World champion sidecar team Birchall Racing have been awarded the prestigious Fred Craner Trophy, which will be housed at Mansfield Town’s One Call Stadium.
The trophy is presented to a British driver within the ACU Midland Centre area for outstanding achievements on the international stage in racing - and the Birchall brothers hope it will bring the Stags some luck in their promotion bid.
Birchall brothers Ben and Tom were pictured handing over the silverware to Mansfield Town chairman John Radford and CEO Carolyn Radford at a recent match.
The trophy, which includes legends of the sport Geoff Duke, Phil Read, Ron Haslam, Jock Taylor, and Mike Hailwood from years gone past, will be proudly displayed in the team’s cabinet.
Tom Birchall said: “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.”
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).
Ben Birchall added: “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.”
Birchall Racing continue to prepare for the forthcoming 2019 season and the defence of their World Championship and Isle of Man TT titles.