Four top British racers from MotoGP, BSB and road racing have been shortlisted for the RAC Club’s highly prestigious Torrens Trophy, awarded to recognise an individual or organisation considered to have made an outstanding contribution to the cause of safe or skilful motor cycling in Britain.
The nominations for the award, not awarded annually but only whenever a suitable candidate is thought to have emerged in the preceding year, are MotoGP racer Scott Redding, MCE British Superbike champion Shane Byrne, and Isle of Man TT winners Michael Dunlop and John McGuinness.
Ben Cussons, Chairman of the Royal Automobile Club’s Motoring Committee said as the shortlist was unveiled: “The Royal Automobile Club has always had a close association with the motor cycling world. The Club formed the Auto Cycle Club in 1903, which went on to become the Auto Cycle Union in 1947. The first Tourist Trophy race was held on the Isle of Man in 1905 for cars - two years before the first TT for motorcycles. The Club continues to recognise excellence in the automobile and motorcycle world through the Dewar Trophy for technical innovation, the Segrave Trophy for outstanding demonstration of the possibilities of transport on land, sea and air and the Torrens Trophy for endeavours on two wheels.”
The trophy has only been awarded seven times since its 1978 introduction, with British World Superbike champions Tom Sykes and James Toseland, BMW (for their introduction of ABS to motorcycles) and Metropolitan Police bike safety officer Ian Kerr among past recipients.
The trophy will be awarded in a ceremony at the RAC Club’s home on Pall Mall in January, after a decision by the nomination committee, which consists of ex-bike racer Barrie Baxter, MCN contributor Mat Oxley, former racer and commentator Steve Parrish and Arthur Bourne’s son Richard Bourne, whom the trophy is named for.