Isle of Man TT racer Ian Hutchinson has been awarded with 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. It was first awarded in 1978 in memory of Arthur Bourne, a motor cycling 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 Royal Automobile club feels that the achievement justifies it.
On receiving the award, Hutchinson 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.”
Hutchinson made an excellent TT comeback in 2015 after fighting through a career-threatening leg injury he sustained in a British Supersport race at Silverstone in 2010.
There was a concern following the accident that the leg could have been amputated but the skill of the surgeons and his determination to keep on racing pulled him and this was not necessary.
The Yorkshireman went through 16 operations and skin grafts, and suffered set-backs along the way but managed to return to full fitness in time for the 2015 TT.
Hutchinson was back to his very best and took victory in the Superstock event and both of the Supersport races – to the delight of motorcycle racing fans everywhere.
In a tribute to Hutchinson’s award, John Surtees CBE said: “‘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.”
Previous Torrens Trophy recipient James Toseland added “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!”
Other names nominated for the award, after a fantastic year for British motorcycle racing, included the two-time speedway world champion Tai Woffindon, World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea and Danny Kent, Britain’s first Grand Prix World Champion since Barry Sheene in 1977.
Hutchinson was chosen as the winner by 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, motorcycle journalist Mat Oxley, former racer and commentator Steve Parrish and Arthur Bourne’s son Richard Bourne.