To the Victor Go The Spoils….The Hero Hardware of Motorsports
I was recently researching for a future article when I ran across a list that was quite interesting. It seems that, in the world of sports there is a list of the world’s most coveted trophies. I have taken the liberty of providing this list for you now a prestigious list, indeed:
STANLEY CUP (Hockey)
THE VINCE LOMBARDI TROPHY (Football)
THE LARRY O’BRIAN CHAMPIONSHIP TROPHY (NBA)
THE COMMISIONER’S TROPHY (Baseball)
THE BCS CHAMPIONSHIP TROPHY (College Football)
THE GREEN JACKET (Golf)
THE GRAY CUP (Canadian Football League)
THE WBC HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP BELT (Boxing)
THE WIMBLEDON MEN’S TROPHY (Tennis)
THE CY YOUNG AWARD (Baseball)
THE FIFA WORLD CUP TROPHY (Soccer)
THE WEBB ELLIS CUP (Rugby)
THE CLARET JUG TROPHY (Golf – The British Open)
THE WIMBLEDON WOMEN’S TROPHY (Tennis)
THE RYDER CUP (Golf)
THE UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE TROPHY (Soccer)
THE YELLOW JERSEY (Cycling)
THE HEISMAN TROPHY (College Football)
NCAA BASKETBALL TROPHY (College Basketball)
AN OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL
A RETIRED JERSEY
After seeing this list, I noticed that one trophy that I assumed would be among them was not; The Borg Warner Trophy – awarded to the winner of the Indianapolis 500. I spent hours poring over the internet to review site after site, list after list, and post after post, only to find that the trophy had eluded them as well.
Seriously? Are you telling me that one of the most celebrated ornaments in motorsports is not good enough to be listed? Is it not sought after and trained for with painstaking precision and lost with bitter angst like the others? It too, is clutched by muscles weary from the journey and bodies bruised from battle. Yet it escapes a register of the most coveted in the world? I beg to differ. Not only does this hallowed trophy belong on your list, Mr. & Mrs. Internet, but it should be followed by a few others.
Take heart, MotoringExposure, I have begun compiling a list all our own. I know that I have only scratched the surface here. However, something had to be done. I refuse to let our beloved hero hardware go unnoticed.
This is a list (in no particular order) for hands that turn wrenches and veins that bleed 10w40. From ruddy trail to prestigious estate, these are the spoils for those who conquer the elements, the laws of physics and the almighty power of the automobile.
If you can go from 0-300 mph faster and more consistently than half a dozen other drivers for 18 weekends, you can place one of these on your mantle. The trophy is named after Wally Parks, the founder of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and modeled after Jack Jones (Top Fuel Racer).
THE 24 HUERES DU MANS
Forty-six cars, three drivers, 24 hours in five separate divisions compete in rain, sun and darkness to be an accomplished winner in each class as well as an overall winner. The 24 Hours of LeMans is the world’s oldest active sports car race in endurance racing and has been held annually since 1923. The race is along the lines of the 24 Hours of Daytona but on a grand scale. It is as much a boon for manufacturers as it is for teams and drivers.
THE SPRINT CUP
It is made of sterling silver with a wood base and was created by renowned silversmiths Tiffany & Co. The Sprint Cup trophy is 24 inches (61 cm) tall and weighs 27 pounds (12 kg). Bruce Newman designed the trophy in 2003 and it was first awarded in 2004 to series champion Kurt Busch (Jimmie Johnson has five of them!). Traditionally, there are three Sprint Cup trophies handed out; one each to the championship driver, team, and primary sponsor.
THE HARLEY J. EARL TROPHY
NASCAR’s other major trophy everyone will be fighting for…The Harley J. Earl Memorial Trophy (second only to the Borg Warner). This is one of the most sought after racing achievements in motorsports. If you get your name on this piece of hardware you enter a realm that so many have raced their entire career without realizing the honor of winning The Great American Race!
THE BORG-WARNER TROPHY
Named for United States automotive supplier BorgWarner, is symbolic of victory in the Indianapolis 500 automobile race. The trophy, which has been presented in the winner’s circle after every race since 1936, is a very large, multi-tiered item which bears the bas-relief sculpture of the likeness of each driver to have won the race since its inception in 1911. Made of sterling silver, the trophy is just under 5 feet (1.5 m), 4 inches (162.5 cm) tall and weighs nearly 153 pounds (45 kg). The body of the trophy itself is hollow, and the round top is can be removed.
