richardaucock32posted by Richard Aucock
Chairman of the Guild of Motoring Writers

The release date for Ron Howard’s motorsport epic Rush, recounting the story of James Hunt and Niki Lauda’s battle for the 1976 Formula 1 World Championship, has been set for 13 September 2013…

… but did you know the Guild of Motoring Writers is to feature in the film too?

Hunt was named Guild Driver of the Year in 1976 for winning the World Championship. However, he was also our Driver of the Year in 1973. It is this prizegiving ceremony that will be recreated in the film.

The 1973 season was when Hunt first entered the Grand Prix Championship with the Hesketh Racing Team, driving a March. In his fourth race he finished third and he ended the season with second place at the US Grand Prix.

It was for his immediate impact on the Formula 1 scene, despite being viewed by rivals as a party loving amateur (we’re sure this will be depicted vibrantly in the film…) that Hunt was chosen as the Guild’s Driver of the Year.

And so to Rush. To help depict the 1973 trophy presentation scene, the Guild loaned the film-makers a replica of its Driver of the Year Trophy. This carries the names of Grand Prix legends such as Juan Manuel Fangio, Graham Hill, Jackie Stewart, Jim Clark, Stirling Moss, Mike Hawthorn, John Surtees, Jack Brabham, Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill, Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton.

In recent years the Guild Driver of the Year Award has evolved and now celebrates up and coming talent in motorsport. Recent winners include Nick Tandy (now a Porsche works driver), Oliver Turvey (McLaren F1 test driver) and Tom Kimber-Smith (triple Le Mans winner, ALMS driver).

See it as our rising racing star award – with today’s winners hoping to join past greats in the record books.

As for the period prizegiving, no records exist in the Guild archives as to what form the ceremony took – but we believe the film producers are setting it in the Café de Paris. We can but dream: as there are no members in active correspondence who were at the ceremony, we could almost take it as fact…

The film makers actually borrowed the trophy twice from us – they later decided to film a scene shot in Hunt’s flat, showing the trophy in a different setting. In what context, we don’t yet know – we’ll find out on opening night.

Indeed, the whole Guild link with Rush is yet to be seen. I visited the film set at Blackbushe last year but the team there were giving nothing away. Come 13th September, we’ll be on the edge of our seats to see how the final result looks. Fingers crossed for good reviews of the Guild’s big screen debut…

www.rushmovie.com