The Segrave Trophy is awarded to a British subject with 'the Spirit of Adventure' for the most outstanding demonstration of transportation by land, air or water; the award was created in 1930 to commemorate the life of Sir Henry Segrave. This year’s Segrave celebration was the first of a number of events being held throughout 2011 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Royal Automobile’s Club House in Pall Mall.
Upon receiving the Segrave Trophy from Sir David Prosser, Chairman of the Royal Automobile Club, Newey said: "This is a huge honor for me and I should like to thank Ben Cussons and the nominations committee for their support. To receive a trophy with such an impressive history is very special and the occasion has been even more memorable because so many past winners are guests here."
As a measure of the high regard in which Newey is held in the motor sport world, the special guests at the award celebration included Sir Frank Williams CBE, Patrick Head, David Richards, Damon Hill OBE, Sir Jackie Stewart OBE, Sir Stirling Moss OBE, Paul Bonhomme, Nigel Mansell, Wing Commander Ken Wallis, Brian Milton, Steve Cutis MBE, Brian Lecomber, Joseph Ives, Tim Ellison, Louise Aitken-Walker MBE, Professor Gordon Murray, Brian Milton, Tony Mason, Peter Twiss OBE, and John Surtees. Many of whom, have been awarded the Segrave Trophy.
Adrian Newey gained a First Class honors degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the University of Southampton and immediately moved into Formula 1 with the Fittipaldi team. A year later, in 1980, he joined March and went on to design the team's GTP sports cars. A spell working with March in IndyCar followed before he returned to Formula 1 with the new Leyton House team as Technical Director. Although recognized as a talented designer, his skills didn't translate into results until he joined Williams F1 in 1990. Newey and Patrick Head at Williams F1 became the dominant design partnership winning four Formula One World Constructors' Championships. More titles followed when Newey moved to McLaren in 1997. In 2006 he joined Red Bull Racing and by 2010 Newey's latest design (the RB6) was the class of the field, taking 15 pole positions and nine race wins to secure both drivers' and constructors' championships.
Outside the F1 arena, Newey collects sports cars and has competed in Le Mans Legend races as well as the Goodwood Revival meeting, winning the TT Race in 2009. In 2007, he and his co-drivers finished fourth in class in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Last year he took part in the Goodwood Festival of Speed in a Red Bull RB5. Newey was also involved as Chief Technical Officer for the Gran Turismo 5 video game.
Sir Henry Segrave was the first British driver to win a Grand Prix in a British car, at the French Grand Prix at Tours in 1923, the first to hold both the land and water speed records simultaneously and the first person to travel at over 200mph (320km/h) in a land vehicle. On June 13, 1930 he broke the water speed record on Windermere in the Lake District. On the return run his boat capsized after hitting a log. He was rescued and taken unconscious to hospital. He briefly regained consciousness and asked ‘Have I broke the record?’ He was told of his achievement before dying moments later.
Ben Cussons, Chairman of the Segrave Trophy Nominations Committee, says: “Sir Henry’s widow, Lady Doris, recognized the challenges that ‘De Hane’ faced and the sacrifices that he had to make to achieve so much. She was determined that the great achievements of Segrave’s spiritual successors should not go unrecognized. Sir Henry and Lady Doris would be rightfully proud of this year’s winner’s achievements."
The citation determines that it, ‘… shall be awarded to the British subject who, in the judgment of the Awarding Committee, accomplishes the most outstanding demonstration of the possibilities of transport by land, air or water.’
In coming to its decision the Committee was guided by the following paragraph extracted from the original memorandum announcing the institution of the Trophy: 'The simple idea behind this tribute to Sir Henry Segrave is to stimulate others also to uphold British prestige before the world by demonstrating how the display of courage, initiative and skill – the Spirit of Adventure itself – can assist progress in mechanical development.’