HERO-ERA’s annual award ceremony took place within the historic walls of the Royal Automobile Club, Pall Mall, on Friday evening (19th Jan) to applaud the success of their competitors in 2023. The celebrated and historic venue is the traditional home of the awards, which offered an opportunity to reflect on the achievements of competitors in 2023 and look ahead to the year to come.
During an on-stage interview with Magneto’s Editorial Director David Lillywhite, HERO-ERA’s Chairman Tomas de Vargas Machuca highlighted the group’s work with bringing new talent into the sport, with the Bob Rutherford Historic Rallying Scholarship and the brand-new Rally of the Ages event, as well as the continued investment in sustainable fuels and finding more carbon neutral ways to go rallying. The near future was also very much on his mind, with the long-awaited Peking to Paris Rally just a few months away, which Tomas is competing in, an event that he described as Epic and one that he cannot wait to undertake.
Future issues aside, the focus of the awards is always the winners of the HERO-ERA Cup for the best overall driver and Golden Roamer Trophy award for the best overall navigator, fought over the eligible HERO-ERA events across the season and always hotly contested. This year the HERO-ERA Cup went to popular driver Klaus Müller, with his faithful and triumphant Lancia Fulvia displayed in the club’s famous Rotunda. Speaking of his success Klaus paid tribute to the four navigators that have sat with him this year, including his wife, Ilona. He joked that their in-car communication was always calm, a fact that was not always true at home!
The Golden Roamer Trophy was awarded to Klaus’s regular navigator, Rolf Pellini, the unequivocal winner, leading the table by 70.75 points come the season’s end. Upon accepting his award, he said it was incredible that eight years after starting rallying he was seeing his name carved into the trophy, even more incredible with all of the names that are already on the trophy, a list of luminaries that he has looked up to over the years.