So, those drivers who aren’t named either Lewis Hamilton or Alexander Sims – how have they fared during the awards season?
Basically, there have just been two really big bashes to hand out the silverware plus a few other bits and pieces.
One of the biggies was the annual Autosport Awards which are glitzy, glamorous and commonly regarded as the Oscars of the motorsport industry. They even get shown on the telly sometimes. The other is the prestigious annual awards ceremony of the British Racing Drivers’ Club.
Autosport Awards for 2008:
- British Competition Driver of the Year
- Awarded to Allan McNish for his successes in the Le Mans series. McNish, who won the Le Mans 24 Hours for the second time this year with Audi, was voted this award by Autosport readers, seeing off Lewis Hamilton, Paul di Resta and Justin Wilson in the process. He said: “Considering what Lewis has achieved this year, to have someone else winning this award is a big achievement. Looking at Le Mans this year, it’s the hardest I’ve ever driven – battling with Peugeot for 23 and a half hours. And after last year when we had it in the bag, and had the wheel come off, it was pretty special.”
- National Driver of the Year
- Awarded for the first time this year in place of separate racing and rallying categories to Oliver Turvey. During 2008 the 21-year-old came second in the British International F3 Championship in his first year driving in the series. He also drove a tremendous race in the Macau Grand Prix to come back to seventh after stalling on the grid. He became the first ever racing driver to be awarded a full blue from Cambridge University, from which he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in engineering. He was presented with his award by David Coulthard and said: “I’m lucky to have Racing Steps Foundation support again – without that I wouldn’t have been racing this year. We’re still looking at GP2 and World Series, hopefully with a top team.”
- British Club Driver of the Year Award
- Went to Adam Christodoulou for his championship-winning season in Formula Renault. As he must be sick of hearing by now, he actually came second on points to Alexander Sims, but took the title thanks to a rule that allows a driver to drop their two worst results. Christodoulou had a couple of no-scores which meant that he had the highest net score. He said: “Next year I’m moving into Europe and hopefully I will be winning out there as well.”
- Gregor Grant Award
- Sir Stirling Moss received a Gregor Grant Award, named after Autosport’s original editor, for his lifetime’s contribution to motorsport. It was presented by Martin Brundle, who asked him to name a favourite moment from his career. The racing legend said: “I did 529 races so it’s difficult to remember them all,” he said. “I think the best achievement I had was the Mille Miglia – because that record can’t be broken now – or maybe Monaco 1961.”
These are just the awards handed out to the Brits, and of course the Young Driver and International Driver gongs are covered elsewhere on the site. To read a full list of winners, visit the Awards’ Wikipedia article or view Autosport’s coverage here.
BRDC awards for 2008:
- BRDC Gold Star: Lewis Hamilton. Awarded annually to the most successful member racing internationally.
- BRDC Silver Star: Jason Plato. The national equivalent of the BRDC Gold Star.
- The Bruce McLaren Trophy: Scott Dixon. Awarded to the Commonwealth driver who has established the most meritorious performances in international motor racing.
- The Chris Bristow Trophy: Alexander Sims. Awarded to the winner of the BRDC McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year Award.
- The Colin Chapman Trophy: Sir Frank Williams CBE. Presented to an individual who has shown great team spirit, as a driver, team owner, engineer or similar.
- The Earl Howe Trophy: David Coulthard. Awarded to the highest placed British driver in the Indy 500 race or to the British driver who has established the most meritorious performance of the year in North America. In Coulthard’s case, it was his podium in Montreal.
- The Era Club Trophy: Lewis Hamilton. Awarded to the British driver, who established the most meritorious performance of the year outside the UK in a British car.
- The Fairfield Trophy: Rob Bell. Awarded for an outstanding performance by a BRDC member in recognition of Bell’s achievement in securing both the drivers and the constructors’ GT2 title the Le Mans Series this season with the Virgo Motorsport team.
- The Graham Hill Trophy: Lewis Hamilton. Awarded for the most meritorious performance in single-seater racing.
- The Innes Ireland Trophy: Bradley Ellis. Awarded to the driver who best displayed the qualities of courage and sportsmanship epitomized by the late Innes Ireland. Ellis fractured a bone in his spine in an accident at Thruxton in the British GT Championship in June but was cleared to race again almost immediately.
- The John Cobb Trophy: Lewis Hamilton. Awarded to the British driver who has achieved success or successes of outstanding character while in a British car.
- The John Cooper Trophy: Oliver Turvey. Awarded annually to a competitor in the British F3 Championship who shows the potential to become a future World Champion.
- The Johnny Wakefield Trophy: Kimi Raikkonen. Awarded to the driver setting the fastest race lap of the season on the Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit.
- The Nigel Moores Trophy: Virgo Motorsport. Awarded to the private entrant who has established the most meritorious performances in international motor racing.
- The Richard Seaman Trophy: Lewis Hamilton. Awarded to the winner of the Gold Star points scoring system.
- The Silverstone-Le Mans Challenge: Allan McNish and Dindo Capello. Awarded to the drivers who achieved the highest combined finishing record in combined results of the Silverstone LMS race and the Le Mans 24-Hour Race.
- The Sir Jackie Stewart Award: Steve Hallam of McLaren. Awarded to a motorsport engineer who has shown brilliance during the course of the season.
- The Spencer-Charrington Trophy: Oliver Turvey. Awarded to the highest-placed British driver in the British F3 Championship.
- The Woolf Barnato Trophy: Darren Turner and David Brabham. Awarded to the highest-placed finishing British and/or Commonwealth Driver, in a British car, in the Le Mans 24-Hour Race.
- The ACO Award – Allan McNish. Presented on behalf of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, organisers of the Le Mans 24 hours, the award is presented to the highest-placed British driver finishing the Le Mans 24-Hour Race.
- BRDC Gold Medal: Ron Dennis CBE. Awarded for the second time in recognition of his contribution to motorsport – and only the ninth time it has ever been awarded.
- James Winslow: Australian F3 Drivers’ Championship
- Winslow took the championship in a tumultuous season, during which he won five times and taking the overall championship at the final round. A lack of financial backing nearly cost him his shot at the title – but he won through to take the most prestigious awards in Australian motorsport: the Australian Drivers Championship trophy, The CAMS Gold Star Award and the Australian Formula 3 Championship trophy.
- Oliver Turvey: Sports Personality of the Year at the 2008 Cumbria Sports Awards
- Awards were made across 10 categories, with the winners decided by a panel of expert judges following nominations from the Cumbrian public.
- Bradley Ellis: FIA GT3 European Ford Manufacturer Cup
- As well as picking up the Innes Ireland Trophy from the BRDC, Ellis has also been awarded the GT3 European Ford Manufacturer Cup as the highest-placed Ford driver throughout the season. The 21-year-old finished fourth overall in his first full FIA GT3 European season and entered the final Dubai rounds with a shot at the championship title, but with the final race of the year cancelled he was denied the chance to fight until the chequered flag.