Lesley Wimbush awarded Bridgestone Julie Wilkinson Award @ AJAC Award Gala

Oct. 27, 2011 – Bringing the reader into the cockpit and giving them a glimpse of what life is like in the driver’s seat of an open-wheel racing car, earned Lesley Wimbush and her article, “Bridgestone Racing Academy – A Winning Formula”, the 2011 Julie Wilkinson Motorsport Journalism Award.

The award, sponsored by Bridgestone Canada Inc. (BSCA), was presented at the Automotive Journalist Association of Canada (AJAC) journalist awards gala Wednesday evening.

“A well-written story can be just as interesting as a well-driven race,” said BSCA General Manager Andy Robinson, who presented the award. “It’s Bridgestone Canada’s privilege to continue to honor the top motorsports piece of the year and we’re furthermore flattered to have been part of the content.”

The judges were unanimous in their praise of Wimbush’s descriptive piece about a 2-day experience at the Bridgestone Racing Academy driving Van Diemen Formula open-wheel cars. Wimbush took the reader through the stages of what a driver goes through from getting into their fireproof suit on a hot day to using feedback provided by instructors to improve lap times.

This is the first time in the 12 years of the award that the Bridgestone brand was part of the winning entry.

One judge said, “I was able to live each emotion described. I was able to be their co-pilot.”

Another commented: “The journalist brought a different vision. This article explained the reality in which the drivers work: sweat, dehydration, and the severe workout schedule.”

Wimbush is a regular contributor to both Auto123.com and The Toronto Star newspaper in addition to driving in club rallies, auto cross, rally cross and frequent lapping days.

Antoine Joubert received honorable mention for his entry on the legendary racing name, Shelby, titled: “Shelby American: La passion de la performance depuis 60 ans.” Joubert is editor-in-chief of Sympatico.ca Autos and a regular contributor to RPM TV and Le Devoir newspaper.

The 2011 competition included submissions from across Canada evaluated according to four criteria: writing style, educational value, passion imparted and entertainment value.

The Julie Wilkinson Motorsports Award, which Bridgestone Canada Inc. has sponsored since its inception in 1999, is presented every year in memory of Julie Wilkinson, an avid racer and automotive writer who passed away in May of 1998. The Vancouver Croft House School graduate enjoyed a distinguished career as a race driver in several series and, later, as a journalist who travelled internationally writing about motorsports.

About Bridgestone Canada Inc.:

Bridgestone Canada Inc. (BSCA) is a member of Bridgestone Americas Tire operation (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.

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