Last night, the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers presented the annual Jim Clark Memorial Award to Graham Brunton.
Graham Brunton Racing is managing the 'Ecurie Ecosse Young Driver Initiative' which has been set up to enable young Scottish racing drivers to progress from karting to single-seater racing.
Masterminded by Hugh (Le Patron) McCaig, John Clark, and Graham Brunton, plus three-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Allan McNish and Dario Franchitti, the programme aims to develop young talent to follow in the wheeltracks of F1 World Champions Jim Clark and Sir Jackie Stewart.
This season BRDC Formula 4 Championship contender, Ciaran Haggerty, is joined in the Ecurie Ecosse Young Driver Initiative by 17-year-old Adam MacKay, who will race in this year’s Scottish FF1600 Championship.
And there's more. Graham's wife Heather is the Scottish Motor Racing Club membership secretary and a lot more besides. Methinks the SMRC would collapse without her on racedays! Anyway, there's even more, Graham's daughter Rachael works with Andrew Kirkaldy (son of Jock Kirkaldy who used to prep Donald Heggie's cars) at McLaren GT, which is the GT race car manufacturing arm of McLaren Group. In addition to her marketing role at Woking, she works with race teams at the weekends. And there's even more, her partner is Jonny Adam, Aston Martin GT racer. By the way, Graham's son Craig is a former Scottish Formula Ford Champion and is also involved in international motor racing.
It just makes you wonder, where would the world of motor sport be without the Scots, and the Bruntons typify that more than most. The whole Brunton clan also works with the GoMotorsport initiative to promote the sport to youngsters and attract and encourage fresh talent.
Worthy winners the lot of them.
There is however a rallying connection. Graham is quite pally with Ian Campbell who used to run a Talbot Sunbeam and then more recently the bright yellow Mitsubishi Lancer World Rally Car that you might have seen out and about. Anyway, about 9 or 10 years ago, Graham had a couple of shots at rallying with Ian in the Sunbeam at Knockhill single venue events. Fortified with good fun and decent finishes the duo contested their first ever forest event on the Border Counties. On the first stage, a stub axle broke and pitched the Sunbeam into the trees. Graham went back to motor racing immediately afterwards!
You may recall that last year's winner of the Jim Clark Memorial Award was Doc John Harrington who has done so much behind the scenes for improving medical cover on rallies.
Sponsored by For Motor Company since its inception, the annual Jim Clark Award seeks to highlight and recognise not just the headline grabbing achievements of race and rally winners, but those unsung heroes behind the scenes without whom the sport simply wouldn't happen.
Photo shows: from left to right
Jonny Adam, Alisdair Suttie (President, Association of Scottish Motoring Writers), Graham Brunton and Oliver Rowe, Product Affairs Manager for Ford Motor Co, who sponsor this prestigious annual award.