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Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Award final four revealed

by Rachel Hillman

The four finalists chosen for the 2019 Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Award have been announced.

Those chosen are Japanese Formula 3 race-winner Enaam Ahmed, W Series and MRF Challenge champion Jamie Chadwick, and BRDC Formula 3 frontrunners Johnathan Hoggard and Ayrton Simmons.

Only Ahmed has previously been a finalist for the award, after winning the BRDC British F3 title in 2017.

The finalists will participate in fitness and simulator tests at Red Bull Racing Formula 1 team, and a two-day track test at Silverstone in a MotorSport Vision Formula Two car, Ligier LMP3 and Garage 59-run Aston Martin Vantage GT3 racer.

“I had no clue I’d be chosen! I didn’t win Japanese F3 so I wasn’t sure I’d be considered,” said Ahmed.

“It’s been a hard year – I signed the deal late and rocked up not knowing the tracks, which are quite difficult. It’s been a good learning year so I think I will be more professional when I come back.

Aston Martin junior Chadwick said: “Every year it’s something I think every young UK driver is aiming for. I’ve never had a strong enough year to warrant a nomination until now. My season finished early so it’s been something I wanted.

“I know quite a few other finalists and they’ve said the two test days are some of the best days of their careers. I’m really looking forward to it.”

British F3 runner-up Hoggard added: “I’ve seen BRDC F3 drivers being nominated before and Tom Gamble won it last year so it’s a good championship to be in.

“It’s such a wide variety of cars, you get a challenge in all of them. My background is in single-seaters and I hope to adapt to the F2 car quite quickly, but the GT3 will be really different.

Simmons, who finished just behind Hoggard in the British F3 standings, said: “It’s amazing. It’s something I had in mind and it’s such a prestigious award.

“I had a lot of pace this season, but didn’t always get the results. It wasn’t a surprise to be in the final 10, but I wasn’t sure I’d make the final four. It’s been a good year and I’ve learned a lot.

The winner of the award receives ?200,000 and test drives in a Red Bull F1 car and Aston Martin Vantage GTE as used in the World Endurance Championship.