Ian Hutchinson has received the Royal Automobile Club's coveted Torrens Trophy at the Pall Mall clubhouse in recognition of his return to winning ways at the Isle of Man TT in 2015.
Hutchinson clinched a treble last June, winning both Supersport races and the Superstock event in a remarkable rise to the top once more, five years on from a serious leg injury that almost ended his career.
The Torrens Trophy recognises an individual or organisation considered to have made an outstanding contribution to motorcycling in Britain and 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 presented nine times in its history and only when the club feels that the achievement justifies it.
The delighted 11-time TT winner, who has joined Northern Ireland's Tyco BMW team for 2016, 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.”
Ian Hutchinson awarded prestigious Torrens Trophy
EXCLUSIVE: Eleven-time Isle of Man TT winner and road racing legend Ian Hutchinson is awarded the prestigious Torrens Trophy in recognition for his achievements on two wheels. Crash.net sat down with a proud 'Hutchy' to discuss what this historic accolade means to him.Posted by Crash.net on Wednesday, 13 January 2016
Last year was a vintage season for British motorcycling, with Danny Kent becoming the country's first Grand Prix World Champion since Barry Sheene in 1977 after winning the Moto3 title, while Ulsterman Jonathan Rea secured the World Superbike Championship after dominating the series for Kawasaki.
Tai Woffindon won the gruelling 2015 World Speedway Championships for the second time and then there was Hutchinson, whose dramatic treble at the TT will go down as one of the all-time great comebacks in motorcycle road racing.
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, faced a tough decision before deciding that Hutchinson was the deserved winner of the accolade.
Torrens Committee Chairman Baxter 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.”
News of the recognition for Hutchinson has been greeted with huge support from the industry and fellow racers and those paying tribute to the Yorkshire racer included former motorcycle commentator Murray Walker.
“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,” he said.
“Uniquely to win five races in one TT year [in 2010] 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.”