OTHER FI­NAL­ISTS Ev­ery­one and no-one! (se­lected for Award with­out tests) He says: “I’d done my first year in For­mula Ford, en­tered 32 races and won 22 I think. It was a great first year and I’d al­ready been to see Jackie Ste­wart about do­ing For­mula Vaux­hall Lo­tus in 1990.

“I was at the Autosport Awards and when they started talk­ing about the new award I thought they were talk­ing about Al­lan Mc­nish. When they men­tioned my name it was a big sur­prise.

“It was all about the chance to test an F1 car [below]. I got to find out that it was only a car, just a bloody quick one. The Award got me in front of Ron Den­nis, got me down to Mclaren, and

I met a lot of the guys I ended up work­ing with later.

“There’s no ques­tion it makes a dif­fer­ence. I don’t have many tro­phies at my Monaco apart­ment, but I have the Mclaren Autosport BRDC Award, which was given to me years later.

That shows my af­fec­tion for what the Award meant to me.” WHAT HAP­PENED NEXT Made it all the way to F1, win­ning 13 GPS and fin­ish­ing as ti­tle run­ner-up in 2001 with Mclaren

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