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Nico Mawhinney Wins Bertie Mann Award 2013

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Author Topic: Nico Mawhinney Wins Bertie Mann Award 2013  (Read 1318 times)
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« on: December 06, 2013, 10:14:16 am »

Castledawson’s Nico Mawhinney has been awarded the prestigious Bertie Mann Award for 2013, the 40th year of the presentation of the perpetual silver trophy and replica together with a cash award. It has however always been stressed that the honour is in winning the Award and that the monetary aspect is secondary.

The Bertie Mann Award is open to competitors under the age of 21 involved in road racing, MotoCross and trials, who are nominated by their MCUI Clubs and are judged by a distinguished panel to be the most outstanding in Ireland for that particular year.
Administrators of all ages are also eligible but are judged on their ability as innovators rather their efficiency at applying existing systems.

This is the only one of its type in Irish motorcycling although in the UK the Pinhard Prize is similar and is greatly coveted.

Nico has been around the race paddock from a young lad, as his Dad used to race (02/03), and also sponsored Craig Gibson, he also gave Darran Lindsay a hand in 2006.

In 2007 a young Nico got a Honda 125cc Grand Prix machine from Lincolnshire, an ex Sam Lowes spare bike. He rode it for two years before moving on to a 600cc Suzuki (which was previously raced by Craig Gibson), which he rode for two years finishing second in the 2010 Irish 600cc Clubman’s Championship, setting nine lap records in the process and became the youngest ever rider to win the Clubman’s Championship!
However, Nico topped the championship table in the 600cc Ulster Championships!

For 2011 his dad bought an ex TAS bike, Bruce Anstey’s 1000cc Superstock machine and despite many saying, that Nico was too young to be allowed into the Superbike class, the young student went on to win both Irish and Ulster Superbike Clubman’s Championships, also winning the Superstock class title.

For 2012, his father (Geoffrey) upgraded the bike to Superbike spec and Nico admitted it took him a full season to re-adjust to learning how to ride a Superbike fast.

This year, Nico put his experience to the test and along with a nail biting win at Kirkistown on Easter Monday, Nico continued to maintain consistency, by taking many podium finishes, culminating in winning, BOTH Irish and Ulster Superbike Championships, and again, was the youngest Irish rider to win an ISB title here in Ireland!.

Looking ahead, Nico wants to go to British championship level, but only if this can be affordable, He knows it will take a few seasons to learn the circuits in the UK, and is prepared to wait for the right chance to do so, if nothing materialises for 2014, the trusty Suzuki, is still capable of winning, and Nico is ready!

Who was Bertie Mann? - The programme for the 1972 Ulster Grand Prix carried a tribute to “Motor cycling’s great all-rounder” and described a career which included participation in practically every aspect of motorcycle sport combined with a leading role in its administration. Indeed he was unique in that while holding the highest office – President of the Motorcycle Union of Ireland – he also won the Ulster Centre 200cc Grass track Championship and also acted as Clerk of the Course at the then World Championship Ulster Grand Prix.

Who have been winners in the past? – Road Race, Motocross and Trials riders have all had their share of wins as the following list shows:-

1974 Don Cormican
1975 Steve Cull Road Racing
1976 Alan Garret
1977 Colin Bell
1978 Laurence Spence
1979 Alan Magee
1980 Stephen Russell
1981 Norman Brown Road Racing
1982 Harold Crawford
1983 Johnny Rea Road Racing
1984 Mark Farmer / Sean McStay Road Racing
1985 Gary Cowan Road Racing
1986 William Burgess
1987 Alan Morrison
1988 Alan Patterson RoadRacing
1989 Robert Crawford
1990 Mark McClenaghan
1991 David White
1992 S McCreery / B Steele
1993 Mark Coates Road Racing
1994 Andrew Perry
1995 Gordon Crockard
1996 David Mateer Road Racing
1997 Alan Marks
1998 Marty Nutt Road Racing
1999 Gareth Andrews
2000 Thomas Merton
2001 Michael Laverty Road Racing
2002 Harold McQuaid
2003 Jonathan Rea Road Racing
2004 Eugene Laverty Road Racing
2005 Martin Barr
2006 Michael Dunlop Road Racing
2007 B J Toal Road Racing
2008 Lee Johnston Road Racing
2009 Natalie Kane Road Racing
2010 Glenn Irwin Road Racing
2011 John Simpson Road Racing
2012 Andrew Irwin Road Racing
2013 Nico Mawhinney Road Racing

Nico is the twentieth road racer to receive the Bertie Mann Award.
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