Legends Cars National Championship Co-ordinator Phil Cooper was the headline recipient of the special awards that were handed out at the BARC’s annual Championship Awards Evening this past Saturday (February 8th).
Whilst champions of 2019 took centre stage during the evening, a handful of secret awards were presented to unsuspecting winners at the end of the night.
Cooper emerged as one of those victors as he was honoured for his role in the Legends Cars National Championship over the past 25 years. After ending a career in the music business, Cooper brought the series to the UK and has been at the helm whilst it has flourished ever since.
Picking up The Gerry Marshall Trophy, Cooper fitted the bill in sharing the same eagerness and philosophy for motorsport that Gerry once did.
“That was quite the surprise, I had no idea,” Cooper said. “I’ve been invited to this event for a number of years and don’t always attend but the team at the BARC were rather quite insistent I attend as Miles was coming and his car was on display as well.
“I thought I would be handing over Miles’ award so when that didn’t happen I thought that was it. Then Alan Hyde read my name out and it was just complete shock. I’m very grateful and thankful for receiving this accolade.
“Last year was the 25th Anniversary of the Legends Cars National Championship and I’m very proud of what we have been able to achieve. When I finished working in the music business I thought that I might potter around in motor racing for a little while but here we still are.”
After powering his way to the Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship crown last year, James Hedley was a worthy winner of The Peter Collins Trophy.
Awarded to the most promising newcomer competing in a BARC championship, the teenage sensation produced a superlative performance to become the latest champion of the much-loved TOCA series.
Commenting on accolade, Hedley said: “I was quite shocked when Alan Hyde read out my name, I didn’t know too much about the award. Now that I’ve been able to look through all of the names on the trophy and all of the previous winners I’m truly honoured.
“I’ve been up against some really tough, naturally talented drivers so it is nice to see that people are recognising all of the hard work that is being put together. This whole evening has been fantastic and this award will be one I’ll treasure for a long time.”
Garrie Whittaker’s unbeaten season in the Kumho BMW Championship didn’t go unnoticed either as he scooped The Presidents Cup.
Bestowed upon the most successful driver competing under international level within the BARC, Whittaker added his name to the famous trophy once again after previously winning it. His 20-race clean sweep made him the standout contender for the coveted trophy.
“I’m not usually lost for words but winning The Presidents Cup for a third time has pretty much left me speechless,” Whittaker said following the prize giving.
“I’ve won it twice before and I knew that I had had a good year but you never really expect to be awarded, not least for a third time. Picking up my championship trophy from Colin [Turkington] was really great however this accolade is something I’m really proud of.
“To be handed an award that people have decided you deserve based on your performances over the course of the season is just the icing on the cake.”
Elsewhere, Pam and Steve Green were handed the Sir Clive Bossom Trophy after completing the most volunteering days over the course of the season.
Nick Allison meanwhile picked up the BARC Marshal of the Year for a second time.