The Association of Scottish Motoring Writers has awarded this year’s Ford-sponsored Jim Clark Memorial Award to the Bo’ness Hill Climb Revival.
Bill Drysdale and Kenny Baird, who collected the trophy, represent the committee that helped to re-establish the original track for competition use for the Bo’ness Hill Climb Revival, which is now in its ninth year.
The Bo’ness Hill Climb opened in 1932 for use by the West Lothian Motorcycle Club for speed hill climbs, and attracted the attention of the Scottish Sporting Car Club (SSCC) and the first combined car and motorcycle meeting was held in June 1934.
After the war, racing resumed and the RAC granted the venue an International License in 1947 and the first round of the inaugural RAC British Hill Climb Championship was held there later that year. Huge crowds flocked to Bo’ness in the late 40s and early 50s to watch some of the greats of British motor racing take on the infamous track.
In 1959, the Lothian Car Club took over the running of the venue and rising star Jim Clark, who this award is named after, took to the hill climb before Bo’ness Town Council sold the land in 1966.
To mark the 60th anniversary of the first British Hill Climb Championship in 2007, a group of enthusiasts organised a gathering of historic racing cars which were driven on what was left of the track. This was the birth of Bo’ness Hill Climb Revival Ltd, a car club - now with over 200 members and a restored track – with a goal to continue the proud motorsport history associated with Bo’ness Hill Climb.
“Bill and Kenny are two of the leading lights that have helped bring the historic Bo’ness Hill Climb Revival back to life and we are delighted to recognise the tireless work of the committee by presenting them with this year’s Jim Clark Memorial Award,” said Stephen Park, president of the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers, comprising 17 national and regional journalists.
“Bo’ness is the oldest permanent motorsport venue in Scotland and the committee has ensured that classic car and motorsport enthusiasts can continue to enjoy this special track for years to come.”
The next meeting will take place later this year on 3rd and 4th September featuring over 200 classic cars, some of which will compete in various races throughout the weekend.
“On behalf of the Bo’ness Hill Climb Revival committee, we are honoured to receive the prestigious Jim Clark Award,” said Kenny Baird, chairman. “We are extremely proud of Scotland’s contribution to motor racing and it is very satisfying to see our hard work recognised in this way and we hope to build on this success in future years.”
Previous recipients of the joint Ford and Scottish Motoring Writers’ Jim Clark Award for their contribution to transport and motorsport include Jackie Stewart, David Coulthard, Louise Aitken-Walker, rally medic Doctor John Harrington, Graham Brunton and Andrew Fraser, the Scottish Ford engineer who led the design and development team responsible for Ford’s multi-award-winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine – now available with 140PS power output.