Robert Doornbos and Graham Rahal capped off their rookie season by attending the annual Autosport Awards this past weekend at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, England. Both drivers had sensational seasons as rookies in the 2007 Champ Car World Series and were recognized for their on-track performance by being nominated for the Autosport Rookie of the Year award.
Doornbos, the Dutch driver who won two Champ Car events (Mont-Tremblant and San Jose) and finished third in the final point standings, and Rahal, who at age 18 finished a very respectable fifth overall in the standings after recording four podium finishes, knew that their chances of taking home the honors were slim as they were up against another sensational newcomer
- Lewis Hamilton - who as expected was crowned Autosport 'Rookie of the Year'.
"It would be hard to top Lewis after the season he had," said Rahal, the only American driver nominated. "For me, it was just an honor to be among those drivers being considered for the award. It was also nice to be able to attend the ceremony this past weekend. It definitely was a memorable experience and a nice way to end my rookie season."
Hamilton, the 22-year-old Englishman who nearly won this year's Formula One World Championship in his initial season, was the top award winner of the evening, also winning the British Competition Driver and International Racing Driver trophies. He became the first driver to win three awards on the same night at the prestigious annual ceremony.
The Champ Car World Series was well-represented at the annual affair. In addition to Rahal and Doornbos, also on hand to enjoy the ceremony was Champ Car President and CEO Steve Johnson and British driver Justin Wilson, who finished runner-up in the 2007 season to Rahal's Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing teammate, four-time champion Sebastien Bourdais. Wilson was on-hand to see his 18-year-old brother Stefan win the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award. Champ Car
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