Sam Sunderland has been awarded the prestigious Segrave Trophy by the Royal Automobile Club in recognition of being the first Briton to win the Dakar Rally.
Sunderland was given the award at the Royal Automobile Club in London during a ceremony to mark his achievement in the 2017 Dakar Rally. Speaking at the presentation lunch, Chairman of the Royal Automobile Club Tom Purves said, “Lady Segrave commissioned the Trophy in 1930, soon after her husband, Sir Henry Segrave died after breaking the water speed record on Lake Windermere. It was her wish that the Trophy would celebrate British nationals who demonstrated outstanding skill, courage and initiative ‒ the spirit of adventure ‒ whether on land, sea or in the air and we are delighted to award the Trophy to Sam Sunderland.”
The Red Bull KTM Factory Team rider took the lead on the fifth of twelve stages and maintained it to the end of the 2017 event. It seems remarkable to look back and note Sunderland completed the final Argentinian stage 32 minutes ahead of his nearest competitor.
Upon receiving the Trophy, Sunderland said: “I’m absolutely honoured to receive this prestigious award from the Royal Automobile Club. I am so proud to have my name alongside so many of my racing heroes like John Surtees, Barry Sheene and Joey Dunlop. I have huge respect for everyone who has been a part of the Trophy’s history.”
The Segrave Trophy is named after British pilot and pre-war racing driver, Sir Henry Segrave, who, among many things including being a World War One pilot and Grand Prix winner, was also the first man to hold both land and water speed records.
Segrave pushed himself and his machines to the very limit in the pursuit of ultimate speed, therefore the trophy is awarded to the individual who demonstrates ‘outstanding skill, courage and initiative on land, water and in air – the Spirit of Adventure.’
Previously the Segrave Trophy has been awarded to eight motorcycle racers including:
- John McGuinness (2016) for his outstanding contribution to motorcycle road and circuit racing, including setting the outright lap record at the 2015 Isle of Man TT. The greatest living exponent of the TT, with 23 victories to his name.
- John Surtees CBE (2012), for his outstanding career in two and four wheeled motorsport, including seven motorcycle world championship titles, culminating in the unique achievement of being the only man to win a motorcycle and Formula 1 world championship.
- Joey Dunlop OBE (2000 posthumously), in recognition of a career of unrivalled achievement on the Isle of Man TT.
- Carl Fogarty MBE (1994) for winning the Superbike World Championship with Ducati.
- Steve Webster MBE (1991) for winning his fourth FIM World Sidecar Championship title.
- Mike Hailwood MBE GM (1979) for his long career in motorcycle grand prix racing, Formula 1 and his successes in the Isle of Man TT including his last, in 1979, at the age of 39, following a successful comeback to the event after 11 years.
- Barry Sheene MBE (1977 and 1984) for his career in motorcycle grand prix racing, including being the only man to win world championship events at every capacity from 50cc to 500cc.
- Geoff Duke OBE (1951) for winning the 350cc and 500cc motorcycle world championships and the Senior and Junior Tourist Trophy races in the same year.
Jon PearsonEnduro21 Editor and Bike Testerjon.email@example.com