Team SMR

News

02 Dec 2016

MORRIS NAMED INAUGURAL ‘NEIL CUNNINGHAM MEMORIAL AWARD’ WINNER BY WRDA

Seb receiving his Award from Racheal Cunningham 

 

 

•    British GT race winner Seb Morris awarded new WRDA accolade

•    Welsh Racing Drivers Association selects Morris as first recipient

•    Marford ace ‘delighted’ and ‘honoured’ to receive prestigious award

•    Accolade established in memory of renowned racer Neil Cunningham

Highly rated racing driver Seb Morris is celebrating a prestigious addition to his trophy cabinet after being named the inaugural recipient of the new ‘Neil Cunningham Memorial Award’ during a special ceremony on Monday, 28th November, organised by the Welsh Racing Drivers Association.

Marford sportsman Seb, who finished his maiden season in the British GT Championship inside the coveted top three with one race victory and five other podiums to his credit, is absolutely elated to have been honoured in such a way.

Members of the WRDA established the accolade in memory of the late Neil Cunningham as a way of acknowledging the best racing talent emerging from Wales. Married father of two Cunningham, who tragically lost his life to the debilitating illness Motor Neurone Disease in May after a six-year battle, was born in New Zealand but came to make his home in Wales with wife Rachael.

As well as his exploits on the track, where he became a British GT race winner after previously racing single-seaters and saloon cars, Cunningham was also a stunt driver in the James Bond box office blockbuster Quantum of Solace.

“I’m delighted to have been awarded the Neil Cunningham Memorial Award”, commented an elated Seb, “May I thank the Welsh Racing Drivers Association, all of the guests and especially Rachael Cunningham. I am very honoured to be the first recipient of this award which is a fitting tribute to a great racing driver and wonderful person.”

During the evening a raffle and auction took place, a substantial donation from which is going to be made by the WRDA to the Racing4MND charity which Neil Cunningham established as a means of trying to find a cure for Motor Neurone Disease.

Robert Allender, WRDA President, commented: “There are lots of links between New Zealand, where Neil was born, and Wales where he came to live with his wife Rachael. Neil was just reaching out to clubs in Wales and he became known to myself and other members of the WRDA, but before we could build our relationship he was struck down by this horrible Motor Neurone Disease.

“We know Neil had a good career in single-seaters, saloons and especially GT racing, and we have several young drivers who are making names for themselves. So, after Neil passed on, we reached out to Rachael and she was happy to allow us to honour Neil in this way.”

He added: “She was especially pleased that our first choice was Seb Morris for his efforts in GT racing, but especially at Oulton Park where his drive secured the first [British GT] race win for Seb and his team-mate Rick Parfitt Jnr. It was at Oulton Park where Rachael first met Neil. He was interested in helping young drivers, so this award is something he would approve of.”

Seb’s next challenge will be his debut appearance in the world-renowned Rolex Daytona 24 Hours in January after winning a fully funded prize drive in the American endurance racing classic, as a result of topping this year’s Sunoco Whelen Challenge.