Gavin Johnson, Avon Tyres Motorsport development manager, has been presented with the Lone Star JR Johnny Rutherford Award, recognising his contributions to IndyCar
Gavin Johnson, development manager for Cooper Tire Europe’s Avon Tyres Motorsport department in Melksham, UK, has won the prestigious Lone Star JR Johnny Rutherford Award. Created to honour the IndyCar participant who best exemplifies outstanding character, integrity and service, Johnson was awarded with a custom trophy and a $1,000 cheque.
Johnson’s name will be permanently engraved on the main trophy that resides in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) museum, next to Johnny Rutherford’s Pennzoil yellow submarine – the nickname given to Rutherford’s bright yellow car that won the Indianapolis 500 for the first time in 1980.
Last week’s presentation marked the fourth annual Lone Star JR Johnny Rutherford Award. This award recognises the contributions to the sport from individuals working within the IndyCar community.
The award is named after Rutherford, a three-time winner of the Indianapolis 500. Rutherford is an individual of great character who has served his family and community faithfully through the years and is a role model for drivers and business people alike.
Cooper is involved in the IndyCar community through the highly successful Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires. This provides a clear-cut path of progression through three development series: the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and ultimately Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires.
The Mazda Road to Indy is the only driver development programme in the world to feature a champion’s scholarship at every level to advance to the next step on the ladder system. The Indy Lights champion is awarded a scholarship package of nearly $1 million to assist in the ascent to the IndyCar Series.
Commenting on the award, Johnson said, “It’s an honour to receive this award from our esteemed colleagues in IndyCar. It’s also a tribute to all that the Cooper team does in supporting the series.”