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Bill Smith Special Merit Award

Monday November 25, 2019 at 10:53am
Bill Smith Special Merit Award
John Hiscock’s enormous contribution to Grasstrack racing has been recognised and rewarded by the ACU this winter. A near sixty-year career of racing came to an end at Frittenden in October this year, and the TRC have chosen to award Hiscock the coveted Bill Smith Special Merit Award for contributions to Grasstrack racing.

John, of Ringwood, Hampshire, began motorcycle racing at a very young age, beginning as a solo scramble racer. It wasn’t long before the speed and adrenaline of Grasstrack racing called to him, with his solo racing career beginning soon after.

But it is with sidecar racing that John Hiscock’s name became synonymous. He turned to sidecars in 1982, following his elder brother Vic into the three-wheeled classes. For his first few seasons, he took part in 500cc sidecar racing, competing in a thriving Southern Centre at this time.

After passengering brother Vic at the very first British Masters in 1982, it wasn’t long before Hiscock was turning to 1000cc Righthand Sidecars. What followed was a tremendous 37-year career of 1000cc sidecar racing.

Highlights of this illustrious career include 2 South Eastern Centre Championships, a Southern Centre Championship, an appearance in the FIM Sidecar Gold Trophy, two 3rd places at the International Ace of Aces and two runners-up spots in the International Bonfire Burnup. After the early Masters appearance as passenger, Hiscock went on to drive an outfit in 33 British Masters’ events, with his best finish fittingly occurring at Wimborne (his local circuit) in 2013.

A 37-year sidecar career included several memorable trips abroad to race in some of Europe’s most famous racing venues including Ludinghausen, Osnabruck, Dingolfing and Herxheim in Germany, and La Reole in France.

Hiscock was dutifully aided by several passengers over the years including Tony Bemister, Colin Bailey, Steve Bailey, Dave French, Mick Cave, Matt Sleep, Jason Gill, Laurence Tyrrell, Graham Ashby, Nick Walters, Gareth Bemister, Shane Lapham, Symon Wall and plenty of others.

It was with Carl Bell that Hiscock gained that memorable 6th position in the British Masters. Most recently, fellow legend of the sport Terry Madley has been crewing with him. What is probably most pleasing to Hiscock is that he was still on the pace at national level even in this final year of competition. A 33rd, and final appearance at the British Masters was granted due to a good performance at the British Masters Qualifier.

The presence of John Hiscock, Team Renegade and Sidecar 184 will leave a huge hole in the Grasstrack pits in 2020. Therefore, the Track Racing Committee could not think of a more fitting recipient for the Bill Smith Award for 2019. Hiscock will be awarded this at the Grasstrack Banter Awards, taking place on Saturday 4th February.

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