Danny lived his life to the full and I have never met ANYONE who didn’t find his silly grin infectious.
Us girls in the office loved him from the moment he first came in (late) to sign on. He always seemed to have the ability to make anyone smile, almost at will. The Yamaha Past Masters is a small club contained within BMCRC and it has a relaxed atmosphere. Everyone took to Danny straight away and within a few weeks it was as though he had been around for years. Not many young people have the character or charisma to make friends over a wide range of ages with an apparent effortlessness, but Dan had exactly that.
He also quickly showed that he wasn’t just out there to make the numbers up, an easy going young man in the paddock quickly showed that he was also competitive on track too. His dad Len, a seasoned TZR campaigner, soon realised that he was going to have his work cut out in trying to beat Danny, as did the other regular front runners.
Danny lost his life at Brands Hatch at the opening round of the season in March 2003 following a first corner accident. He had made such an impression on the club in such a short time that we couldn’t believe how briefly we had all known him.
The Yamaha Past Masters obviously felt the same and there was such a strength of feeling about his loss that they decided to create the “Danny Whalin Trophy” to be awarded at the dinner dance each year. This is a trophy given to a selected rider who has continually proved to be an ambassador to the class, it is much coveted as it is a true compliment to be voted as the ‘riders rider of the year’.
In 2005 it was put to the club that it would be fitting to have another trophy that was actually raced for, as Danny above all else wanted to be a racer. Hence the “Danny Whalin Challenge Cup” was created and as you will see from the no holds barred racing, it is a trophy that absolutely everyone wants to win.
Tracey Ringrow BMCRC