The Kimberly Cup Award was donated in 1954 by James H. Kimberly of Chicago. Kimberly was a former President and Governor of SCCA and was a Champion car owner and driver.
The Kimberly Cup is awarded to the SCCA driver who has shown the greatest improvement in the past year. The winner is selected by the Club Racing Board. This year’s recipient is Northwest Region’s Mel Kemper of Toledo, Washington. Kemper delivered a solid drive at the 2017 Runoffs to win the Formula Mazda championship.
“I have to say that I am very surprised,” Kemper said. “Even with some success, you don’t often get recognized for all your effort.”
Area 13 Director Jim Weidenbaum said, “Your performance, as impressive as it was, was only matched by your enthusiasm!”
The Cup will be presented to Kemper at a special ceremony during the Hoosier Super Tour Majors event at PIR in May. Kemper is quick to recognize the help he got on his way to the championship and the cup.
“We worked really hard on every detail leading up to Indy, and a big thanks to Eric Purcell, who rebuilt the car to perfection and also coached me and made the right calls on set up at Indy,” Kemper said. "It was the best FM I have ever driven. It was the tool I needed. The car, my focus and driving, the breaks on race day, all of it - just all came together, and improved at the right time! And to get to do all this
at Indy was just the best!”
Kemper also expressed his gratitude to Moses Smith, John Doonan, Daryl Drummond, Jim Doughty, Ross Bentley, crew chief Mark Barney, and to his wife Sheryl.
“Thanks for their effort and support to make all this possible. And thanks to SCCA and all the workers, Indy was the best,” Kemper said.
Past Kimberley Cup recipients include notable racers such as Mark Donohue, Roger Penske, and Peter Revson.
“Looking at the list of those who have won this before, many were really racing heroes of mine, and well - this means a lot and I am just humbled,” Kemper said. “I have been racing since 1970 and it is truly my passion. So to be recognized alongside them is just an honor. And, to show some success at 69 years old is great! Kind of a late bloomer I guess!”
Recent winners of the Kimberly Cup include:
1999 - Lisa Noble
2000 - J. Randy Saucier
2001 - Jeff Winters
2002 - Keith Grant
2003 - Jonathan Goodale
2004 - Kyle Watkins
2005 - Mark Coffin
2006 - Bryan Golay
2007 - Christopher Bovis
2008 - Greg Ira
2009 - Tom Ellis
2010 - Richard Shields
2011 - Lee Alexander
2012 - Ed Hosni
2013 - Jeff Bartz
2014 - Danny Bender
2015 - Calvin Stewart
2016 - Hans Saurino