Photo: Jakob Ebrey/RSF
Rising British star Oliver Rowland has won the prestigous McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award at the annual Autosport Awards bash in London…
The main prize for winning the award will be a test in a McLaren Formula 1 car. The 19-year-old impressed the judges, which included BRDC president Derek Warwick and BTCC driver Jason Plato, after an assessment day at Silverstone. Rowland was up against five other young British driver; Formula Renault UK champion Alex Lynn, British Formula Ford champion Scott Malvern, German F3 driver Tom Blomqvist, ADAC Formel Masters race winner Emil Bernstorff and Formula Renault BARC champion Dino Zamparelli.
The drivers were assessed in a number of tests, including getting behind the wheel of a Formula 2 car, a Mercedes DTM racer and a McLaren MP4-12C GT3. Former winners include David Coulthard, Dario Franchitti, Jenson Button and last year’s winner Lewis Williamson.
2011 was Rowland’s first full season in single-seaters after a long and successful karting career, where he enjoyed support from McLaren. He finished second in the Formula Renault UK standings after four wins in the last six races. He then dominated the Finals Series, winning four of the six races. Backed by the Racing Steps Foundation, he was known to be eyeing a switch to the Formula Renault Eurocup for 2012.
Earlier in the evening Lynn won the British Club Driver of the Year Award for his record-breaking Formula Renault season.