Newsletter October, 2007

What can one add to what has already been written and said in the media about the tragic loss of Colin McRae and his young son Johnny; not just in Scotland but nationally and globally. He was known personally to many of our members, who will be especially saddened at such a tragedy.  Colin was a true sporting hero who will be remembered not just for his many sporting successes but as a genuine ambassador for Scottish Motorsport and as an example to many of our up-and-coming young drivers. Our thoughts and condolences go to his wife Alison, daughter Hollie, dad Jimmy, mum Margaret, brothers Alister and Stuart, and to all other members of the McRae family. Our condolences also go to the families of the others who died with Colin and Johnny.
On another sad note, Jimmy McInnes informed me of the recent death of Margaret Fraser the wife of Kenneth D. Fraser.

Windscreen Badges – If you were not able to be at the recent Knockhill event and if you are not a very recent member, you will find enclosed a couple of “cling” VSMA windscreen badges with our compliments. I hope you will display them discreetly “front and rear” – more can be purchased if required. What a most enjoyable event the Classic Speedfair at Knockhill turned out to be. Despite the attraction of the Open at Carnoustie, we had over 50 members drop into our “tent” in the Media Centre, where they managed to consume a fair amount of coffee, tea, pies and biscuits. One or two celebrates also called in including Stirling Moss and his delightful wife Susie. Alan Carlaw managed to persuade Stirling to become a member, as he was eligible to join our ranks having competed in a race meeting at Turnberry in the early ’50s!†† We had a nice letter later from Knockhill “………Please thank all your committee and members for the excellent help and enthusiasm for the 2nd classic speedfair event, from the Friday dinner to the finale on Sunday, it was a most enjoyable days motorsport. With best regards from Derek Butcher”.

“Winning is not Enough” – this is the title of the forthcoming book by our Honorary President Sir Jackie Stewart which Hodder Headline Publishers have kindly offered at a reduced price. To order your copy of “Winning Is Not Enough” by Sir Jackie Stewart at the special price of £16.00 including free p&p (RRP £20.00), please call 0870 755 2122 and quote offer code BSH587. Alternatively, you can send a cheque made payable to Bookshop Partnership Ltd to: “Winning Is Not Enough”, Offer BSH587, PO Box 104, Ludlow SY8 1YB. Please allow 28 days for delivery.”

“Scotland in Pole Position to Succeed in Motorsport” – That was the view of a panel of Scottish driving champions brought together by Motorsport Scotland as part of National Motorsport Week at the recent Motorsport Scotland Forum held at Bell College, Hamilton. Scottish stars such as touring car ace Gordon Shedden, rally legend Jimmy McRae and Mercedes DTM driver Paul Di Resta had been brought together to give advice to youngsters looking to break into the sport.
The forum was chaired by TV presenter and rally competitor Lee McKenzie; the panel gave the audience a humorous insight into what goes on behind the scenes in the world of motorsport. Representatives from some of Scotland’s top motorsport organisations were also present, including Knockhill racetrack, County SAAB Scottish Rally Championship, Cambuslang Karting and MSA British Rally Elite. As well as providing practical tips for youngsters entering motorsport, the event brought together industry and education. There was also guidance on how to gain qualifications for a career in professional motorsport from Bell College – the only institution in Scotland to offer a specialised motorsport engineering design course. Motorsport Scotland stated that it had plans to make Scotland a World Class motorsport destination by 2012; former WRC Rally Champion co-driver Robert Reid said “….. he had no doubt Scottish youngsters could make it to the very top of motorsport if given the right backing. In Scotland, we have some great people involved in Motorsport and we have lots of youngsters who have the talent to win at the highest level if they receive the support they need. It was generally agreed that Scotland is ideally placed to produce world-class motorsport talent that can emulate the success of stars like Lewis Hamilton. In that respect, it was fantastic to see so many experienced people on the panel who were willing to give those just starting out the benefit of their knowledge.”

Stuart Parker

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