You are not signed in. Click here to sign in
Go back

MSA recognises 94-year-old racer Tom Delaney with first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award
Tom received the award from outgoing MSA Chairman John Grant at the MSA`s headquarters at Colnbrook, Berkshire.

“It`s a lovely gesture from the MSA,” says Tom. “I`ve enjoyed the racing all the way through. I know I have to pass a medical check each year, but to be honest I think that racing has helped keep me in shape. Each time I get in the car I feel 21 again!

“I don`t mind losing a race. I don`t expect to win all the time. If I know I`m not going to win I`ll pick on someone who is of my performance and go and have a scrap with them. I don`t think there`s a year goes by that I don`t win a race.”

Colin Hilton, Chief Executive of the MSA comments: “Tom`s story is amazing and the MSA is privileged that he should be the first recipient of its Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a shining example of how to go and enjoy motor sport.”

Tom`s appearances on Britain`s circuits are incredible not just because of his age but also due to the fact he still drives the very same car he started racing with some 75 years ago – his pride and joy, a Lea-Francis Hyper.

The car – which Kay Don had driven to victory in the inaugural Tourist Trophy in Ireland in 1928 – was bought as a present to get Tom started, by his father, Terry Delaney, himself a racer going back to pre-1900 days.

Tom got off to a flying start with the Lea-Francis, taking pole position for and leading the TT in 1930. Then at one of Donington Park`s very first races in 1932, he recalls: “I passed them all, including Dick Seaman in a Bugatti, but couldn`t quite catch ER Hall on his Magnette before the end of the race.” Tom also competed for many years at the world-famous banked Brooklands circuit in the UK, against the likes of land speed record holder Malcolm Campbell.

Nowadays, Tom competes in vintage races and in 2005 at Silverstone collected another piece of silverware to add to his “cupboard full of trophies”.

Tom adds: “I suppose my favourite circuits are Silverstone, because you can go like hell around there, and Donington, because it`s a different kind of challenge. I`ve raced at Rockingham as well, but they said it was going to be banked…well it is, but it`s nothing like Brooklands. Now that was steep.”