Guild Awards 2014: The winners

In front of a capacity audience at the Royal Automobile Club in London, which included HRH Prince Michael of Kent, Guild President Nick Mason and BRDC President Derek Warwick, 27 awards were presented on the night, including several with multiple categories. Some writers scooped more than one award and there were many first-time award winners too.

The biggest award of the night was for the Renault UK Journalist of the Year. The category was as hotly fought as ever. Alistair Weaver was revealed as the 2014 winner for a series of films he made for ITV on the history of the British Touring Car Championship. Writers Ben Oliver and Mark Tisshaw were joint runners up.

Weaver also scooped the Mercedes-Benz Award for the Montagu of Beaulieu Trophy, with Davide Bassoli and Gordon Bruce as runners up.

New and young writers were well represented at the event. Stephen Kilbey collected the Sir William Lyons Sponsored by Jaguar Award after an outstanding social media campaign over the past few weeks. There was a high-profile announcement on stage for Stephen, too – his prize, for the first time, would include a place on the 2015 Mille Miglia event.

The Phil Llewellin Student of the Year Sponsored by CAR Award was won by Emma-Louise Pritchard and presented with the help of Phil’s widow, Beth Llewellin.

For these writers, the headlineauto Young Writer of the Year Award represents the next step in the Guild’s development programme, and was won this year by Hal Ridge.

Blogger John Redfern was awarded the first Motoring Research Breakthrough Blogger of the Year Award, while professional new media expertise was recognised with the Newspress New Media Award, won by Chris Davies.

The PFPR Editor of the Year proved to be a tough call in 2014 – so tough, judges found it impossible to split the top two. Both What Car? Editor Jim Holder and Motor Sport Editor Damien Smith thus shared the prize and the title.

The Rider and Driver of the Year awards were presented by Derek Warwick and Guild Chairman Guy Loveridge, with former winner Tom Sykes scooping the Rider trophy and Jolyon Palmer winning the Driver prize – the second time in Guild history that a former winner’s son has also won the award. Another former Driver of the Year, Richard Noble, collected the Kia Award for Motoring, for combining educational work and boundary pushing with the Bloodhound SSC project.

John Surtees, World Champion on both two wheels and four, was awarded The Guild’s President’s Trophy, for his motorsport achievements and setting up the Henry Surtees Foundation. John’s daughter Leonora Surtees collected the Trophy on his behalf.

The much-anticipated event at The Guild’s spiritual home also saw its 70th anniversary celebrated. HRH Prince Michael of Kent helped cut a commemorative cake and a special booklet looking back through 70 years of Guild history was produced; all attendees received both to take away.

HRH Prince Michael of Kent also revealed scoop news on the night: the London Motor Show, he announced, will return in May 2016, to be held at Battersea Power Station to complement the existing Goodwood Festival of Speed Moving Motor Show and Canary Wharf Motorexpo events.

The 2014 Guild of Motoring Writers Award Winners

(click thumbnails for full-size images)

Award titleWinnerCommended
AA EnvironmentAlex GrantDavid Williams 
Audi Photographic – GeneralNick Dimbleby (collected by John Brooks)Alisdair Cusick
Audi Photographic – MotorsportJakob EbreyMartyn Goddard
Automotive PR Consumer JournalistJames RuppertJames Foxall
Bentley Motors InternationalBen OliverDale Drinnon
BCA Feature Writer of the YearDale Drinnon 
Cummins Bus and Truck Writer of the YearBrian Weatherley 
Headlineauto Young Writer of the YearHal Ridge 
IAM Safety Award in memory of Christopher Bullock MBEDavid Williams 
Phil Llewellin Student of the Year Sponsored by CAREmma-Louise Pritchard (collected by Paul Nieuwenhuis) 
Sir William Lyons Award Sponsored by JaguarStephen Kilbey 
Market Engineering Automotive TechnologyWilliam Kimberley (collected by Chris Pickering)James Scoltock
Mercedes-Benz Award for the Montagu of Beaulieu Trophy1st Alistair Weaver
2nd Davide Bassoli
3rd Gordon Bruce
Motoring Research Breakthrough Blogger of the YearJohn Redfern 
Newspress New MediaChris Davies (collected by Chris Adamson) 
Peugeot Motorsport CupMaurice Hamilton 
PFPR Editor of the YearDamien Smith and Jim Holder 
Pemberton TrophySue Baker 
President’s TrophyJohn Surtees (collected by Leonora Surtees) 
Prova PR Business WriterJohn MaslenJames Baggott
Renault UK/GoMW Journalist of the Year1st Alistair Weaver
2nd Ben Oliver
3rd Mark Tisshaw
RM Auctions Classic Writer of the YearBen OliverDavid Burgess-Wise
David Lillywhite
Skoda Design AwardPaul Horrell (collected by Ray Hutton) 
Skoda Video AwardAlex Goy 
Rider of the YearTom Sykes 
Driver of the YearJolyon Palmer 
Special Award for Contribution to Motoring, sponsored by Kia Motors UKRichard Noble 

Congratulations to all those named above, and the Guild is particularly grateful to all existing and new sponsors for their support in 2014.