The British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) celebrated the best of British motorsport in 2011 with its annual awards ceremony today. The lunch, hosted by Jake Humphrey, saw some of the biggest names in the sport collect awards, including Rob Huff, Jason Plato, Paul Di Resta and Dario Franchitti.
The BRDC's premier annual award, the BRDC Gold Star, was awarded to Huff after his sensational season in the WTCC in which he finished runner up. It was a double swoop for touring cars, with BRDC Director Plato picking up the domestic equivalent, the BRDC Silver Star.
Damon Hill, who stepped down earlier this year as BRDC President, was recognised for his exceptional contribution to the BRDC with a BRDC Gold Medal, awarded to him by current president Derek Warwick. Di Resta received the Fairfield Trophy for exceptional performance by a BRDC member after his superb rookie Formula 1 season, while Jenson Button picked up the John Cobb Trophy for his successes of outstanding character.
Red Bull Racing's achievements in 2011 were recognised, with Christian Horner picking up the Colin Chapman Trophy, a special trophy for someone who has shown great team spirit, while Adrian Newey collected the Sir Jackie Stewart Award for a motorsport engineer who has shown brilliance during the year, his third consecutive win of the award.
Franchitti was rewarded for his fourth IndyCar Championship in 2011 with the Graham Hill Trophy for the most meritorious performance in single seater racing. Franchitti was back on stage a second time to award the most poignant award of the afternoon, the Earl Howe Trophy. Annually awarded to the highest placed British driver in the Indy 500, it was awarded to the late Dan Wheldon who had won the race before his death, with his sister-in-law Jo Wheldon collecting it in his honour.
Another emotional moment came when John Surtees presented the Henry Surtees Award to Formula Ford champion Scott Malvern, the award recognising the most outstanding performance by a BRDC Rising Star. This marked John's first attendance to the BRDC awards since the accolade was introduced in honour of his son who passed away in 2009.
Endurance racing was recognised with a variety of awards. Anthony Davidson picked up the ACO Award, presented to the highest placed British finishers at the Le Mans 24 Hours race, while Tom Kimber-Smith collected the Woolf Barnato Trophy as the highest-placed British driver in a British car at Le Mans.
Other notable award winners include Fernando Alonso, who took the Johnny Wakefield Trophy for setting the fastest lap of the season on the Silverstone GP circuit, Mike Conway, who won the Innes Ireland Trophy for displaying qualities of courage and sportsmanship, and William Buller, who was awarded the Spencer-Charrington Trophy for being the highest placed British driver in the British F3 championship.
2011 BRDC ANNUAL AWARD WINNERS
BRDC GOLD STAR – ROB HUFF
First presented in 1929. The BRDC Gold Star is the Club's premier annual award. It recognises the strongest performance of the year by a Member in International motor sport. Points are awarded according to a set formula.
BRDC SILVER STAR – JASON PLATO
The domestic equivalent of the BRDC Gold Star.
BRDC GOLD MEDAL – DAMON HILL OBE
The BRDC's highest recognition of achievement in, and contribution to, the Club and the sport of motor racing.
THE BRUCE McLAREN TROPHY – ROBERT WICKENS
Awarded to the Commonwealth driver who has established the most meritorious performances in international motor racing.
THE CHRIS BRISTOW TROPHY – OLIVER ROWLAND
Awarded to the winner of the BRDC McLaren AUTOSPORT Young Driver of the Year Award.
THE COLIN CHAPMAN TROPHY – CHRISTIAN HORNER
A BRDC Special Award presented to an individual who has shown great team spirit, be it a driver, team owner, engineer or similar.
THE EARL HOWE TROPHY – DAN WHELDON
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.
THE ERA CLUB TROPHY – GUY SMITH
Awarded to the British driver who, driving a British car, established the most meritorious performance of the year outside the UK.
THE FAIRFIELD TROPHY – PAUL DI RESTA
Awarded for an outstanding performance by a BRDC Member.
THE GRAHAM HILL TROPHY – DARIO FRANCHITTI
Awarded to the British driver for the most meritorious performance in single-seater racing.
THE INNES IRELAND TROPHY – MIKE CONWAY
Awarded to the driver who best displayed the qualities of courage and sportsmanship epitomized by the late Innes Ireland.
THE JOHN COBB TROPHY – JENSON BUTTON MBE
Awarded to a British driver, driving a British car, who has achieved success or successes of outstanding character.
THE JOHNNY WAKEFIELD TROPHY – FERNANDO ALONSO
Awarded to the driver setting the fastest race lap of the season on the Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit.
THE NIGEL MOORES TROPHY – GREAVES MOTORSPORT
Awarded to the private entrant who has established the most meritorious performance(s) in international motor racing.
THE RICHARD SEAMAN TROPHY – ROB HUFF
Awarded to the winner of the Gold Star points scoring system.
THE SILVERSTONE-LE MANS CHALLENGE – MARCEL FÃ„SSLER, SÃ‰BASTIEN BOURDAIS & SIMON PAGENAUD
Awarded to the driver(s) 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 – ADRIAN NEWEY
Awarded to a motor sport engineer who has shown brilliance during the course of the season.
THE SPENCER-CHARRINGTON TROPHY – WILLIAM BULLER
Awarded to the highest-placed British driver in the British F3 Championship.
THE WOOLF BARNATO TROPHY – TOM KIMBER-SMITH
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 – ANTHONY DAVIDSON
Presented on behalf of our friends at the ACO, the award is presented to the highest-placed British driver finishing the Le Mans 24-Hour Race.
THE HENRY SURTEES AWARD – SCOTT MALVERN
Awarded annually for the most outstanding performance by a Rising Star.