The sixth entrant in this year’s McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year competition has been named – Aaron Steele joins the shortlist after winning the last open spot in a Formula Palmer Audi shootout.
Steele, who has just celebrated his 20th birthday and who has been racing in Formula BMW, FPA, Enterprise Edge F3 and Formula Renault over the last few years, joins Wayne Boyd, Adam Christodoulou, Jason Moore, Alexander Sims and Dean Stoneman in the running for the prestigious award.
He became the sixth name on the shortlist after winning the shootout at Snetterton earlier this month with the final positions calculated from his two best race finishes.
The candidates’ driving skills in a single-seater, a DTM car and an Aston Martin N24 will all be evaluated over two days of testing at Snetterton.
They will then be interviewed at the McLaren Technology Centre by former award winner and F1 driver Anthony Davidson, Steve Hallam, McLaren’s Head of Operations, the BTCC and GT racer Darren Turner, veteran commentator Ian Titchmarsh and Autosport’s Marcus Pye and Kevin Turner.
On learning he had won, Steele said: “I am really looking forward to driving the DTM car but it hasn’t even sunk in yet. This is the best moment of my career.”
The award was set up in 1989 to recognise the achievements of up-and-coming British drivers. The first ever winner was David Coulthard and subsequent winners have included Dario Franchitti, Jenson Button, Gary Paffett and Anthony Davidson.
The prize is a test in a McLaren F1 car and in an Aston Martin GT1, plus £50,000 and a season’s supply of Puma racewear – plus invaluable exposure that has the potential to make a racing career.
The winner will be announced at Autosport’s awards ceremony, due to be held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on Sunday December 7. Last year’s event was televised by ITV.