British Autosport Awards is an award ceremony conducted by Autosport Magazine every December. The 2012 ceremony was the 30th edition of the Autosport Awards and proved to be a fitting end to an amazing year of racing. In total there are 12 awards up for grabs. 8 of these awards are decided by readers of the magazine, while 4 are chosen by either the magazine or in the case of the Mclaren Autosport BRDC award a handful of professional judges. The Mclaren Autosport BRDC award is the most prestigious award on offer for any up and coming youngster from England and is often considered the highlight of the night.
British Autosport Awards include the International Racing Driver of the Year, Car of the Year, British Club Driver of the Year, Rally Car of the Year, International Rally driver of the year, the Gregor Grant Award, Rookie of the Year, British Competition Driver of the Year and an award for Pioneering and Innovation. So without further ado here are the winners:
The most eagerly contested award the Mclaren Autosport BRDC award, was won by 17 year old Jake Dennis. To determine the winner, tests were conducted on various race cars such as a Formula Two car, a DTM Mercedes and a Mclaren MP4-12C GT3 car. Dennis who beat out 3 other hopefuls will now get a test with the Mclaren Formula One team, 100,000 pounds in prize money, Puma Racing gear for the entire 2013 season and also membership into the British Racing Driver’s club.
The International Racing Driver of the Year was won by Sebatian Vettel for the third year in a row. Fernando Alonso went into the ceremony the hot favorite but was once again piped by Vettel.
The International Car of the Year was Vettel’s RB8. This is also the third straight year the Red Bull team has taken the prize. The award was accepted by design guru Adrian Newey on behalf of his Red Bull team. Though the car was generally bested by Mclaren’s MP4-27, it came good between the rounds in Singapore and India to give both Vettel and the team an unassailable lead.
The British Competition Driver of the Year for the second year running was Jenson Button. Button finished 5th in this year’s world championship beat out both Lewis Hamilton and Dario Franchitti for the honor. His stats for 2012 read 3 wins, 1 pole, 6 podiums and 2 fastest laps.
Formula Two runner up Matheo Tuscher was named the Rookie of the Year by the readers of Autosport. The 15 year old Tuscher, beat out more established names such as Romain Grosjean, Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne.
The Gregor Grant Award which is named after the Autosport’s founder is a liftetime achievement award given to those who have contributed greatly to the sport. The award was presented to both Jimmy McRae and Sebastian Loeb. Jimmy McRae the father of the late, great Colin McRae is Britian’s most successful rally driver. He has won the British Rally Championship 5 times between the years 1981-1988 and also competed in WRC. These days he restricts himself to historic rallies. Sebastian Loeb on the hand was given his award for rewriting the record books after his 9th consecutive WRC title.
Loeb was also voted International Rally Driver of the Year by reader’s of Autosport. Loeb who has won every title since 04 will be scaling back his WRC program for 2013.
The Rally Car of the Year was Citroen’s DS3. It is the fourth time in five years that a machine from the Citroen stable has won the award. Citroen World Rally Team manager Yves Matton accepted the award on behalf of the team.
The John Bolster award for Technical Achievement was awarded individually to both former Lotus designer Bob Dance and former Sauber F1 team principle Peter Sauber, for their contribution towards technical excellence in Formula One.
The Nissan Delta wing took home the Pioneer and Innovation award. Ben Bowlby’s radical lightweight design was initially conceived as candidate for the new Indycars that took to the track this year, however it later entered in the 2012 Le Mans 24 hour race. The FIA medical team also took home the Pioneer and Innovation award and the late Prof. Sid Watkins was honored for his lifetime achievements in turning Formula One into the modern sport it is in terms of safety.
The National Driver of the Year award was won by Gordon Sheddan. Shedden who finally won the BTCC title this year, fended off competition from championship rivals Jason Plato and Matt Neal as well as British F3 champion Jack Harvey and British Rally champion Keith Cronin.
The final award handed out was the British Club Driver of the Year. The award was taken home by Scott Malvern. The 23 year old who only found out he had a driver two days before the Formula Renault BARC championship, saw him add another title to his already distinguished career. Malvern beat out Ginetta Supercup champion Carl Breeze and Renault Clio-Cup title winner Jack Geoff.
So there you have it, the winners of the 2012 Autosport Awards. From the promising talent on display it looks like British Motorsport has a very bright future ahead.