Commemorating the Anniversary of the Tragic Death of Promising Young Racer, Neil Shanahan
It is exactly 20 years since the promising young Irish single-seater racer, Neil Shanahan, was killed in a crash at Oulton Park in the British Formula Ford Championship.
Dominic Ostrowski, BRSCC Competitions Director comments “Neil Shanahan was a promising single-seater racer with a bright future ahead of him. In honour of this true racer, Ford UK commissioned this trophy in 1999, which has been presented to our Formula Ford Festival winner each year by Neil’s parents, Liam and Mary, who make the pilgrimage from their Dublin home.
“Today marks the twenty-year anniversary of Neil’s death and it is only fitting that we and the current winning Formula Ford Festival team, Oldfield Motorsports, honour him.”
The Formula Ford championship has always been an excellent training ground for young drivers aiming to have a career in motorsport. The series has an inspiring alumnus of first-class drivers including Ayrton Senna, David Coulthard, Jenson Button, Eddie Irvine and Anthony Davidson. The reigning Ford Festival champion, Josh Smith, has gone onto be part of the 2109 McLaren Driver Development Programme.
It means that the legacy of Neil Shanahan and other young motor racing stars continues. Like many of today’s competitors, Neil began his racing career in karting and his impressive career included being runner-up in the Formula A1 Karting Championship and the winner of the Formula Ford DHL Star of Tomorrow. He went onto win the Ford of Ireland Championship and signed for the Van Diemen works team in 1999, where he was named the Motorsport News ‘Race Ace’ for an overtaking move which was fittingly made at Brands Hatch.
Neil Shanahan, 28th June 1979 – 31st May 1999.
The Neil Shanahan Memorial Trophy was commissioned by Ford UK in 1999. The porcelain trophy is awarded annually to the winner of the World Finals of the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch.
The Neil Shanahan Perpetual Trophy "The Chequered Flag" was commissioned by the Shanahan family, designed and made in silver and slate, the Perpetual Trophy is awarded annually to the Irish Junior Karting Champion.
This year’s Formula Ford Festival takes place at Brands Hatch, Saturday 26 - Sunday 27 October 2019
The current Formula Ford 1600 National championship is just one of the many run by the British Racing and Sports Car Club, www.BRSCC.co.uk.
Formula Ford 1600, the category powered by the legendary 1600cc “Kent” engine has been in operation for over 50 years since its inception.