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Award winner…

It’s always nice to be recognized for your work, and I’m fortunate to receive this recognition. Thanks. Photographer Amee Reehal was also recognized this year as a runner-up in the Pirelli Photography award. Amee and I contribute feature motorcycle stories to Inside Motorcycles. Amee, shoots, I write. Congrats, Amee.

BRIDGESTONE CANADA INC.                               NEWS RELEASE
Contact:   Jeremy Smith

Paul Vaillancourt
Torchia Communications
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Greg Williams Winner Of 2009 Julie Wilkinson Motorsports Award For Excellence In Journalism

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, ONTARIO (Oct. 29, 2009) – The story of a special performance driving school’s annual ladies-only day at Race City in Alberta has earned journalist Greg Williams the 2009 Julie Wilkinson Motorsports Award presented by Bridgestone Canada Inc. (BSCA). The prize, which comes with a $500 cheque, was awarded at Wednesday’s annual dinner held by the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).

The Calgary-based writer’s winning entry detailed the events of a special October day when the BMW Clubs of Alberta turned over their Advanced Driving School to a group of 25 women because, as Registrar Patti Duddridge Riegert said, “there are more women buying powerful cars and they quite simply don’t know what their cars are capable of doing.” The winning story recounted the classroom and track lessons and exercises that put the ladies and their cars through their paces on a heavy information day.

“After taking the course, you will be safer on the roads because you will have learned the limits of your own car, and yourself,” she said, an opinion shared by the students of the day. Williams is a columnist for the Calgary Herald.

Bob English’s runner-up story, “A million-dollar tribute to a racing legend” – or how spotting a vintage Mercedes-Benz McLaren SLR Stirling Moss edition at the Detroit auto show, prompted a trip down memory lane to vividly recount the 1955 edition of Italy’s fabled Mille Miglia. “Moss ran absolutely flat out in one of the fastest open cockpit sports cars of the day – hitting 274 km/h at times – on a 1,500 km open road course that twisted around a great loop from Brescia to Rome and back through the countryside, villages and towns of mid-50s Italy, averaging 157.65 km/h for ten solid hours. Heroic doesn’t begin to describe it.”

English, of Foxboro, Ont., is a previous winner (2006) of the Julie Wilkinson Award, and a regular contributor to the MSN Autos Canada web site, The Globe & Mail Automotive Section and the quarterly Luxury Vehicles Magazine, among other media.

The 2009 submissions were judged by Patrick Carpentier, veteran Canadian ChampCar, IRL and NASCAR driver, Cindy Hackelberg, managing consultant of Global Services, and Charles-André Marchand, sports journalist and the “voice” of the F1 Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal. The evaluation criteria included writing style, success at educating, passion imparted and entertainment value.

The 2009 AJAC writing competition drew submissions from automotive writers from across Canada, and 15 were flagged for the judging panel. Their subjects ranged from an annual Rite of Spring, the Sebring 12 hours in Florida, the emotions felt by Jack Buxstrom in his return to Mosport some 47 years later in the same Lotus Mk 9 he raced there in the 1962 Player’s 200, to that special event known familiarly as the Targa Newfoundland Rally, a 1960s-style “drag” at Shannonville Speedway with souped up ’71 Buicks and ’66 Chevys going at each other again, as well as comparison test drives of old and new cars, including the Targa and WRC versions of the Subaru Impreza and, finally, because this is 2009, a look at the future of “green” eco-friendly autosports events.

“The scope of motorsports and a love for cars of all kinds, driving and racing, is what makes these stories so special as a body of work,” said Marvin Teixeira, Manager, Purchase Resale Canada for BFCA. “This contest is a way for Bridgestone Canada to showcase top quality motorsports journalism across Canada, and I am proud to see how many people across this great country share our devotion to the road.”

The Julie Wilkinson Motorsports Award, which BSCA began sponsoring a decade ago in 1999, is presented each year in memory of Julie Wilkinson, the Vancouver Croft House School graduate who undertook a distinguished career as a driver in several series and, later, was an automotive journalist who traveled internationally writing about motorsports.

About Bridgestone Canada Inc.:
Bridgestone Canada Inc. (BSCA) is a member of Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (BATO) and a direct subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (BSAM), whose parent company, Bridgestone Corporation, is the world’s largest tire and rubber company. BSCA and BATO
develop, manufacture and market Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand tires. They are focused on retail, wholesale and original equipment markets, supplying passenger, light truck, commercial vehicle, off road, agricultural and other tires to their customers in Canada and the United States, respectively. In addition, through its Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions Canada unit, retreading customers have access to industry-leading research and development, manufacturing, marketing and sales expertise, providing them with a total tire solution.