Ian Hutchinson Awarded 2015 Torrens Trophy
Eleven-time TT winner Ian Hutchinson was awarded the Club’s coveted Torrens Trophy on Tuesday 12 January 2016 at the Pall Mall clubhouse for his outstanding determination, courage and overcoming adversity to win multiple TTs.
Upon receipt Ian Hutchinson said, ‘I am very proud to win the Torrens Trophy and be recognised by the Royal Automobile Club. It has been a fantastic year for me and I would like to extend a huge thanks to the team at Paul Bird Motorsport and Team Traction Control Yamaha.’
The Torrens Trophy recognises an individual or organisation considered to have made an outstanding contribution to motorcycling in Britain. The Trophy was first awarded in 1978 in memory of Arthur Bourne, a motor cycling journalist and Vice Chairman of the Royal Automobile Club who wrote a column under the name Torrens. It has only been awarded nine times in its history and only when the club feels that the achievement justifies it.
This year, was an exceedingly strong year for British motorcycle racing, resulting in a worthy crop of Trophy nominees, including Danny Kent who became the country’s first Grand Prix World Champion since Barry Sheene in 1977, Jonathan Rea who secured the World Superbike Championship and utterly dominated the 2015 season finishing on the podium in all but four races, Tai Woffindon who won the gruelling 2015 World Speedway Championships for the second time and then there was Ian Hutchinson, his dramatic return to the Isle of Man TT and whose hat trick of victories was awe-inspiring.
With such a strong crop of potential worthy recipients, the Club’s Torrens Trophy Nominations Committee consisting of Royal Automobile Club member, Ben Cussons, Torrens Nomination Committee Chairman and ex-bike racer, Barrie Baxter, well-respected motorcycle journalist, Mat Oxley, former racer and commentator, Steve Parrish and Arthur Bourne’s son, Richard Bourne, debated long and hard. It was ultimately decided that ‘Hutchy’ would be awarded the Trophy.
Barrie Baxter, Chairman of the Torrens Committee said, ‘Motorcycle racing can be a very punishing discipline, and Ian Hutchinson’s inspirational journey is a testament to that. From nearly losing his leg and having to endure over 30 gruelling operations to returning to the pinnacle of a sport which dealt him a cruel blow and win multiple TT’s must be one of the sport’s most courageous stories’.
Understandably news of Hutchy winning the Torrens Trophy has been greeted with huge support from fellow members, industry and fellow racers.
Tributes to the Winner
Former motorcycle commentator and fellow member Walker Murray OBE said, ‘I first went to the TT in 1925 and have been lucky enough to know most of the greats of our sport but none of them has earned my admiration and respect more than Ian Hutchinson. Uniquely to win five races in one TT year was amazing but even this was topped by Ian’s awesome courage and determination to race again after his subsequent appalling leg injuries. And now he has emphasised his skill and bravery by winning another three TTs in one week – plus a dominant victory at Macau. Truly brilliant! All done with quiet modesty and, as a truly worthy winner of the Torrens Trophy, Ian joins the legends of our great sport. I warmly congratulate him, salute his personality and achievements and look forward to following the development of his great career.’
John Surtees CBE grew up reading the Torrens column during his motorcycling days. The racing legend also paid tribute saying, ‘I would like to congratulate Ian Hutchinson on receiving this award. I am particularly impressed that having first tasted success on the Isle of Man he should fight back from such adversity following that accident by returning to winning form in the 2015 TT. May I add my congratulations to this wonderful personal achievement.’