Prince Michael Award of Merit Stuart Turner (left) receives the Prince Michael Award of Merit from HRH Prince Michael of Kent, President of the Motor Sports Council.
Stuart Turner's nearly 60 years of distinguished service to motor sport as competitor, competitions manager, award-winning public speaker, author and volunteer were recognised last week when he was presented with the Prince Michael Award of Merit. He received the award from HRH Prince Michael himself, during the annual Motor Sports Council dinner at the Royal Automobile Club, Pall Mall.
The Prince Michael Award of Merit is the Motor Sports Association's most prestigious individual award. Although the Motor Sports Council (the sporting commission of the Motor Sports Association) has the power to make this award annually to a maximum of two recipients, it is only given out when 'a meritorious service to British motor sport' is judged to have been given.
As a young man, Stuart Turner became the UK Champion Rally Navigator for three years running, going on to become Sports Editor of Motoring News and then competitions manager for the British Motor Corporation, during which time the company triumphed on the world stage. He later held the position of Ford of Britain Competitions Manager, Director of Public Affairs and, finally, Ford Director of Motorsport for Europe, playing a key role in the development of a series of iconic competition vehicles, which also achieved many victories in world championships and international competitions.
He has written around 20 books on subjects as varied as public speaking, public relations, organising business functions, securing sponsorship, motorsport and building and renovating cottages.
Stuart Turner has also spent a great deal of his time helping with initiatives to improve safety in motorsport as a trustee and now voluntary Chief Executive of the Motorsport Safety Fund charity. In this role he has helped the organisation secure an international reputation for producing training booklets and resources to improve the safety of competitors, officials and spectators in motor sport, and which have been used as training aids in many countries across the world.
His contribution to motorsport has also been recognised by his appointment as an Individual Special Member of the Motor Sports Council, on which he has served since 1992.
On receiving the award, Stuart said:
"I have been extremely fortunate to be able to spend nearly 60 years doing something that I enjoy. I am honoured to receive this award and if I thanked all the people that have helped me throughout my career, we'd be here until midnight. But in particular I would like to thank Prince Michael, the MSA and, of course, my wife Margaret with whom I shall celebrate 49 years of marriage this week."
Commenting on the award Graham Stoker, Chairman of the Motor Sports Council, said:
"Stuart's career has been long and distinguished and he continues to have a huge influence throughout the sport. His integrity, honesty, high personal standards and the wide respect in which he is held make him a unique figure in motorsport and highly deserving of this prestigious award."
Editors' note: The terms of the Prince Michael Award of Merit are well defined and strictly adhered to in considering nominations. The qualification of 'meritorious service' encompasses the following definitions: distinguished services or significant contribution to British motor sport; outstanding achieving in British motor sports; a conspicuous or exemplary act of bravery or courage or heroism while competing in or officiating at a British motor sport event.
The previous winners of the Prince Michael Award of Merit are:
1991 Jack Romain
1992 Tony Bird
1993 Peter Cooper & Tony Fletcher
1994 John Felix & George Hall
1995 Brian Molyneux
1996 Tom Dooley & Dick Newsum
1997 Alec Rivers-Fletcher & Donald Grieve
1998 Michael Fenwick & Keith Douglas
2000 Bob Rae
2002 Tony Reynolds
2004 Ken Walker
2007 Colin Rossborough
2008 Stuart Turner