In no particular order, the three nominees chosen for the Royal Automobile Club’s 2017 Torrens Trophy are three-times consecutive World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea; Sam Sutherland, who this year became the first Briton to win the Dakar Rally since its inception in 1979, and motorcycle racing hero Leon Haslam.
The club took to the main stage of Motorcycle Live at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, on Saturday, November 18 to make the announcement, and the trophy will be presented at the RAC’s Pall Mall Clubhouse in the new year.
The Torrens Trophy Nominations Committee consists of chairman and former bike racer Barrie Baxter, Royal Automobile Club member Ben Cussons, motorcycle journalist Mat Oxley, former racer and commentator Steve Parrish, club member Richard Bourne (son of motorcycle journalist Arthur, in whose memory the trophy is awarded) and, new to the committee, Maria Costello MBE.
Maria has held the Guinness World Record for the fastest woman to lap the Isle of Man TT course.
It was the Royal Automobile Club that formed the Auto Cycle Club in 1903, and that went on to become the Auto-Cycle Union in 1947.
The Torrens Trophy recognises an individual or organisation considered to have made an outstanding contribution to the cause of safe and skilful motorcycling in the UK; to have made an outstanding contribution of technical excellence to further the cause of motorcycling, or to have shown outstanding skill in international motorcycling sporting events in the UK.
First awarded in 1978 in memory of Arthur Bourne, who wrote a column under the name of Torrens and was also a vice-chairman of the RAC, the trophy has been awarded only nine times in its history, and only when the club feels the achievement justifies it.
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