Re-named the Barrie Williams Trophy, the piece of silverware will now be handed down to each Clio Cup Champion in future.
Its origins date back to Brands Hatch some 30 years ago when, in front of a home F1 crowd, Whizzo overcame the might of overseas opposition to win Britain’s round of Renaultsport’s pan-European championship for its Alpine V6 Turbo sportscar.
Barrie has kindly offered it to become the Clio Cup Champion’s trophy and each year, after being presented to the new title-winner and engraved with their name, it will be kept pride of place in the main reception hall at Renault’s UK headquarters.
Barrie’s history with Renault UK’s racing championships dates back to the Seventies. He was one of the top names in Renault 5s, won the UK’s 5 GT Turbo crown in 1987 following his famous win at Brands Hatch two years earlier and competed in the first Clio Cup in the early Nineties. He’s even campaigned the likes of Renault Alpine A110s and a mid-engined 5 Turbo 2 up Prescott’s hillclimb course and in the Tour of Britain.
“I’ve been racing since I got my international licence in 1959 and don’t really know anything else but motor sport – Renault has always been so good to me down the years so I wanted to give something back,” he commented.
“As a lead into serious touring car and GT racing the Clio Cup is brilliant for a young driver – the racing is exceptionally close and really gets the drivers in the right frame of mind. I loved the opening round at Brands Hatch – what a race for the win – and I’m proud to hand over this trophy to the eventual Champion. Whoever wins it will be a real champion…”
Renault UK Clio Cup Championship Manager Will Fewkes said: “We thank Barrie greatly for his very generous offer. He is an all-time Renault racing great and knowing just how big a race it was when he won this trophy makes it even more special for our the Clio Cup and its champions in the years to come. We very much look forward to welcoming Barrie to Finals Day at Brands Hatch in October to make the presentation to our 2015 Champion.”
Meanwhile Barrie recalls that famous win in ’85 vividly, adding: “I was drafted in at the last by Jeff Goodliffe – very famous in Renault racing circles – who was running the car for the Dutch but the driver, Jan Lammers, didn’t want to drive because he said it wasn’t competitive.
“It all came down to a move with a lap to go going into Paddock Hill Bend when I went past one of the top international names for the lead. The crowd went mad and you really could hear them from inside the car.
“I had Murray Walker and James Hunt come up afterwards and say they’d lost their voices in the commentary box! I felt like an Olympic champion representing Great Britain standing up there on the podium with the National Anthem playing. Even better, Nigel Mansell who I’ve known for donkeys’ years got his first Grand Prix victory the next day.”
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