Broderick Bauguess has been named the 49th recipient of the RRDC Mark Donohue Award, a unique and prestigious award presented annually by the Road Racing Drivers Club for outstanding performance, competitiveness and sportsmanship displayed during the amateur SCCA National Championship Runoffs.
The award is voted on by RRDC members attending the fall event and/or viewing them on LiveStream.
In his first Runoffs appearance, 22-year-old Bauguess qualified second in the T3 class behind defending champion Marshall Mast. In the Oct. 12, 2019, T3 feature race at VIRginia International Raceway, the pair quickly pulled away, exchanging the lead six different times in the 15-lap contest.
Bauguess, in his No. 133 Morehead Speedworks BMW SpecE46 (photo above), wound up up the victor, setting a track record of 2m05.354s and nosing out the more experienced Mast by .396 of a second.
The Laurinburg, N.C., driver earned his competition license at age 15. “My parents didn’t like go-karts because there wasn’t a cage or safety belts,” said Bauguess, “but my dad, Allen, had been racing with my grandmother who raced with the SCCA in the late ’60s and ’70s, so he knew there were clubs that we could join. So, at 14, I joined N.A.S.A. and got my competition license.”
As for his Runoffs victory, “I was just focused forward trying to make the fastest and cleanest lap I possibly could,” he explained. “I just had to make sure to not get excited and miss a shift or do anything that would take it from me. After the flag fell the only word I could say was, ‘YES!'”
Mark Donohue and the RRDC have long been on Bauguess’s radar. “I am a huge fan of the SAFEisFAST videos,” he said. “Being able to listen to some of the best drivers in the world and get their insight on driving technique, managing racing careers and, my personal favorite, the mental game, is invaluable.
“I don’t have the budget to work with professional coaches so being able to listen and learn from pros through these videos is extremely valuable,” he said, adding, “Receiving this award means so much to me because Mark was famous for understanding what it really meant to be part of a race team. Racing isn’t all about the driver, it’s about the people you work and race with to achieve your goals. I’m honored to receive this award because ours was a true team effort.”
RRDC president Bobby Rahal, a Runoffs champion (1975 Formula B) long before he won the 1986 Indianapolis 500, emphasized the RRDC Mark Donohue Award is “about personal spirit and performance behind the wheel. Those qualities are more important for this award than winning the race,” he said. “The RRDC honors Broderick not only for his outstanding drive to win, but for his passion for the sport he’s embraced and for being so cool under pressure.”
Every year, the RRDC Mark Donohue trophy is an engraved glass top mounted on a special, racing-experienced wheel, provided by an RRDC member. This year’s wheel was donated by Zak Brown, Chief Executive of McLaren Racing. The trophy consists of the front wheel rim built for the McLaren MP4-24 used during the 2009 Formula 1 season.