BILLY MONGER WINS HENRY FORD TROPHY AT BRSCC AWARDS
The BRSCC’s Championship Awards dinner dance for the 2017 season took place on the evening of Saturday February 3rd, with special guest Billy Monger in attendance as he was named as the winner of the coveted Henry Ford Trophy, commisioned by Ford Motor Company to acknowledge human endeavour in the field of motorsports.
After the life-changing events of 2017, Billy’s determination to recover and get back behind the wheel of a race car as quickly as possible was lauded by being presented with the trophy by Gerard Quinn, Senior Director of Ford Performance Europe. The announcement was met by a standing ovation from the near-350 strong guest list in attendance on Saturday evening, as Billy made his way on stage to collect his accolade.
BRSCC chairman Peter Daly spoke of Billy’s incredible journey throughout the last 12 months during his address to the club on stage, saying “Those two words in particular – human endeavour – are intensely personified by tonight’s winner.
After his accident, the strength of his mindset was incredible. Not long after waking from his operation, his mind was already working out how to use hand controls effectively enough to race at the front. But what was equally amazing was the outpouring of support and emotion from the entire motorsport family across the globe.
Since then, his own recovery has been well documented, and he’s lauded as an incredible influence to motorsport as a result wherever he goes. Not content with sitting on the sidelines for too long, he took to the wheel of one of Team BRIT’s specially adapted Fun Cup cars just 3 months after his accident and impressed many with his ability using hand controls. Drivers such as Frederic Sausset and Alex Zanardi, who live in a similar situation to that of this person, have also reached out to him to offer advice and support.
He has firm aspirations to race competitively again, which is something I think we can all agree we can’t wait to see. It’s an honour and a privilege that we welcome him here tonight to receive this award – an award which I’m sure even Henry Ford himself would have agreed, there is no better person to have chosen.”
There were also other special accolades given out on the evening, as Susie Wolff was named as the winner of the BRSCC John Nicol Trophy, awarded annually to the individual or organisation making the greatest contribution towards the furtherance of motorsport. Susie’s efforts in founding and promoting the Dare To Be Different campaign were heralded as “a magnificent campaign that will go on to inspire the next generation of talented females to succeed in the sport for many years to come”. With Susie unable to receive the trophy in person, D2BD ambassador Cristiana Pace attended on her behalf to collect it from Debs Nicol on stage.
One of the Club’s very own co-ordinators was also given due deference, as Mandy Andrew was chosen as the next name to be etched on to the Bert Lamkin Memorial Salver, given to the Club member who has done the most to publicly promote the name and interest of the Club.
Mandy’s efforts in helping both the BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Championship and Mazda MX-5 SuperCup were appropriately celebrated, with her efforts mentioned appropriately. Peter aptly spoke of her hard work saying “Without this person’s input, dedication and hard work throughout the last few years, their achievements probably may not have reached the levels they have. Having been a constant presence in the Mazda paddock for several years, she decided to take the plunge and become race day coordinator, a role which she still works to even today. In 2016, she decided that it was time to make the full-time step up to championship co-ordinator and since then, the reputation and popularity of the MX-5 Championship and MX-5 SuperCup have grown exponentially.“
The evening was heralded as a success by many attendance and was compered by the BRSCC’s Media & Marketing Executive Scott Woodwiss for the second year in succession. As well as celebrating the achievements of 2017 champions, there was also a brief look ahead to the 2018 season with the much anticipated debut of TCR UK in March along with the return of the Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup, the new Mazda MX-5 Super Series and the Civic Cup making their switch to the Club for the new season and beyond.
It was also a successful night in terms of the annual raffle, which was drawn this year in aid of the BRSCC rescue units in order to help support and fund their use and maintenance to help ensure race meeting are kept as safe as possible. The raffle itself managed to raise a grand total of just over £1,900.