Robert Wickens was presented with the British Racing Drivers Club ‘Bruce McLaren Award’ in a ceremony on Monday, 5th December, with the Canadian being recognized for his championship success this season in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series.
The 22-year-old from Toronto – a reserve driver in Formula One this year for Marussia Virgin Racing, was presented with the trophy, awarded to the best performance of the year for a non-British driver from the Commonwealth, by motorsport legend, Sir Stirling Moss.
Previous recipients of the award, named after the late Bruce McLaren – founder of the McLaren Formula One team, include the likes of Formula One’s Mark Webber, and IndyCar Series racers, Scott Dixon and Will Power.
“I’m tremendously honored to have won this award,” reflected Wickens. “It’s been a fantastic season for me winning the Formula Renault 3.5 Series and making my debut in Formula One being a reserve driver for Marussia Virgin Racing. I enjoy being a BRDC Rising Star and a full club member but to collect the ‘Bruce McLaren Award’ is truly something special, especially when it’s presented by Sir Stirling Moss!
"The award also gave me an opportunity to publicly thank the people who have supported my career over the past couple of years, including Marussia Motors owners Andrey Cheglakov and Nikolai Fomenko, the Marussia Virgin Racing team, my FR3.5 team in 2011 Carlin, and Teddy Yip and his co-owners at Status Grand Prix, with whom I enjoyed success in the GP3 Series last year."
Wickens, who set the fastest lap times for both Lotus Renault GP and Marussia Virgin Racing in last month’s Formula One Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi, ensured he made the most of his trip to London. He attended Sunday’s prestigious Autosport Awards, hosted annually at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, before Monday’s BRDC lunch ceremony.
Following this he competed in the Dan Wheldon Memorial Kart Race in Milton Keynes on Monday evening, joining an impressive list of driving talent celebrating the life of the two-time Indy 500 winner and 2005 IndyCar Series Champion who was tragically killed in a racing accident in Las Vegas in October.
Lining up alongside the likes of 2009 Formula One World Champion Jenson Button and four-time IndyCar Series Champion Dario Franchitti, Wickens enjoyed the opportunity to return to his motorsport roots.
“We had a blast at the Dan Wheldon Memorial Kart Race,” enthused Robert. “The spirit of the event was amazing, as was the line-up of drivers racing together with the public. It was certainly a fitting tribute to Dan and I have to say great job to Johnny Mowlem whose idea it was to host the event.”
After a few more days in Europe, Wickens will return to Canada mid-December where he looks forward to finalizing some exciting plans for 2012.
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