EERC Annual Awards Dinner & Dance
Unlucky for some maybe, but Friday the 13th saw many happy recipients
of trophies at the first annual EERC Awards Dinner and Dance, in
the Woodlands Suite of the DeVere Belfry resort, near Birmingham.
The first award
was actually presented earlier in the day, on the Dunlop stand at
the Autosport International show, where Bernard Cotterill
was co-recipient of the EERC’s Derek Bell Trophy,
handed to him by James Tucker and Murray
Walker. Bernard, the show’s Event Director, was awarded
the trophy for his capacity as chairman of the BRSCC, who have been
significant supporters of the EERC in 2005, and performed sterling
service in running the club’s race meetings. The trophy comprises
a sculptured, semi-furled chequered flag on a wooden base, which
Derek Bell, as one of the greatest endurance racers of our day,
was delighted to lend his name to, and Murray had quizzed James
earlier about the origins and intentions of the EERC.
was over at the Belfry, Gary Wassell, Dunlop’s UK Motorsport
Manager, proudly announced that the EERC was Dunlop’s biggest
UK customer, before presenting the award for Production
S1 Team of the Year to Mazda Europe and
Guglielmi Motorsport, accepted by PR Director of
Mazda Europe, Graeme Fudge. “This award means a lot, particularly
to our chief engineer Dave, and the rest of the team, who have worked
so hard,” said Steve Gugliemi later.
Team of the Year was awarded to Parr Motorsport,
but they were unable to collect their trophy in person.
Davies of Avon Tyres presented the award
for Britsports Team of the Year to Pit
Bull Racing. Father and son duo Tony and Simon
Freeman had a consistent 2005 in their Radical in Class
2, and Tony was surprisingly still lucid when asked for his reaction
in the bar several hours later. “It means a hell of a lot
for Simon to win this in his first year of racing. He’s only
18, and I want to encourage him, and nurture his talent, hopefully
to Touring Cars or something similar.”
Bell Trophy then made a re-appearance, the other co-recipient
being Dick Van Elke of the Dutch Supercar
Challenge, who have been supporters of the EERC in 2005,
and continue with the club to explore endurance racing synergies.
The award was in recognition of Dick’s achievement in building
the DSC over the last five years.
November, at the BRSCC dinner, James Tucker was
awarded the John Nicol Trophy, for bringing the
Silverstone 24 hours into reality, and the opportunity was taken,
for the benefit of the EERC members, to re-present James with the
trophy, the BRSCC’s Bob Armstrong doing the
The EERC depends upon a loyal band of helpers, and safety car driver
Gary James, together with co-ordinator James
Happs, who have been with the club from the very start,
were given Long Service Awards.
The EERC race
series attracted a dedicated and talented bunch of photographers
in 2005, Ron Gaunt, Lez Gardiner, Paul Cherry, Peter May, Geoff
Mayes and Mike Hoyer all being there when it mattered, and the award
for Photographer of the Year went to Isadora
EERC enjoys considerable satellite TV coverage from Andrew Marriott’s
World Motorsports programme, and rising star of TV and radio Myma
Seldon (left) was awarded the trophy for TV Presenter
of the Year.
24 Hours was the highlight of the EERC year, and the winning
Rollcentre Racing driving squad of Martin
Short, Shaun Balfe, Jamie Derbyshire and Nick Jacobs were
presented with awards by Harry Handkammer.
for stealing the thunder of the regular Britcar competitors, adding
gleefully “I still think James Tucker is a nutter, but when
I first raced with him three years ago, and he told me he was going
to run a 24 hour race, I was one of the people who knew he could
The EERC, in
its short existence, has played a part in nurturing talent that
has gone on to make an impression nationally and globally. Liz Halliday
and Fiona Leggate now enjoy success on a major scale, and the fact
that they are both most definitely ladies is significant, since
the 2005 Driver of the Year trophy was awarded,
by David Leslie, to rising teenage star Anna
Walewska, who rose above her tabloid notoriety to prove
that she is a talented pilot.
were presented to the two women in James Tucker’s life –
wife Wendy, who has had a tough couple of years,
and PA Claire Williams, who did a fantastic job
of single-handedly arranging the event, and ensuring that it ran
smoothly on the night.
The awards over, many repaired to the bar for celebration
and networking, but the smart men and elegant ladies of the GTS
Motorsport table preferred to cut a rug on the dance floor, endorsing
their endurance credibility by boogying into the wee small hours.
we came of age tonight,” said James Tucker as he worked the
the images to Steve Wood, but Geoff Mayes actually took them. Apologies
for the error.