Oliver Rowland has won the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver Award.
Rowland finished runner-up in the Formula Renault 2011 main series, before winning the Finals Series last month.
The 19-year-old from South Yorkshire fought off fierce competition from Formula Renault UK champion Alex Lynn and British Formula Ford Champion Scott Malvern to win the award, which has previously been won by Dario Franchitti, Jenson Button and Paul di Resta to name a few.
Rowland is the 23rd winner of the award, and his prize included a cheque for £100,000, full membership of the BRDC, a TW Steel watch, Puma racewear for a year and test in a McLaren F1 car.
“I don’t know what to say,” Rowland told the star studded audience at the lavish ceremony in London. “It’s been a difficult year for me. I lost someone very close to me in [karting guru] Martin Hines, who passed away this year. He’s helped me for six or seven years.
“I’ve had lots to learn this year in my first year of Formula Renault. I have learned a lot and now I’m here. I just can’t believe it.”
Photo: Jakob Ebrey