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Jaguar and the Guild of Motoring Writers marked 50 years of the Sir William Lyons Award at a celebration dinner in central London – and presented the latest award to 18-year-old Helèna Hicks.

Helèna (seen above with, left to right: Ian Callum, Andrew Noakes and Michael Quinn) is aged 18 from Colchester, is a keen motorsport fan and an aspiring journalism student. Her entry included an interview with Colombian GP3 driver Tatiana Calderón. She has just begun a placement at Autosport magazine as a junior reporter.

Helèna said: “I’m thrilled to have received the Sir William Lyons Award and hope to match the success of previous winners. The industry is incredibly competitive, so having The Guild’s seal of approval and support is fantastic!” 

Judge and Guild committee member Richard Aucock added: “Heléna’s entry was engaging, professional and showed great promise. Helèna is clearly ambitious and, despite being just 18 years old, has already had some significant achievements in her writing career. I am confident the award will help accelerate this.”

Guests at the dinner included Jaguar Design Director Ian Callum, Sir William Lyons’s grandson Michael Quinn, Guild vice president Ray Hutton and chairman Andrew Noakes, and previous winners Richard Aucock, Andrew Brady, Jonathan Noble, Tim Pollard and Alistair Weaver.

The award gave many notable winners their big break into the industry. Previous winners include Tony Dron, David Vivian, Angus Frazer, Mark Bishop, Tom Barnard, Tom Callow and Rhian Angharad Jones.

Ian Callum said: "The motoring media not only plays an integral role in my work as a designer, but also encouraged my early love for the industry. It's great to see Jaguar continue the work of Sir William Lyons in supporting the next generation of talent. I look forward to being interviewed by Helèna one day."

“I am pleased the award is still taken so seriously,” Michael Quinn added. “I recall visiting my grandfather as a youngster and all the motoring press he had delivered to his home each week. I would read everything and this gave me an early indication as to the high esteem in which he held motoring journalism. I hope this award continues to go from strength to strength.”

Former Jaguar Senior Press Officer Jon Morgan was also remembered during the evening. Jon was working with the Guild on exciting developments for the Sir William Lyons Award at the time of his sad death in March 2016; the 50th anniversary celebration is the first fruit of his efforts.

The Guild and Jaguar are working to carry through some of Jon’s other innovations. Exciting developments for the future of the Sir William Lyons Award will be revealed later in 2017.