Jason Ott Presented With Mark Donohue Award by RRDC

Daytona Beach, Fla. (January 27, 2023) – Jason Ott, winner of the 2022 SCCA Touring 3 National Championship on September 30, 2022, was named the 2022 recipient of the Road Racing Drivers Club’s (RRDC) Mark Donohue Award. Ott was honored at the annual Road Racing Drivers Club members' dinner on January 25, prior to the running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the season opener of the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Selected by members of the RRDC each year since 1971, the award recognizes the driver exhibiting the most outstanding performance at the annual Sports Car Club of America National Championship Runoffs in terms of personal spirit and skill behind the wheel. The honor was named after Mark Donohue, a former SCCA Champion and president of the RRDC, following his death in 1975.

Making his 20th appearance at the SCCA Runoffs (September 24–October 2, 2022) at VIRginia International Raceway in Alton, Virginia, Ott earned his first-career Runoffs pole position to lead the Touring 3 class field that included five past SCCA National Champions to the green flag. While qualifying was held under perfect conditions, the remnants of Hurricane Ian brought heavy rain and 40 mph wind gusts to the 40-minute, winner-take-all championship race.

Driving his No. 09 Alpine Motorsports BMW Z4M, Ott held off a flurry of attacks and kept his car on the pavement and in the lead while his rivals slid off track in pursuit. He took the checkered flag 2.236 seconds ahead of his brother, and teammate, Steve Ott, to earn his first career SCCA National Championship after finishing runner-up three times previously.

“To win this award is a huge honor and one that was not expected,” said Ott. “To be mentioned in the same breath as a man who accomplished so much in racing is humbling. Also, in reading ‘The Unfair Advantage’ and learning how hard he and Mr. Penske worked to win is inspiring. Thank you to the members of the RRDC for this incredible honor.

“I would say, honestly, this year we put in more work and development than we have in the last couple of years and that is what it takes to win. I must give a special thanks to Dan Spirek, Alpine Motorsports’ Jim Leithauser and my brother Steve. These guys are incredible and absolutely were the reason we were able to win. We did everything you are not supposed to do at the Runoffs, had a crash in the test day, then essentially threw multiple changes at the cars to win.

“The race this year was intense. Hurricane Ian kept getting worse during the race. The track conditions were changing every lap and we really had to adjust our line almost every lap to compensate for new puddles or water flowing across the track. Steve was coming in a hurry. One more lap would have most likely seen him take the win.

“Finally, without the support of family, friends and sponsors, this could never happen. Thank you very much to Hoosier, BimmerWorld, BimmerHaus, Spyglass Engineering, G-Loc brakes and of course to SCCA and all the volunteers.”

The unique award has a glass top and sits on a race wheel with a historic provenance. RRDC President Bobby Rahal presented Ott with the award, which included a wheel donated by Mike Shank Racing that was used on the Acura ARX05 DPi car driven by Tom Bloomqvist, Oliver Jarvis, Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud to victory at the 2022 Rolex 24 At Daytona, as well as the 2022 Petit Le Mans and the 2022 IMSA WeatherTech Championship.

“Winning the SCCA Runoffs is a tremendous achievement for any race-car driver,” said Rahal, the 1985 Indy 500 Champion and a fellow SCCA National Champion. “Jason’s perseverance through his career and outstanding performance in very challenging conditions at VIR is worthy of special recognition. We congratulate Jason and welcome him into the RRDC family.”

Previous recipients Calvin Stewart (2015) and SCCA Vice President Eric Prill (2017) joined Rahal in the presentation.

Past Mark Donohue Award Recipients

1971 - Larry Campbell
1972 - Dave Weitzenhof
1973 - Gary Rodriques
1974 - Bill Jobe
1975 - Dan Pohlabel
1976 - Damon Pleasant
1977 - Tom Robertson
1978 - Mike Mokler
1979 - Bill Coykendall
1980 - Dennis Wilson
1981 - Don Courtney
1982 - Bob Lobenberg
1983 - Hardy Prentice
1984 - Doug Peterson
1985 - Scott Atchison
1986 - Lous Rettenmeier
1987 - Duane Davis
1988 - Paul Spruell
1989 - Bill Noble
1990 - Keith Scharf
1991 - Richard Schroebel
1992 - Stevan Davis
1993 - Greg Ray
1994 - Allen May
1995 - Tom Van Camp
1996 - Jaques Lazier
1997 - Pete Peterson
1998 - B.J. Zacharias
1999 - Warren Stilwell
2000 - Andy McDermid
2001 - David Finch
2002 - Justin Pritchard
2003 - Mike Anderson
2004 - John Saurino
2005 - Kristian Skavnes
2006 - Jesse Prather
2007 - Brian Linn
2008 - Chris Keller
2009 - Michael Varacins
2010 - Peter Shawdowen
2011 - Kevin Fandozzi
2012 - Cliff White
2013 - Lawrence Loshak
2014 - Jeremy Grenier
2015 - Calvin Stewart
2016 - Neil Verhagen
2017 - Eric Prill
2018 - Robeson Clay Russell
2019 - Broderick Bauguess
2020 - Spencer Brockman
2021 - Scott Twomey

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.

In 2011, the RRDC launched a free on-line training seminar – www.SAFEisFAST.com – featuring RRDC members and other industry experts in high-quality videos covering subjects from physical and mental preparation to driving techniques, driver safety to car setup and sponsorship. The videos are updated regularly. Each week, a professional from the world of motor racing answers readers' questions on the site in a feature called 'Ask a Pro.'

Bobby Rahal is President, John Fergus is Vice President/Treasurer, and Tom Davey is Secretary.

The RRDC presents three annual awards: the Phil Hill Award, the Mark Donohue Award, and the Bob Akin Award, and supports the Team USA Scholarship, which has been assisting young Americans in the early stages of their careers since 1990.

Membership in the RRDC is by invitation only. Additional information on the organization may be found at www.rrdc.org.

About the SCCA Runoffs

First held in 1964, the National Championship Runoffs is Sports Car Club of America’s winner-take all Championship race that punctuates its racing season each year. Drivers compete all year to earn an invitation to the Runoffs, a week-long event held each fall that culminates in three straight days of racing for its 25 separate classes. The 60th Annual SCCA Runoffs will again be held at VIR, September 23-October 1, 2023.

Photo caption: (Right) Bobby Rahal (left) presents Jason Ott (right) with the RRDC Mark Donohue Award.

Photos by Jeff Joewe (top left), Rick Corwine (bottom left), and Eric Prill (right)