John Blanchard Senior Memorial Cup announced

Tim Blanchard is making a cameo appearance in Australian Formula Ford at Winton. Picture: Ross Gibb

The John Blanchard Senior Memorial Cup has been introduced to reward the Australian Formula Ford Series young gun of the year.

The late John Blanchard Snr, grandfather of Supercars Championship team owner Tim Blanchard, was a renowned supporter of young talent.

The perpetual trophy named in his honour will be awarded to a first-year driver in the national open-wheel competition, with voting criteria including improved speed, presentation, attitude, and growth.

“My family has been involved in Formula Ford for a long time and it’s a category that my grandfather loved. He was always a keen supporter of young drivers in Formula Ford,” said Tim Blanchard.

“This award is the perfect way to honour that legacy and continue our family’s involvement and investment in Formula Ford. It means a lot to all of us and it’s something that my grandfather would be proud of.

“There’s more to motor racing than outright speed and that’s what we want this award to reflect. This category is about learning and what we want to see is young drivers using Formula Ford to grow both in and out of the car.

“The driver who does that best is who will ultimately walk away with this special prize.

Tim Blanchard and Tim Slade with the John Blanchard Senior Memorial Cup

“I’d also like to thank Michael and Maria Ritter for helping to get this Memorial Cup implemented. It was their vision and it’s very humbling to know that it’s something that the next wave of talent will be racing for.”

Michael Ritter, owner of the Sonic Motor Racing Services team, was pleased to announce the concept.

“The Blanchard family has played a vital role in the development of young talent through the sport. It would be difficult to know where a category like Formula Ford would be without their passion and investment,” he said.

“John Blanchard Snr was a true supporter of Formula Ford, and a real believer in young talent.

“He was always very interested in seeing the next wave of talent come through the ranks, and this new Cup will give the next generation something extra to fight for.”

Tim Blanchard is making a cameo appearance in Australian Formula Ford this weekend at the Pizza Hut Winton SuperSprint.

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