New Zealand Formula 1 driver Brendon Hartley, long-time rally competitor and engineer Andrew Hawkeswood, rising single-seater racer Liam Lawson, and passionate classic car race driver Mike Small have been presented with the premier awards at MotorSport New Zealand’s annual awards night.
Held at Shed 6, TSB Arena in Wellington on Saturday 26 May, the MotorSport New Zealand awards recognise the achievements of competitors, officials, volunteers and media at all levels of four-wheeled motor sports in New Zealand.
MotorSport New Zealand president Wayne Christie says: “Our awards night is a true celebration of our sport and a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge and thank all those who makes it possible for us to run motorsport events for competitors at all levels – from grassroots clubsport competition, to national championships, and then seeing our star competitors head offshore to represent New Zealand with such distinction.
“The four premier awards attract a wonderful array of talented nominees to recognise the best of the best in New Zealand motorsport and the contributions and achievements of these individuals.”
MotorSport New Zealand has four premier awards – the Jim Clark trophy, the Rally Founders trophy, the Steel memorial trophy and the Lupp trophy, which each trophy being made available to the governing body courtesy of former competitors and administrators.
The Jim Clark trophy was presented to Brendon Hartley, originally from Palmerston North, now racing for Formula 1 team Scuderia Toro Rosso. Last October, aged 27, Hartley, joined a small line-up of just nine Kiwis who have raced in the world’s top circuit racing category to carry on the tradition set by Bruce McLaren, Denny Hulme and Chris Amon.
The Jim Clark trophy is awarded in memory of Jim Clark who was the Tasman race champion in 1965, 1967, and 1968 and then tragically killed at Hockenheim, Germany, in April 1968. The trophy is awarded annually to the New Zealand driver competing at a national or higher level who shows a sportsmanlike attitude to the sport and fellow competitors and natural ability in “putting up the most meritorious racing performance during the season”.
Having also demonstrated exceptional talent this season, the other two nominees for the Jim Clark trophy were Marcus Armstrong, Christchurch, the top New Zealander in the 2018 Toyota Racing Series, and another Christchurch driver, Jack Milligan, who won the 2017/18 Toyota 86 Championship.
The Rally Founders trophy was presented to Aucklander Andrew Hawkeswood who won the New Zealand Rally Championship last year after two decades of national level competition. A talented engineer, Hawkeswood is also one of the driving forces behind the successful and well-supported AP4 rally car concept.
Inaugurated in 1990, the Rally Founders trophy recognises the rally driver who performs with distinction during the rally season, either nationally and/or internationally; has a sportsman-like attitude towards the sport and others, and displays the qualities of a true sporting ambassador.
The other two nominees for the Rally Founders trophy were Blenheim’s John Kennard, long-time co-driver to Kiwi rally star Hayden Paddon and a passionate and professional advocate for the sport, and Waiuku’s Dylan Thomson, one of rallying’s rising stars who took out the 2017 Junior Driver and 2WD NZ Rally Championship titles.
The prestigious Steel memorial trophy was presented to teenage racing star Liam Lawson, from Pukekohe, who is currently racing with great success in the German Formula 4 Championship. He also won this award last year having secured the 2016/17 New Zealand Formula Ford Championship title on his 15th birthday to make him the youngest-ever Formula Ford champion around the world.
First presented in 1983, thanks to late Owen and Gwenn Steel, the Steel memorial trophy recognises the efforts of a junior (under 21 years) driver at national race level and their dedication, skill and professionalism as they strive to progress to the upper echelons of motorsport.
The other nominees for the Steel trophy this year were Christchurch’s 17-year-old Marcus Armstrong as the best-placed Kiwi in the 2018 Toyota Racing Series – a feat which earned him the highly-respected Bruce McLaren memorial trophy – and 17-year-old Callum Crawley, from Feilding, who won the 2017/18 Formula First Championship.
Mike Small, of Timaru, was presented with the Lupp trophy which recognises a competitor from classic and historic racing who has demonstrated exceptional levels of sportsmanship, vehicle presentation and who embodies the very spirit and values associated with the classic and historic movement. Mr Small is well respected administrator within the South Canterbury Car Club and a classic racer who campaigns his immaculately prepared and authentically presented replica of the ’67 Mustang raced by Australian legend Pete Geoghegan in the Mainland Muscle class.
The Lupp trophy is from a collection of the late Sybil Lupp and made available to MSNZ by the Wellington Central MG Car Club. Famed for her motorsport exploits, Wellingtonian Sybil Lupp began racing in 1947 and, by 1952, had won 144 trophies.
The other nominees for the Lupp trophy this year were Dunedin’s Richie Chadwick who campaigns a 1985 Toyota Corolla in classic rallying, and Chris Watson, from Auckland, well-known as a promoter and organiser of historic race events in the North Island.
Nominations for the four premier awards and other awards such as the distinguished service awards come from the 96 member clubs who jointly own and contribute to MotorSport New Zealand as the country’s governing body for four-wheeled motor sports.
The awards evening also saw trophies presented to 2017-18 race, rally, hillclimb and clubsport champions from around the country, as well as an array of certificates and awards acknowledging the contributions of volunteers, officials and media. See www.motorsport.org.nz for a full list of this year’s MotorSport New Zealand awards.