Sumo Power GT drivers Warren Hughes and Jamie Campbell-Walter have finally received the Tourist Trophy at the Royal Automobile Club in London, writes James Beckett.
The award is regarded as one of the most prestigious in motor racing and, having first been presented in 1905, is internationally acknowledged to be the longest standing perpetual trophy in the sport.
Driving their Sumo Power GT Nissan GT-R, Hughes and Campbell-Walter originally secured the Tourist Trophy on May 1 when they won round two of the FIA GT1 World Championship at Silverstone - the first FIA World Championship race to take place around the new Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit.
Although crossing the line in third, after the podium celebrations had been held it was announced that the second-placed drivers - Hexis Aston Martin pair Thomas Accary and Frederic Makowiecki - were given a 15-second penalty for not coming into the pits early enough to serve a drive-though penalty.
Then, a few minutes later, it was revealed that at post-event scrutineering, the under-floor plank on the winner’s car - the Young Driver Aston Martin of Tomas Enge and Darren Turner - was found to measure less than the regulation thickness and was therefore excluded from the results. A subsequent appeal was also dismissed.
These two penalties subsequently elevated Hughes and Campbell-Walter into first place, providing the drivers, Sumo Power GT and Nissan with its first ever victory in the FIA GT1 World Championship. Since then, the RAC and the team have made a number of attempts to re-present the award but it was not possible until this week.
Following a formal luncheon, the coveted Trophy was handed over by Chairman of the Royal Automobile Club, Sir David Prosser. Also attending the event was seven-times previous winner Sir Stirling Moss, who congratulated Hughes, Campbell-Walter and the Sumo Power GT team on their impressive achievement.
In handing over the coveted award, Sir Stirling Moss said: “To win the Tourist Trophy has always been a real challenge, it certainly was in my day and this is what has made it a very important and prestigious award to receive.
“I congratulate Jamie and Warren and their team on this fantastic achievement.”
Hughes said it was a “real honour” to receive the trophy and “to have my name added to the legendary list of winners that goes back as far as 1905. I would like to thank everyone who made this and our other successes this year possible. All in all, this season has surpassed our expectations.”
His co-driver, Campbell-Walter added: “I have to thank the team for giving Warren and I the opportunity to win the Tourist Trophy - as well as thank the Royal Automobile Club for putting up this award.
“We’ve had a fantastic year and have now been presented with the most famous trophy in motorsport. You couldn’t ask for a better way to round off the season.”
>>The FIA GT1 World Championship will return to Silverstone in 2011 it has been announced.