• Motor sport legend Ken Smith MBE wins Neil Nelson Award

    At 67 Ken Smith MBE is one of the oldest currently active racing drivers in the world.

    And today he became the ninth recipient of the New Zealand Guild of Motoring Writers’ premiere accolade, the Neil Nelson Award, for his significant contribution to the motoring industry.

    The award, started in 1998, honours the memory of the late Neil Nelson of Palmerston North, a former president of the Guild, and previous recipients have included ex Formula One driver Chris Amon and motor retail supremo Colin Giltrap.

    “The Neil Nelson Award is not just about achievement,” said NZGMW president John Oxley. “It’s about going that extra mile to help other people.

    “Like many of those before him Ken spent his life pursuing the motor sport dream.

    “He started at a time when New Zealand motor sport was riding high on the world stage, and indeed has driven against some of the world’s greats.

    “But he has still found time to mentor and pass on his experience and knowledge to younger drivers, and has seen his labours bear fruit by once more bringing New Zealand names into the global limelight – names such as Scott Dixon, the US Indy Car champion, Matt Halliday, Christina Orr, Nelson Hartley and his  brother Brendon.

    “To be nominated for the award it’s not enough to just do your job or your calling – it takes passion and commitment above and beyond the norm”.


    Further inquiries contact NZMWG President John Oxley 021 784 771

    Ken Smith may be contacted on 027 440 8456

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