kept by motorsport's professionals at home Prime

The cherished curios kept by motorsport's professionals at home

Keeping trophies and momentos of key triumphs is par for the course for motorsport professionals, but what are the most cherished souvenirs picked up by the drivers and engineers who have seen and done it all?

General
Dec 26, 2020
Why motorsport should consider a mid-week future Prime

Why motorsport should consider a mid-week future

International motorsport has been the preserve of weekends, but the pandemic forced Formula E to get creative with its Berlin season finale as four races were held mid-week. Should FE and other series break with tradition and repeat the experiment?

General
Oct 5, 2020
How pragmatic principles made Ron Tauranac a design legend Prime

How pragmatic principles made Ron Tauranac a design legend

Jack Brabham's 1966 world championship campaign in his eponymous car was also a defining moment in the career of designer Ron Tauranac, who would apply the same ethos to his ultra-successful production racing car business, Ralt.

General
Jul 23, 2020
The ingrained failure motorsport must fix to avoid 'turf wars' Prime

The ingrained failure motorsport must fix to avoid 'turf wars'

OPINION: The FIA has warned that the major motorsport championships must not get engaged in 'turf wars' when it comes to the urgent need to re-organising the 2020 calendars, but there are tedious past problems that must be addressed to satisfy all.

General
May 3, 2020