InterSteps champion Matt Parry attended the annual British Automobile Racing Club awards night in order to collect the reward for his season's work, but left with an additional - and prestigious - piece of silverware after the BARC decided to award him the Peter Collins Memorial Trophy.

The handsome looking cup was presented to the BARC by friends of Collins, and is awarded at the discretion of the BARC Events Committee to the most promising novice driver at Goodwood and other BARC members' meetings. Although not technically a newcomer to single-seater racing following his year in Formula Ford in 2011, Parry dominated his first year in InterSteps, claiming records for the number of points, wins and podium en route to the title.

Ironically, the driver whose marks he erased from the record book, Jake Dennis, had been the previous winner of the award, which has also been picked up by a couple of erstwhile F1 drivers, Eddie Cheever (1975) and Kenny Acheson (1977), as well as current GP2 Series frontrunner Marcus Ericsson (2007).

"I am naturally honoured to receive the Peter Collins Memorial Trophy," Parry admitted, "I came here to collect the award for winning the InterSteps title, so this is an unexpected - and humbling - turn of events. There are a few names of note on the list of previous winners, and I hope that I can follow in their footsteps."

Collins was among the swathe of British drivers to make their mark on the grand prix scene in the 1950s and '60s, along with the like of Stirling Moss and Mike Hawthorn. He contested 35 world championship events between 1952-58, winning three times and taking nine podium finishes amongst a total of 47 championship points.

He was a title contender in the 1956 season, with second place behind Moss in Monaco backing up wins at the French and Belgian grands Prix. He could conceivably have become Britain's first F1 world champion had he not handed his Lancia-Ferrari D50 over to team leader Juan Manuel Fangio after the latter suffered a mechanical failure in the Italian Grand Prix.. Collins eventually finished second in the race, but the points he conceded ultimately restricted him to third in the championship.

His brief time in the top echelon of motorsport came to an abrupt end at the 1958 German Grand Prix when, chasing Tony Brooks' Vanwall, he ran wide at Pflanzgarten and was thrown from his car, suffering fatal head injuries. He was 27.


Article created by Craig Llewellyn.