THE BAJA 1000
While the trophy for said event is not necessarily pictured here, the race is one of the most grueling in motorsports. Baja 1000 is an off-road race that takes place on Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula in November. The Baja 1000 is part of the SCORE Championship Desert Racing Series that include the Baja 500, San Felipe 250 and the new San Felipe Challenge of Champions. If you win, you’ll be in good company: Parnelli Jones, “Ironman” Ivan Stewart and “Lightning” Larry Ragland grace the list.
THE FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TROPHY
Awarded to only a handful of drivers, Sebastian Vettel is the youngest to ever receive the award. It may change in style, but never in status. Formula One is still the premier racing venue on this planet.
PEBBLE BEACH CONCOURS / AMELIA ISLAND CONCOURS D’ ELEGANCE (BEST OF SHOW)
Affluent collectors are eager to display their collection center pieces after a long winter and receiving “Best In Class” is a very high honor on the watercress sandwich circuit. Best of Show is Pâté de foie gras.
AMA MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP
The AMA is the major motocross series of the United States, being held since 1972. The series is sanctioned by the American Motorcyclist Association and managed by MX Sports Pro Racing. The championship trophy is awarded to both rider and manufacturer after a season of grueling rides.
MOTOGP WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
This is where the big boys like Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden play. Since 1949, this has been the treasure of two-wheeled racing.
THE RIDLER AWARD
The Ridler Award is given at the Detroit Autorama for the past 60 years, and is put on by the Michigan Hot Rod Association. The MHRA hired Don Ridler as a promotions agent and publicist for the show In 1957 and his masterful work helped gain attendance and grow the show. Ridler passed away in 1963, and The Ridler Award was established in 1964 in his honor. After judges go through the show floor and choose “The Great Eight”, the winner is chosen as most outstanding from among the cars being shown for the first time.
THE ROLEX 24HOURS OF DAYTONA
Since Grand Am and ALMS have kissed and made up, we will reserve their separate trophies for a later list. However, we will highlight one of their events. Pro drivers from all Racing Series try their hand at endurance racing for 24 hours on Daytona’s 3.56-mile special course. Winning drivers of all classes receive a steel Rolex Daytona watch….’nuff said! Oh yeah, they get a trophy too….
THE DAKAR RALLY
The Dakar rally used to take place between Paris and Dakar but has now been transferred to South America due to security reasons.
However, the Rally remains one of the greatest motoring challenges in the world. Captain Anthony Harris, who serves in the Royal Regiment, was part of the first team of disabled people to take part in the gruelling, 6,000-mile endurance race in 2013. Capt Harris is not alone. His co-driver was Corporal Tom Neathway, of 2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment. The disabled veterans finished the race in heroic fashion. To win this trophy is a valiant feat, indeed.
PIKES PEAK INTERNATIONAL HILL CLIMB
Also known as The Race to the Clouds, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is an annual automobile and motorcycle hill climb to the summit of Pikes Peak in Colorado. Sit down and talk with 2012 overall winner Rhys Millen (who also recorded the fastest time) for details.
FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
It is what the whole Audi vs. Lancia vs. Subaru vs. Mitsubishi battle is all about. We’ve lost some great drivers and discovered others. Here, winners become heroes and legends. This is a trophy for a man’s man. If you win it all here, you’ve earned it.
MOTOR TREND CAR OF THE YEAR
Just like the boys on the schoolyard, manufacturers contend for bragging rights. “Car of the Year” is the “King of the Hill”.
CAR AND DRIVER 10 BEST AWARD
You can drop this award in your advertising or plaster it in your showrooms. Heck, you can make it a trim level on your next model line! 10 Best is all about stability and quality.
J.D. POWER & ASSOCIATES
While Car & Driver and Motor Trend give you one-upmanship among your peers, the J.D. Power award determines whether or not people buy your car. Let’s face it, if J.D. says you’re good, you’re golden.
BRITISH TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP
The British Touring Car Championship was established in 1958 as the British Saloon Car Championship and was later renamed in 1987. Currently, the BTTC grants five championships per season. The overall driver’s championship is the driver gaining the most points overall throughout the season.
THE MONACO GRANP PRIX
The Monaco Grand Prix (Grand Prix de Monaco) is a Formula One motor race held each year on the Circuit de Monaco. Run since 1929, it is widely considered to be one of the most important and prestigious automobile races in the world, alongside the Indianapolis 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans (the Triple Crown of Motorsport). The circuit has been called “an exceptional location of glamour and prestige due to its history and scenery. The race is held on a narrow course laid out in the streets of Monaco with many elevation changes and tight corners as well as a tunnel, making it one of the most demanding tracks in Formula One. The race is considered to be dangerous, even though it has low average speeds. It is the only Grand Prix race that doesn’t meet the FIA’s mandated 305 kilometers (190 mi) minimum race distance.