What a week it has been for our fabulous Fortec drivers! You can tell the season is over when the awards ceremonies get underway and it was a double-whammy for our boys this week with the prestigious AUTOSPORT awards on Sunday evening followed by the BRDC awards on Monday. In total, our boys picked up four awards over the two days – a great achievement.
The AUTOSPORT Awards
When it was announced that both Alex Lynn and Oliver Rowland had been nominated for the highly esteemed McLaren AUTOSPORT BRDC Award – two of only six drivers to be up for the award – we knew that both guys were strong contenders. Alex and Oliver enjoyed phenomenal year in 2011, with some remarkable drives and it’s fantastic for them both to be recognised for their achievements.
The McLaren AUTOSPORT BRDC award is a particularly special one, with previous winners such as David Coulthard, Jenson Button and Dario Franchitti going on to become household names. The prize is pretty awesome too – £100,000 and an F1 test with McLaren Mercedes – it’s no wonder that they left this one until last on awards night as the six nominees waited anxiously to hear who the lucky winner would be.
It was clearly no easy decision, with six highly talented guys from various racing formulae up for the prize and the six were really put through their paces as both their driving and fitness was assessed in an extremely demanding manner. In the end though, only one man could win and that man was Oliver Rowland. The FRUK Runner-up, Graduate Cup Champion and Finals Series Champion impressed the judges, showing excellent focus, determination and raw talent as he was put through his paces.
It hasn’t been an easy year for the 19-year-old, who lost his father in 2010 and his mentor Martin Hines earlier this year. In his first year of car racing, Rowland has proven himself to be a quick learner, and he was the man in form as the season drew to a close; Ollie took his first win at Rockingham and followed that up with double-victory at Brands Hatch and a win at the season finale at Silverstone to take the runner-up spot in the Championship. He showed an admirable and quite remarkable strength of character this year, which will certainly aid him as his career progresses. The whole team is delighted for Oliver, who was evidently shocked and overwhelmed by his award of which he should be extremely proud.
If you missed the livestream of the awards, or you want to see the moment Oliver picked up his award then click here. (We aren’t responsible for any content/comments/links on external sites)
Our record-breaking Formula Renault 2.0 UK Champion Alex Lynn was also an award-winner at the prestigious event. The 18-year-old won the British Club Driver of the Year award for his fantastic season in Formula Renault 2.0 UK, where he blew the competition away with a simply staggering performance. To know that such an award was voted for by the public is even more rewarding as it shows the public have an engaged interest in Lynn’s achievements, recognising quite how special his year has been.
The BRDC Awards
After a night of celebrating with some of the biggest names in motorsport came the BRDC Awards. It was another star-studded affair and two Fortec men picked up awards at the bash. Oliver Rowland took home the Chris Bestow Trophy, awarded to the McLaren AUTOSPORT BRDC award while William Buller was awarded the Spencer-Charrington Trophy for finishing as the top British Driver in the British Formula Three International Series – no big surprises there!
We promised to let you know how our Eurocup test went at Motorland, so, briefly – we had a very successful test, unfortunately the weather wasn’t so great and the sessions were slightly interrupted by fog. Last week we tested Oliver Rowland and Finish star Mikko Pakari and they were great, finishing 1-2 on both Thursday and Friday with Pakari just two thousandths off the pace during Friday’s session. All very encouraging signs.
Next week we’ll have a few teams heading out to Valencia for a three-day test, so back at base it’s all very quiet, eerily so..
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