CAMBRIDGE AWARDS FIRST EVER MOTOR SPORT 'BLUE' TO BRITISH SUPERSTAR
Rising British Formula 3 Superstar, Oliver Turvey, will made history at Silverstone yesterday when he received the first ever Cambridge Blue to be awarded for motor sport.
The Extraordinary Full Blue was presented to the 21 year-old racing driver and engineering undergraduate at Silverstone by Secretary of the University Men's Blues Committee, Dr John Little.
Turvey – funded by the not-for-profit Racing Steps Foundation – currently lies third in the British F3 International Championship and is to be weighed up later in the year for a drive in an F1 feeder series.
"I'm immensely proud to be receiving this award," he said. "It's a huge honour for me personally, long overdue recognition for motorsport generally and is a welcome reflection of the tremendous support I've received over the years from so many people."
The fourth year undergraduate who has successfully juggled university and racing commitments throughout the year added: "It's been an extraordinary year for me in more ways than one.
"The Racing Steps Foundation stepped in and saved my racing career with a fully-funded drive with Carlin Motorsport, the most successful team in F3. I've come through my third year at university successfully. And now I'm to get a Full Blue.
"The plan now is to cap it off with the F3 Championship."
Turvey – who so far this season has raced to eight podium finishes including two wins – will turn his attention back to the championship immediately after receiving his Blue. Rounds 17 and 18 of the 2008 campaign take place at Silverstone on Saturday.
Dr John Little, Secretary of the Cambridge University Men's Blues Committee, said: "We judged Oliver's outstanding achievements on the race track to be wholly worthy of this, the first ever Full Blue for Motorsport."
The RSF driver's achievements have also caught the eye of BRDC President and 1996 F1 World Champion Damon Hill who will attend the presentation.
Hill, who oversaw Turvey's enrolment on the elite BRDC Superstars programme earlier this year, said: "His commitment to his education, in addition to his driving career is unusual in motor sport and sets new standards of aspiration and attainment."
As an early supporter of Turvey, Britain's 'Mr Karting', Martin Hines – the man credited with discovering Lewis Hamilton – will also be present. He describes the RSF driver as "a champion in waiting".
During the course of the Silverstone weekend Turvey will receive further recognition. On Saturday RSF ambassador John Surtees is to present him with the Dunhill 'Future Champion' prize.
The award, made last month by Goodwood Festival of Speed founder Lord March, aims to pinpoint the up-and-coming British driver with the best chance of lifting a top motorsport title.
Oliver is a fourth year undergraduate at Fitzwilliam College, studying Engineering. He will be completing his Masters degree next year on F1 aerodynamics - and will graduate with BA (Hons) and M.Eng degrees.
Tony Purnell, his visiting professor at Cambridge, former head of the F1 Jaguar / Red Bull Racing operation and now advisor to world motor sport governing body the FIA says: "This will give him an 'unfair advantage' as Formula 1 starts to use hybrid and emission-reducing technology."
Graham Sharp, founder of the Racing Steps Foundation, added: "It's fantastic to see everything coming together for Oliver after a dire shortage of funds threatened to end his racing career prematurely."