Updated: April 6, 2018
The Club presents the following awards annually. Click here for a listing of all of the award recipients over the years.
John Ridington was a member of the VRCBC for several years and from the start, both he and his wife Mary were very active in all our activities. John volunteered to be Club Secretary shortly after he joined the club. At the same time, Mary volunteered to be Treasurer. John was also active in organizing and officiating at pretty well all of our races at Westwood. In addition, he and Mary hosted many social events at their home.
John was born in Vancouver (Ridington room at UBC is named after his father), but moved to Ontario for a time where he raced a Mini at Mosport back in the 1960’s. He always wanted to race again but circumstances prevented him from acquiring a vintage race car. Peter Warrington provided John the opportunity to fulfill his dream by offering to have him race his beautifully restored Volvo P1800. John was ecstatic and had the time of his life for the short time that he was able to race the car.
John and Mary moved to Enderby and continued to function as officers of the club driving down for meetings and events. Unfortunately, John contracted cancer while in Enderby and did not survive for long after the initial diagnosis. Following his death the VRCBC decided to recognize John’s outstanding service to the club and set it out as an example to all by establishing the Ridington Service Award. Artist Craig Ainscough created the artwork depicting John in the green Volvo P1800. As the name suggests, it was intended to be awarded annually to someone in the club that exemplified the same generous commitment to service to the club that John gave.
When Dr. Rob Follows, one of the first members of VRCBC, was an active VRCBC racer he had some very interesting vintage racing cars. They were always beautifully prepared and Rob drove them well and with enthusiasm. Rob operated his car hobby as Pegasus Racing. Some years ago, to encourage better car preparation in the true vintage spirit, Rob decided to create an award that would recognize the best prepared car debuting during that year. The club was growing during the 1980’s so there were new cars appearing regularly but after Westwood closed and for the next 10 years, there were few debuts until we began racing regularly at Mission. During that period the award was given to owners of cars that were considered well prepared regardless of when they were appeared initially. The recipient was usually chosen by Rob and he presented the award.
During the 1990’s after Westwood closed, several VRCBC members sold their cars and our club began to decline in membership and activities. During that time, SOVREN, a fairly new club at the time, always appreciating the Canadian contingent at their races, and wanting to see the VRCBC survive, offered to involve VRCBC in their Spring Sprints and Fall Finale by having a featured VRCBC race on the Sunday, which would be organized by VRCBC members. These were usually handicap or relay races. SOVREN also offered us a percentage of the net profit from those weekend events, based on the number of Canadian entries. This involvement was significant in keeping the VRCBC alive. Another factor was that the VRCBC wanted to continue to be recognized by and remain a member of Vintage Motorsport Council (VMC), but to do so, the club had to organize vintage races. By participating in the organization of those two annual SOVREN events we met that requirement.
VRCBC Race Directors of the day continuously encouraged VRCBC members to race south of the border and one measure taken by the executive in 1994 was to establish the Spirit of Seattle Award. There was some debate at the time as to whether it should be named the Spirit of Canada award but the Spirit of Seattle stuck. Over the years it has been awarded to VRCBC members (from Canada and the US) for various reasons but mainly to those who represented VRCBC at these races and demonstrated what we believe to be the Canadian spirit.
In the mid 1990’s when this award was established, Steve Earle and later a production company organized the Portland Historic Races and although VRCBC did not participate in the organization of those events, the Club wanted to continue encouraging our members to keep on racing and this award was established as one measure to provide that encouragement and recognize one person a year that did participate and achieved something worthy of note.
This award was established to encourage participation in the races at Mission and to recognize something that the receipient did or achieved that was considered outstanding in support of racing at Mission Raceway Park, our home venue. This award is not exclusive to racers; indeed it is more for contribution to Mission Raceway Park and the events held there.
The Driver of the Year award is presented to someone who is known to be an excellent driver who shows skill and gentlemanly conduct while still being competitive. This is the type of driver which most racers would like to emulate. Often this driver competes with more than one vehicle, driving them all with the same enthusiasm and respect for both the vehicles and those with whom they compete.
Dave Roberts was Club President for four years during the mid 1990’s. Dave was a committed vintage racer. You could find his beautifully prepared blue TVR with the number 43 on it at pretty well every vintage race on the West Coast from California to BC, and he was usually running well up in his group. Besides being a keen competitor and restorer, Dave loved the social side of vintage racing and endeavoured to ensure that there were social activities for the members, especially during the 1990’s when we weren’t able to race locally. Dave exemplified the term “hail fellow well met” and you were always welcome at his home, especially his “to die for” garage.
When Dave died, this award was established to recognize the major contribution that he made to fellowship within our club and to be awarded annually to a member who advanced that important element without which a club cannot survive.
Following the success of the Westwood50 Historics in 2009, Ian Wood presented a special award to Tom Johnston for the work he had done over five years to have this event occur. Tom’s long range vision, combined with his enthusiasm and his ability to bring others along with him over that period was an excellent example of strategic planning. With his generous nature, Tom, with Ian’s support, decided that this trophy should be renamed and awarded to others who had demonstrated excellent strategic planning , while working for the future of the VRCBC and its events.