Mickey Hutchinson

Mickey Hutchinson

A popular and consistent winner in the early days of Bushy Park.

Among the most popular racing cars of Bushy Park 1970s-style was the Scotia Bank Midget, driven with style and determination by one of the outstanding performers of the day, the late Mickey Hutchinson.

Acquired from British ace Gordon Spice after his visit to Turners Hall in 1971, the MG was soon a race-winner in Hutchinson’s hands (photo below by Willie Alleyne); he collected trophies on every appearance, and held the Group lap record through 1972 and ‘73, ending both seasons as Group Champion. While his opposition included his brother Trevor’s Mini, one of his most memorable victories came at Scotia Prix 73, when he beat Trinidad’s Brian Ibrahim in the rapid and well-sorted Blydenstein-built Vauxhall Firenza by a hair’s breadth.

Improvements to the engine for 1974 kept him in the fight, but the rest of the field was upping its game, too, so Hutchinson carried the Scotia Bank support forward to Formula Caribbean in 1975, in the ex-Bob Howlings Brabham BT21.

A programme note in the raceday programme for the Race of Champions in March 1975 said: “Mickey’s neat and precise driving style is very well-suited for single-seater driving, and he should do well in this class.” He won Formula Caribbean quite easily on his first outing, then returned in November with the car in even better order, winning the class twice, but losing out once to Britain’s Robs Lamplough in a Mallock U2.

But Bushy Park was not Hutchinson’s only stamping ground; in the 10 years or so before the circuit opened, he had been a regular competitor in the June Rally (as driver and navigator), in acceleration tests at Seawell - class-winner in a Fiat 1500 in 1968 – and in hill sprints, where he held the Group record in a Hillman Hunter. He finished third overall in the 1970 Goodyear Motor Sport Meeting, winning the rallycross and the large saloons class in the dexterity test in a Ford Cortina 1600E.

Hutchinson was a popular man, greatly mourned when he lost his battle with cancer. When Bushy Park reopened in the early 1990s, he was remembered through the Mickey Hutchinson Memorial Trophy, awarded to the winner of the end-of-day handicap race. At the first race meet in October 1992, it was won by Colin Goodman, against whom Hutchinson had raced on his final appearance at the circuit in December 1975.

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