This weekend at King’s Lynn sees the annual running of the Trust Fund race which is open to all current red and superstar graded drivers and any drivers who held that grade at any point in 2019.
The Trust Fund was setup in 1976 following the tragic loss of Brian Wallace (119) at White City. Brian, from Farnworth in Lancashire, started racing in 1972 but was tragically killed in a crash at White City, Manchester in June 1976. Racing with a red roof, the throttle of the 119 car jammed open and crashed flat out into and almost through the safety fence. Following the incident many changes were brought into the sport with regard to car construction and safety fences. Brian won 40 races in total during his relatively short racing career including three Grand Finals, two at White City in 1973 and one at Aycliffe in 1974.
The Trust Fund was created to help the drivers and their loved ones in the event of injury or loss of life. The fund has helped a number of drivers and dependants over the years following accidents while racing.
The Trust Fund race started in 1977 and has been run every year since with various tracks playing host to this important race. The 2019 race returns to King’s Lynn for only the 3rd time having last held the race in 2003.
The defending champion of the Trust Fund trophy is Bobby Griffin (166) who took the title at Northampton last year and will be trying to go back to back.
Three other trophies will be raced for on Saturday, the first of these will be based on the following heat and is for the Steve Froggatt trophy which will be given to the first white, yellow or blue top to finish. Steve was from Sheffield and first registered as #510 in 1980 before taking the #240 for 1981. Not a prolific racer, Steve still managed two race wins. Both came in the same week in July 1982 with victories at his local track, Sheffield and at Rochdale. Steve was injured in a crash at Bradford at the end of May 1984. He was in intensive care in Leeds but never regained consciousness before passing away as a result of his injuries a few weeks later. Last year this trophy was won by Rob Plant (364)
The Grand Final will be for the Allan Barker Trophy. Allan racing under number 179 from the stock car breeding ground of Mirfield, West Yorkshire was one of the sport’s larger than life characters. He began racing in 1971 and remained registered until 1990 although his racing had curtailed somewhat by then. Allan was a prolific car builder but, ironically, one of his best seasons was when using the Stuart Smith second car!. Allan won 16 Grand Finals, the first at Aycliffe in 1973 with the last at Northampton in 1979. Allan ‘retired’ from the sport periodically and dropped down the grades accordingly with many of his Grand Final wins coming as a yellow or blue top. Allan was also actively involved behind the scenes in his later years with the BSCDA. Dan Johnson (4) took the trophy in 2018.
The final race of the meeting, the Grand National, will be for The Richard Ahern Trophy. Richie came from a racing family from Romford, Essex and originally raced for the Spedeworth organisation and then the breakaway SCOTA before coming into BriSCA Formula One in 1979. Richie won one Grand Final with SCOTA at Great Yarmouth in 1978 and then four with BriSCA at Northampton, Harringay, Sheffield and Leicester. Richie was injured in a crash at Coventry in 1981 and sadly never recovered from his injuries. The Ahern family continued with stock cars and supported Bobby Burns (471), also from Romford, and later with Darren Ahern also racing the 471 number. Bruce Potveer (H62) took this trophy in 2018.
Good luck to all drivers racing for these prestigious 4 memorial trophies.
During the meeting drivers will come amongst you with their helmets asking for donations, please give what you can to the Trust Fund.