Lifetime Achievement Award for Bill Simpson

The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award for 2019 has been awarded to Bill Simpson.

In 2014, the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame presented its Lifetime Achievement Award for the first time for achievements in the world of drag racing that have had a global impact. It was presented to a person, team, company, institution/organisation or any other body that in the opinion of the judges has increased the awareness and stature of drag racing on a global basis or contributed to the technical development of the sport that has resulted in advances on a worldwide basis.

The recipients of the award were in 2014 Don Garlits, and then in 2015 the Mopar brand itself received it for its work in developing the Chrysler Hemi engine. In 2016 the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) was honoured and in 2017 Steve Gibbs, former NHRA vice president and founder of NHRA’s Hot Rod reunions received the award. In 2018, the SFI Foundation became the fifth recipient of the award.

The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame is proud to announce a new title sponsor for the award from 2019 and warmly welcomes FCA US LLC’s Mopar Performance brand as the exclusive supporter of the Lifetime Achievement Award. The BDRHoF is also honoured to present this year’s Mopar Performance Lifetime Achievement Award to Bill Simpson, founder of Simpson Performance Products and of Impact! Racing, in recognition of his pivotal role in raising safety standards and creating a safe environment throughout motor sport in general and drag racing in particular. A former racing driver, he founded Simpson Performance Products and Impact! Racing. Safety innovations attributed to him include the modern fire suit, driver restraint systems and helmets, and the drag racing parachute.

Stuart Bradbury, chairman of the BDRHoF said, ‘We are delighted that Mopar Performance has consented to become title sponsor of the Lifetime Achievement Award, and has remained close to us since winning the award in 2015. Bill Simpson has done more than any other parts supplier to innovate the products that help save racers’ lives.’

Pietro Gorlier,  FCA Chief Operating Officer, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Global Head of Parts & Service (MOPAR).said, ‘We are proud to have our name linked with an award that highlights the people or organisations that have helped develop the sport to the level it is today. Mopar Performance continues to be very close to drag racing in terms of its products, technical support, and sponsorship of NHRA National Events and teams such as Don Schumacher Racing’.

Bill Simpson, member of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, said, ‘I am deeply honoured to be the recipient of the Mopar Performance Lifetime Achievement Award.  It’s now 58 years since I first started experimenting using parachutes to stop cars from high speed, and over half a century since I first made a fire-resistant suit for drivers to wear. I didn’t set out to make safety equipment, I just wanted to come up with something that would save lives. I was in the right place at the right time and I made a good quality product. Attending this year’s Gala and flying in from the USA we have one-time Vice President of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Steve Gibbs. Steve who has over fifty year’s association with the sport, forty-eight of those with the NHRA. Steve will be presenting the Mopar Performance Lifetime Achievement to Bill Simpson.

Ticket prices for the 2019 British Drag Racing Gala Awards Dinner remain unchanged at £70 per person. Corporate tables of 12 are available at £756. Hotel prices will also remain the same as the last two years. Double room £115.00, Single £94, both include breakfast, car parking, and use of the hotel’s facilities.

To reserve tickets please email or telephone Stu Bradbury on the office number 01933 279102 or by mobile 07931 260457 to obtain a booking form which includes the special discount room code.