SRC John Horton Star Driver Award returns with new prize – Motorsport UK Scottish Rally Championship

21st January 2018

SRC John Horton Star Driver Award returns with new prize

Unique reward returns to Scottish Rally Championship for 2018 with an updated prize on offer

Having proven successful in 2017, the SRC Star Driver Award returns to the ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship for 2018, and will once again commemorate the late John Horton.

Last year the winner was awarded a subsidised entry into a European event of their choice, but this year’s prize is set to be even better.

Along with the SRC Juniors Champions, the outright winner of the SRC John Horton Star Driver Award will benefit from one-on-one driver coaching and set-up advice from multiple rally champion Tapio Laukkunen, with esteemed navigator and African Rally Champion Drew Sturrock also on hand to help the co-driver with pace-note writing and preparation skills.

This is an unrivalled opportunity and will help the wining crew develop a strong start to their rallying career, or hone the skills of more experienced competitors.

“The John Horton Star Drive Award was named in honour of much missed rallying personality John Horton and he was always supportive of talented crews in the sport” says SRC Chairman Gordon Adam.

“In its inaugural year, we enjoyed a very strong fight for the top honour and it was a tough call for our judges.  Thanks to Bill Sturrock of Scotmaps, we have secured a fantastic prize and we really hope that it helps progress the rallying career of our inspiring SRC contenders.”

Tapio Laukkanen will offer his expertise to the winner of the Award – Image: Ni:Media

The SRC John Horton Star Driver Award was implemented to recognise outstanding performances from SRC registered crews.

On the Monday after each round of the series, a panel of experts will decide who they considered to have returned the most noteworthy performance on the event. The winner from each round will carry a special Star Driver sticker on their car to recognise their achievement for the remainder of the season.

The nominees will be invited to an end-of-season shoot-out where their skills will be put to the test. The winner of the shoot-out will head to a Scottish forest for their tuition with the 1999 British Rally Champion Laukkanen.

Keith Riddick emerged victorious in 2017, and will compete on the Down Rally in Northern Ireland as his prize. He is grateful for the opportunity the Award has given him.

“The SRC John Horton Star Driver Award has given me a great opportunity to try something different that I may not have attempted without this support,” Riddick said.

“I have only ever competed on asphalt on the Solway Coast Rally, so I am sure that the Down Rally is going to be an exciting challenge and something completely foreign to me.

“As the event is part of the MSA Asphalt Championship, hopefully there will be some seasoned competitors on the black stuff so we can really see how far away we are in terms of speed.”

Keith Riddick won the Star Driver Award last year – Image: Eddie Kelly

A name which is synonymous with UK rallying, John Horton first made his mark on the sport as an international co-driver and competed alongside the likes of Russell Brookes, Billy Coleman and Jimmy McRae in a variety of cars and teams. Perhaps the most famous of these was with GM and the Opel brand in the 1970’s.

Outside the cockpit, John was actively involved in rallying, helping to develop the MSA British Rally Championship and its own Star Drive schemes as well as assisting in the organisation of many high profile events across the country. Perhaps though, he is most famous for his media and PR activities, being the voice of the PA system on many UK and Irish rallies down the years.

He also worked as the national press officer for the British Grand Prix and Wales Rally GB at the turn of the century, and is sadly missed by the rallying community after he died suddenly in 2016.

The 2018 ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship is partnered by Pirelli Motorsport and Reis Motorsport Insurance.

The championship consists of seven forest events across Scotland, taking in over 300 competitive stage miles.

The next round of the SRC is the Snowman Rally on Saturday 10th February.

Keep up to date with all the latest news via the website, Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #SRC18.

The winner of the Star Driver Award will be crowned at an end of season shoot-out – Image: Eddie Kelly