Former F1 champion Nigel Mansell visited Motor Sports House yesterday to be re-presented with the British Grand Prix trophy that he won four times between 1986 and 1992.
The famous gold-plated trophy – officially known as the Royal Automobile Club trophy – has been awarded to the winner of the British Grand Prix since 1948. Little is known of its origins but it is Victorian hallmarked and features the Eton motto, ‘Floreat Etona’ (‘let Eton Flourish’). Therefore it may have been a gift to the Royal Automobile Club from founder member Sir Charles Rolls, an alumnus of Eton.
Mansell was also re-presented with the Hawthorn Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to the most successful British or Commonwealth driver in the previous year’s F1 season. It was first presented in memory of Mike Hawthorn, who became Britain’s first F1 champion in 1958 but tragically died a year later.
MSA Chief Executive Rob Jones presented both trophies before introducing Mansell to the staff and explaining the functions and remit of the modern MSA as the governing body of UK motor sports.
Mansell said: “Rob Jones mentioned to me at the British Grand Prix that I had won the prestigious Hawthorn Trophy seven times, still more than any other driver, yet I didn’t recall ever having been presented with the trophy. We then got on to discussing the British Grand Prix Trophy which again despite winning it five times (British Grand Prix 1986, 1987, 1991, 1992 and Grand Prix of Europe 1985), I didn’t recall having been presented with either so I am delighted to visit the MSA and to be formally handed these iconic motor sport trophies.”
“On behalf of all competitors I would like to thank the MSA for all that they do to keep the UK at the top of world motor sport.”
Jones said: “Nigel is one of the great heroes of British motor sport, having earned a reputation as one of the toughest and most dogged drivers in grand prix racing. He has been a household name since winning the 1992 F1 title and remains heavily involved in British motor sport, particularly as proprietor of the Mansell Raceway kart track in Devon. It was a pleasure to reunite him with the British Grand Prix and Hawthorn Memorial Trophies, and to see how interested he was to hear about the MSA’s current activities, particularly in the development of UK motor sports.”
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