Memory of a star honoured
As motorbike fans head to Oliver's mount this coming weekend, they will be watching a race named in memory of one of motorsport's shining lights.
Bob Smith, the 1981 British ACU Solo Champion, has had the Spring National Cup named after him – which will take place at the circuit he lost his life at in 1983 at the age of 32.
Smith, born in Liverpool before moving to Winstanley with his wife Lynda, was tipped to reach the top of his sport before fate intervened during a round of the 500cc British Championships in September 1983.
Smith’s brother-in-law Mike Frodsham said the rider’s family were thrilled with the news.
“It’s a great honour and a fitting tribute to a great bloke and a great rider,” said Frodsham.
“Oliver’s Mount was one of his favourite circuits, and when he lost his life there he was just getting to the point where he was one of the top riders in the UK.”
Oliver’s Mount was also the scene of one of Bob’s famous victories in 1981 - beating two time world champion barry Sheene in front of 20,000 race fans. He also beat Wayne Gardner, who went on to become 500cc Moto GP World Champion the same year.
Having started racing in the ‘70s, Smith finished second in the British championship after leading the title race up until the last round, having to wait until ‘81 for his turn at the top of the podium.
He was also the first ever winner of the UK Battle of the Twins at Donington Park riding Gary Bryan’s RGB Weslake and was a member of the 1982 Transatlantic Trophy Team captained by Barry Sheene which were victorious over the USA.
Frodsham added: “It is a fitting tribute that the circuit and The Auto 66 Club have named a race meeting in his honour.”