A MORAY doctor’s name has been added to a lengthy list of Scottish motorsport legends who have received a highly prestigious award.
Sir Jackie Stewart, David Coulthard, Steve Hislop, John Cleland and David Bogie are among the past winners of the Jim Clark Memorial Award, which each year is given to a Scot who has made a significant contribution to motorsport.
Top motoring engineers have also been presented with the trophy, which is handed over annually by the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers.
Dr John Harrington, a GP at Keith Health Centre, said he was delighted to have been named as the recipient for this year, during a presentation in Glasgow during the Commonwealth Games. He is the first medical professional to have been bestowed with the honour.
Dr Harrington has been responsible for organising medical and rescue services, at countless rounds of the Scottish Rally Championship, for the past 27 years,
He was also chief medical officer for the Rally of Scotland – an international event – during the three years it took place. “It was a great surprise and I was very flattered,” Dr Harrington told ‘The Northern Scot’ this week.
“It’s a very prestigious award, and it was a delight and a great surprise to me. It has usually gone to people who have excelled in the sport itself, or on the engineering side."
When Dr Harrington first became involved in rallying, only one doctor was required for an event, but this changed rapidly in the late-80s and early-90s. Nowadays, at least one doctor or paramedic, plus rescue and recovery units, are present on every stage of the rally.
Dr Harrington has worked hard to recruit and maintain a pool of medical professionals, who volunteer their services for each event. He has also spent time liaising with, and developing, links to the emergency services. “I have never competed and I have never got into a rally car competitively. It’s the safety side of it for me,” Dr Harrington said.