The next generation is prepared
The nominees for the annual McLaren Autosport BRDC award are out
It’s the time of year where the UK’s most successful young motor racing talents begin to cross their fingers.
The winner of the McLaren Autosport BRDC award will be announced on December 3rd, and we now know from where the winner will come after the finalists for the prestigious award have been revealed.
As an award intended to promote and celebrate the best young British racing talents, the McLaren Autosport BRDC award has some pretty big names amongst its previous winners – David Coulthard, Dario Franchitti, Jenson Button, Anthony Davidson and Paul di Resta to name a few.
Last year it was the turn of young Lando Norris, who took his opportunity to test in the McLaren F1 simulator in such style, it persuaded the F1 team to grant him a test after the Hungarian GP.
“Winning the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award in 2016 was a great honour and it is the best stepping stone a young driver could wish for. Getting the opportunity to drive Stoffel [Vandoorne]’s current Formula 1 car in Hungary was such an unbelievable opportunity. I am honoured to have won the award and forever grateful to McLaren, Autosport and the BRDC for the opportunities the Award has offered,”, the young talent said when asked about the award.
The 2017 edition of the award will be presented to one of the following – BRDC F3 champion, Enaam Ahmed, Formula Renault Eurocup drivers, Max Fewtrell or Dan Ticktum, or returning 2014 finalist and Euroformula Open champion, Harrison Scott.
With McLaren’s involvement, these guys can expect a tough test when it comes to fitness and simulators, but they will also have to prove themselves over a two-day test at Silverstone where they’ll be driving a variety of racing cars. If that wasn’t enough, they’ve also got to impress the judges, headed by former F1 driver and BRDC Chairman Derek Warwick – “We are very excited by the four finalists for this year’s award. I believe that this is one of the best line-ups we have had in recent years. Each of the drivers has shown an extremely high quality of racing and they are all very nice guys. They follow in the footsteps of some big racing names and each driver will have to be on their top form to win this year’s McLaren Autosport BRDC Award.”
Joining him on the judging panel are two-time British Touring Car champion Jason Plato, McLaren technical personnel, top circuit commentator Ian Titchmarsh, and Autosport’s own Kevin Turner and Scott Mitchell. They’ve provided us with the following guide to the finalists –
Name: Enaam Ahmed
Home town: London
2017: BRDC F3 champion
Judging panel says: “Enaam dominated BRDC F3 this year, with 13 wins in 24 races, winning the championship by 164 points. We’ve enjoyed watching him in recent years. He has always been very quick right from his karting days and it’s quite incredible the way he’s progressed. He is a great guy and the kind of driver we want to work with.”
Enaam Ahmed says: “It’s something I had in my mind all season. I first went to the Autosport Awards when I was a nine-year-old karter with Martin Hines and the Award is something I’ve wanted to be involved in my entire life. To be nominated as one of the four is amazing. I’m really looking forward to getting into the DTM car, which will probably be the most different to what I am used to and I think is a bit special. This year has gone better than expected.”
Name: Max Fewtrell
Home town: Birmingham
2017: sixth in Formula Renault Eurocup
Judging panel says: “Max has had a very strong season in Formula Renault Eurocup and impressed in F4 last year by winning the championship. He only just missed out on selection last year so we’re happy to see him in the final four this year.”
Max Fewtrell says: “I didn’t make it into the list of finalists last year [after winning the British F4 title] and to be in the final four this year caught me by surprise. The year has gone well – everyone ahead of me [in the championship] is a second or third year driver so we’ve always been playing catch-up – and to race on some of the iconic European tracks has been amazing. To drive the DTM car will be awesome, but I’m sure driving all the cars will be eye-opening.”
Name: Harrison Scott
Home town: Althorne, Essex
2017: Euroformula Open champion
Judging panel says: “Harrison completely dominated the Euroformula Open this year. He won ten out of 12 races and has already won the championship with 4 races still remaining, building up a lead of 128 points. Harrison was a finalist two years ago when he was fresh from F4. It was perhaps too soon for him at the time, but he comes back quite a different driver and has earned this second opportunity.”
Harrison Scott says: “After the year I’ve had – ten wins from 12 races – one of my targets was to be nominated. When I was a finalist before [in 2014] I was still in the early stages of my development, the jump from Formula Ford to F2 was massive. But now I’ve two years in Formula Renault and a year in F3 so I’ll be better prepared. I’m looking forward to the F2 again and it’s not every day you get to drive a DTM car.”
Name: Dan Ticktum
Home town: London
2017: seventh in Formula Renault Eurocup
Judging panel says: “Dan is a very exciting prospect for the future and has already gained the backing of Red Bull as he continues to impress. Dan intends to compete in some GP3 races before the winner is selected, which we have allowed him to do. He has had a difficult couple of years but he has now seen the way forward and we are impress by how he has developed as a racer.”
Dan Ticktum says: “It’s the most prestigious award for a junior driver so I feel very privileged to be chosen. It’s been a slightly worse year than I hoped – it’s been hard not having baseline data [because Arden is new to FR 2.0] – but we’ve worked hard and come to a decent place. I think driving more-powerful cars will play to my strengths. Jumping into a GT car will be different and I’m told you have to drive the DTM like a big F3 car. I don’t really get nervous, I take things how they come. I’m really looking forward to it.”
No doubt about it, winning this award is a big deal for these young starlets, but they’ve all got the potential to go to achieve great things.
December 3rd will be the day we find out who walks away with the prize.
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