WOFFY HANDED RAC TORRENS TROPHY
Triple world champ Tai Woffinden cemented his spot in the realms of British motorcycling royalty after receiving the RAC's Torrens Trophy.
08 / 03 / 2019, 09:11
Triple world champion Tai Woffinden cemented his spot in the realms of British motorcycling royalty after receiving the Royal Automobile Club’s prestigious Torrens Trophy.
The Scunthorpe-born star was handed the prize after becoming the first British rider to win three speedway world titles last year.
The Torrens Trophy recognises an individual or organisation considered to have made an outstanding contribution to British motorcycling or to raising the sport’s profile nationally and internationally. The prize has only been awarded 11 times since it was introduced in 1978 and only when the RAC feels it is justified.
To be world champion in something as demanding as speedway is very special, but to do it three times is a remarkable achievement and one that deserves far more recognition than it currently receives.
Woffinden joins the likes of Jonathan Rea MBE, Cal Crutchlow, Ian Hutchinson, Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne, Tom Sykes and James Toseland on the Torrens Trophy roll of honour.
The FIM Speedway Grand Prix star collected the prize at the RAC’s Pall Mall clubhouse in London on Thursday.
Barrie Baxter, chairman of the Torrens Trophy Nominations Committee, said: “The committee unanimously agreed that Tai Woffinden should be honoured for not only his outstanding racing achievement, but representing Britain on a world stage.
“To be world champion in something as demanding as speedway is very special, but to do it three times is a remarkable achievement and one that deserves far more recognition than it currently receives.”
Woffinden admits lifting speedway’s biggest prize three times has been no easy task and says his 2018 triumph was the hardest-fought yet.
He said: "I'm pretty strong in the head but there were times when I was thinking 'wow, man, this is tough.' This was my hardest one to date, both physically and mentally.”
Woffinden was honoured by a host of racers. Former Red Bull Air Race champion Paul Bonhomme said, “Please pass on my congratulations to Tai. I think he’s completely mad.
“A few years ago, I had a go around Kings Lynn speedway track on various types of speedway bike and was amused by having no brakes and opening the throttle to go around the corners and closing the throttle on the straights. I’ll stick to low level aerobatics and flying through hangars. I think it is safer.”
Seven-times Isle of Man TT winner Mick Grant said: “His unflappable approach is an example many of his competitors should try to copy.
“Last year in Slovenia he was unfairly excluded for being late to the tapes by a fraction of a second. I saw Tai, not kick his bike, and not verbally abuse the referee, but just come out stronger! He is a credit to the sport and deserves this recognition!”
Former professional Grand Prix road racer and current MotoGP commentator Keith Huewen said: “I am absolutely delighted that Tai has been awarded the Torrens Trophy.
“Speedway is so often overlooked and yet is one of the toughest sports to consistently stay fit enough to take a GP title. Taking three is special!”