The Royal Automobile Club has presented the prestigious Segrave Trophy to hillclimb racer Robin Shute for being the first and only British driver to have claimed overall victory at Pikes Peak.
The Nominations Committee had chosen Shute to be the latest recipient of the Trophy – which is awarded to a British subject who demonstrates ‘the spirit of adventure’ – even before he added a third Pikes Peak win in June 2022. There are certainly few adventures in the motorsport world that can match the fearsome Colorado hillclimb, which is held on a 12.42-mile course that climbs through 156 dramatic turns to an altitude of 14,115ft at the summit finish line. There must be even fewer events for which the intrepid drivers need an oxygen supply.
Speaking at the presentation lunch, Ben Cussons, Chairman of the Royal Automobile Club, said: ‘We are delighted to present the Segrave Trophy for 2021 to Robin Shute in recognition of his achievements at Pikes Peak. It was Lady Segrave’s wish that the trophy should celebrate those who have shown outstanding skill, courage and initiative, and there can be no doubt that Robin has done exactly that in conquering the unique challenge to become ‘King of the Mountain’. The fact that he has added a third victory this year is even more impressive.’
Norfolk-born Shute took his latest win in what was the 100th running of the legendary American hillclimb – in the process overcoming cold and wet conditions, as well as thick cloud towards the summit. Having set the fastest-ever qualifying time for an internal combustion car, Shute was in a class of his own aboard his 550bhp, 2.1-litre Wolf TSC-FS, and his time of 10 minutes 9.525 seconds was 25 seconds clear of his nearest competitor.
Previous winners at Pikes Peak have included the likes of 1978 Formula 1 World Champion Mario Andretti, and rally legends Michele Mouton, Walter Röhrl, Ari Vatanen and Sébastien Loeb.
Shute said: ‘Receiving this prestigious award is a huge honour. There are so many great names among the past winners and – as someone who has a passion for speed records – I have an enormous amount of respect for Sir Henry Segrave and everything that he achieved. To win a trophy awarded in his honour is very special.’