Named for the legendary Scottish driver, the Jim Clark Memorial Award is awarded annually to a Scottish citizen who has made a difference to motor racing. The 2007 recipient is TV host Lee McKenzie. 28 year old Lee has been chasing her journalistic dreams since the ripe old age of 15 and has covered F1, DTM, Porsche Supercup and currently is traveling with A1GP. She even got her WRC co-driver’s license and has competed in several WRC rounds, proving that she can put her knowledge of the sport to good use inside the car as well as on screen.
Ford Media release after the break
GLENEAGLES, Scotland, 19 May, 2007 — The Association of Scottish Motoring Writers has awarded 28-year-old Lee McKenzie, TV motorsport presenter and rally co-driver, the prestigious Jim Clark Memorial Award for 2007. It has been given in recognition of her unique style and professional approach towards TV presenting which has seen Lee travel more than 300,000 miles in two years, more than 12 times around the world, to report on various high-profile motorsport events for ITV, Channel 5 and Sky.
The Jim Clark Memorial trophy, sponsored by Ford, is awarded to Scottish people who have made a major contribution to the world of motoring. Previous winners include Sir Jackie Stewart, Colin McRae, Tom Walkinshaw, Alan McNish, Robert Reid and, last year, jointly to Ian and Moray Callum, designers at Jaguar and Ford.
Presenting the award, Stephen Park, president of the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers, said: “The Jim Clark award has always been about acknowledging the success of Scots who work in various aspects of the automotive industry and awarding our accolade to Lee McKenzie highlights this.
“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s usually the drivers who are crowned in glory and have celebrity status but if it wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t for the TV presenters we probably wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be aware of their on-track achievements. The personable presenting style of people like Lee is what makes viewers switch on each week and tune in to motorsport programmes and the ASMW wish her every success for the future.”
Lee, from Ayr, also has an international co-drivers licence, which she was challenged to achieve as part of the ITVÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ‘Speed Sunday’ programme. Coached by former World Champion co-driver Robert Reid from Perth (a previous Jim Clark Award winner), Lee successfully completed several British rounds and the WRC event Rally GB and has since gone on to compete in selected rounds of the Norwegian championship.
The Jim Clark Memorial Award is named after Jim Clark who, in a Lotus 49 at the Dutch Grand Prix in 1967, gave Ford its first ever Formula One win with the new Ford-Cosworth V8 Grand Prix engine.
Collecting the award, Lee said: ” Winning this award really means so much to me. There are some great names already on the trophy and some are very good friends. The first thing I did was phone a couple of drivers and show off! They are used to winning but I am not! Robert Reid won the trophy when he won the World Rally Championship with Richard Burns and he was my mentor throughout my rally training so it is very special to have my name on the same trophy.
“I am missing a round of DTM to be here and I flew in from Europe after covering four events in four cities in four days for Champ Car and shortly head away again for the Monaco Grand Prix so winning a trophy, named after such a legend makes the hotels and jet-lag seems much more bearable! I absolutely love my job and I know I am very lucky.”
“Anytime I compete I have the Saltire on my overalls. I am very proud to be Scottish and it never fails to amaze me the amount of talent we have coming out of this small country. The drivers are the brave ones who deserve the praise. I just talk a lot on TV!”
Lee began her career at the age of 15 writing a column for an Ayrshire weekly newspaper and went on to work for Bernie EcclestoneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s FOM. She moved to Border TV where she became the youngest person in the UK to read the 6 oÃ¢â‚¬â„¢clock news. After a stint covering horse racing for Channel 4, At the Races, Lee was poached by ITV to cover their motorsport, Speed Sunday, GP2 and Porsche Supercup. Now she travels the world with A1GP, presenting the series in over 80 countries and for Sky Sports and also attends F1 and DTM. Lee also has a PR company looking after several high profile drivers and teams on the world stage.