Autosport Awards

 

Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button and Paul Di Resta were amongst the winners during the 2011 Autosport Awards, which took place at London's Grosvenor House in association with Castrol Edge 

Red Bull's Vettel rushed back from the Race of Champions event in Germany to make the awards and his journey was made worthwhile when he picked up the International Racing Driver of the Year award for a second year running, in recognition of his superb title winning Formula One campaign. The car that took Vettel to the title, the Red Bull RB7, won the Racing Car of the Year award, Red Bull's second consecutive win of the award.

The British Competition Driver of the Year award went to Formula One star Button after a great year in which he took three wins on his way to second in the championship. Di Resta meanwhile beat the likes of Trevor Bayne, JR Hildebrand and Sergio Perez to win the Rookie of the Year award after a strong debut season in Formula One, which saw him pick up eight points finishes on his way to  thirteenth in the championship standings.

The International Rally Driver of the Year award once again went to Sebastien Loeb, the sixth time he's taken the award, in recognition of his incredible year which saw him take his eighth WRC title. For the first time in four years, Citroen missed out on the Rally Car of the Year award, with the Mini John Cooper Works WRC picking up the award after a strong maiden season which produced two podium finishes.

Matt Neal took the National Driver of the Year award after picking up his third British Touring Car Championship crown this year, while Alex Lynn won the British Club Driver of the Year after a sensational season in which he dominated the Formula Renault 2.0 UK Championship. Oliver Rowland picked up the big award of the night, the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award.

The awards paid tribute to Dan Wheldon, who passed away in October. The double Indy 500 winner was awarded a Gregor Grant Award for lifetime achievement in motorsport, which was collected by his father Clive Wheldon and friend Dario Franchitti. Also picking up a Gregor Grant Award was 1996 F1 World Champion Damon Hill, for his superb achievements in the sport and his contribution towards securing the future of the British Grand Prix as former BRDC President.

Other special awards given out on the night included the John Bolster Award for Technical Excellence, which was collected by Gian Paolo Dallara for his Dallara outfit, in recognition of their achievements in motorsport. The Pioneering and Innovation award went to the team behind the SENNA film, while Laura Coppin also received an award in recognition for her long time work organising of the awards.