1950 Leinster Trophy
This weekend sees the Leinster Trophy event return to Mondello Park circuit. The event is steeped in history, however the first ever winner of the prestigious trophy was a lady, Fay Taylour, and became known as ‘Flying Fay’.
The 1st ‘Leinster Trophy’
The event was first held as a road race in Skerries in 1934, this is the landmark event in the Irish motorsports calendar.
The Leinster Trophy has been awarded for over 70 years and previous winners include Formula One World champions Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and Mike Hawthorn, five-time Grand Prix winner John Watson and former F1 team owner Eddie Jordan.
It was first awarded in 1934 to woman driver Fay Taylour, and has been an integral part of the Irish motor racing calendar ever since.
Fay Taylour was born in Birr, Co. Offaly on the 5th April 1904. Educated in Dublin Taylour left college and went to England and started to race motorcycles. During the 1920s, she took up motorcycle trials and grass track racing and became a major attraction. Then she changed track, going for speedway racing, which was more spectacular and paid better. She was already travelling the world, becoming a familiar speedway competitor and a big attraction for the crowds in both England and Australia.
Taylour eventually switched to racing cars in 1931. Competing in a women’s handicap race at Brooklands in the autumn, driving a Talbot 105. In a similar race at Brooklands in the autumn of the following year, she came second, lapping at 113.97 mph. After this particular race, in excitement she made several more very fast laps of the track, not stopping until a flagman stepped out in front of her 2.6 litre Monza Alfa Romeo. For this she was fined and disqualified.
In 1934, she came home to Ireland to compete in the inaugural Leinster Trophy road race at Skerries, in a front wheel drive Adler Trumpf. She was the only woman competitor in the race and the win established her reputation as one of the finest drivers of the era. The Leinster Trophy, one of the historic motor races in the world and continues to this day.
Taylour raced in Ireland, England, Italy and Sweden. She made frequent appearances in Australia and New Zealand and, on her way out there, often stopped off in India to race there. She also raced in the United States. Her last major race before the Second World War was with a Riley in the 1938 South African Grand Prix, where she received a hero’s welcome for her spirited driving, even though she was unplaced.
Fay Taylour had a very colour life, racing and working around the world. She eventually moved to Blandford in Dorset, England. She sadly died from a stroke in 1983.
This September 16th and 17th the most prestigious car racing event in Ireland will take place at Mondello Park circuit, where it has been held for 49 years consecutively. Competitors in the Boss Ireland class will contend for the prestigious trophy. Hywel Lloyd will defend his win from last year and if successful will be only the 6th person in history to do so.