A hand-picked panel of experts have been selected as Lead Judges for the Club’s Historic Awards. All nominees will have the reassurance that their submissions will be reviewed by independent panels with an in-depth knowledge and enthusiasm for their particular category. The inaugural partners for the Awards have also been announced, with fine watchmaker A. Lange & Söhne, Bicester Heritage, specialist insurers Footman James, classic motoring event organiser HERO and Total all confirming their support for the Awards, which promise to become an integral element of the historic motoring calendar.
The Lead Judges
As a historic motorsport competitor and event organiser, Vanessa Marçais, Lead Judge for the Competitive Event category, has vast experience of being on both sides of the pit wall. She also sources and acquires sports, sports-racing and Grand Prix cars for private collectors, organises and runs the GT & Sports Car Cup and is a Curator for the Concours of Elegance.
Alastair Clements, Editor-in-Chief, Classic & Sports Car is Lead Judge for the Motoring Spectacle category. A passionate enthusiast of cars of all ages, types and values, Alastair has been associated with Britain’s best-selling classic car magazine for 20 years.
Ian Titchmarsh, motor racing commentator and Chair of Silverstone Heritage is Lead Judge for the Race Series category. He has been involved in motorsport since 1963, was Principal Commentator at Silverstone from 1983 until 2015 and still commentates at most circuits in the UK.
Lead Judge in the Collection category, Simon Taylor, joined Autosport straight from university and was editor by age 23. As Publisher and then Managing Director of Haymarket Magazines he launched What Car?, Classic & Sports Car and F1 Racing. For 20 years he was BBC Radio’s motor racing commentator before joining ITV’s F1 commentary team.
The judging panel for the Restoration category will be led by David Lillywhite, Editorial Director of Magneto. A classic motoring journalist since 1992, he co-launched Octane magazine and became Editorial Director of Octane, Vantage, Enzo and Land Rover Monthly and launch editor of AutoClassics. In 2018 he started Hothouse Media, to publish the new high-end quarterly magazine Magneto.
Steve Cropley, Editor-in-Chief, Autocar, Lead Judge for the Outstanding Journalism category, has been testing and writing about cars for nearly 40 years, half of that time at Autocar. He joined the staff of Car magazine in 1978 and became editor in 1981. In 1989 he launched his own magazine, Buying Cars, which was bought by Haymarket Media Group, where he has worked ever since.
Chairman of Motorsport UK Council and a Vice President of the Royal Automobile Club, Tom Purves is Lead Judge for the Personality category. In 2010 he retired from the position of CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars in Goodwood (a BMW Company), following a career that also included roles as Managing Director of the BMW Group in Britain and head of BMW Group’s commercial operations in the USA and the Americas.
Jeremy Vaughan, Head of Motoring for the Royal Automobile Club, said: “The integrity and expertise of the jury is paramount to the Awards. By giving each category its own Lead Judge who will hand-pick other members of that particular jury, we are ensuring that each category is assessed rigorously. To win an award is a pleasure but to know that it’s been judged with rigour by experts makes it that extra bit special.
“We are delighted to welcome our first tranche of partners for the Awards and are looking forward to working with such key brands as A. Lange & Söhne, Bicester Heritage, Footman James, HERO and Total on such an important event for the Royal Automobile Club. We have been rewarding excellence for over 120 years and these awards continue the Club’s rich pedigree in celebrating motoring achievements.”
Visit the Historic Awards website here.