Birchall Brothers thrilled with gigantic Fred Craner Trophy
Thursday 07 March 2019
Ben and Tom Birchall say they are incredibly honoured and surprised to have been awarded the prestigious Fred Craner Trophy. The trophy is presented to a British driver within the ACU Midland Centre area for outstanding achievements on the international stage.
If the name Craner rings a bell it is because the tough Derbyshire man was responsible for the legendary Donington Park Circuit becoming a reality, back in 1931. The former Isle of Man TT competitor and secretary of the Derby & District Motor Club approached the then owners of the estate to use the land for motor racing. Fred’s name lives on in the iconic ‘Craner Curves’ section of the track.
The trophy itself was last awarded in 1990 to former World Sidecar Champion Simon Birchall (no relation). However, the first name on the silverware is none other than Geoff Duke. Many other legends of the sport have been honoured with the award including Phil Read, Ron Haslam, Jock Taylor, and Mike Hailwood.
At a recent outing to the One Call stadium, home of local football club Mansfield Town FC, the Birchall brothers left the trophy with John and Carolyn Radford of One Call Insurance. It will be proudly displayed in the team’s cabinet and hopefully bring the yellows a little luck for the season.
Ben Birchall: “I have to be honest, I hadn’t heard of the trophy at first, but when we saw it, we were blown away by the size of it and the list of legendary previous winners. It’s such a huge privilege to see our names alongside such great icons in motorcycle racing. We’d like to thank the ACU and all involved for awarding it to us.”
Tom Birchall: “We’re really proud to receive the Fred Craner Trophy. It’s been in hiding for a few years so it’s nice they have brought it out for us in recognition of all our hard work over the last couple of years. It’s a real honour to be listed alongside sidecar legends such as Steve Webster and Tony Hewitt. It’s great that it’s come back to the East Midlands and back to Mansfield. I have to say a big thank you to everyone that has helped us achieve our success too, we’re aiming for more of the same in 2019.”
Birchall Racing continue to prepare for the forthcoming 2019 season and the defence of their World Championship and Isle of Man TT titles.