This post, albeit a press release, comes a little late. But there was no way in hell I was missing out on this piece of news. I love news stories that celebrate one’s courage and dogged determination to follow a dream, no matter what. Isn’t this just about the best way to kick off a new year and a new season?
Eleven-time TT winner Ian Hutchinson was awarded the Royal Automobile Club’s coveted Torrens Trophy at the Pall Mall clubhouse for his outstanding determination, courage and overcoming adversity to win multiple TT’s.
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 motorcycling 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.
Upon receipt Hutchy 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 and to my family for all the support through my days in hospital and recovery’.
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 hattrick 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 industry and fellow racers.
Tributes to the Winner
Former motorcycle commentator Murray Walker 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’.
Former World Superbike Champion and previous Torrens Trophy recipient James Toseland said ‘To go from the highest point of his career to the lowest within days must have been a psychological rollercoaster to say the least. We are all very proud of Hutchy for keeping the belief and finding the inner strength to keep going through such adversity, pain and frustration for such a long period of time to being able to ride competitively again. To go from winning 5 TT’s to nearly losing his leg to then get back onto the top step in one of the most physical motorcycle races there is, is an amazing achievement and show of character. Hutchy very much deserves this award today and I wish him all the very best for this season coming and hopefully many more TT victories to come!’.
An IOMTT Press Release