Champion V8 driver Ashley Stichbury will be remembered with a brand new trophy bearing his name for the round winner of the forthcoming Father’s Day 400 V8 SuperTourer enduro race at Taupo on September 2.
May marked ten years since the late Hawkes Bay ace – aged just 30 - passed away at the height of his career following a brain haemorrhage. Both the Stichbury family and the Ashley Stichbury Memorial Trust believed the time was right to honour his memory with a permanent trophy.
Trust spokesperson Bill Dalton was approached by Roger Greaney of the AFRICA Racing Team with the idea and the Ashley Stichbury Memorial Trophy will now be presented in perpetuity to the round winner at any V8 SuperTourer meeting at the circuit.
“Ash would have been well into the SuperTourers and would have been right at home with the drivers,” said Greaney. “The AFRICA Racing Team was made up of a dozen or so old motorsport enthusiasts who used to help him out on and off the track and we thought it was a great idea. The family are completely behind it and we are hoping Ash’s son Zac will be there to present the winning driver of the Father’s Day 400 with the trophy honouring his dad.”
Greaney’s sentiments were echoed by four-time Bathurst winner Greg Murphy – who raced wheel-to-wheel regularly against Stichbury in the Hawkes Bay and throughout New Zealand.
“It is truly hard to comprehend that it was ten years in May since Ash passed away and left a huge hole in the NZ motorsport landscape,” said Murph. “I have no doubt V8 SuperTourers would have been something Ash would have had to be a part of and he would have relished the opportunity.
“Having the chance to race for his Memorial Trophy reminds us to reflect on a life that was unfairly cut incredibly short. Ash was the epitome of determination when it came to his racing. He was a guy who thrived on competition, made the most of every minute and kept everyone entertained.”