The Autosport Awards evening, in its 19th year, celebrates the achievements of drivers, teams and personalities from the world of motor racing, attracting a star-studded who’s who of the industry, from rallying to sportscar racing, Champ Cars to Formula 1. This year Rahal had been nominated for the Rookie of the Year title, an achievement in itself as one of only nine drivers competing for the accolade. The fans voted for F1 rookie, Lewis Hamilton, to take the award home, along with two others, the first time that any driver has won more than one award.
Rahal said of the evening, “It was a very glittering occasion and a privilege to be part of it, especially as a nominee for one of the highly prized awards. It wasn’t a surprise to lose out to Lewis, he’s had such an amazing rookie year. The event was being filmed for national British television and I was given a name check so that was cool . There were many of the top names in international motor racing at the event, both past and present, so it was a very special event to attend."
The following day Rahal attended the BRDC Awards, joining many of the stars once again for the presentation of trophies to many of the leading drivers in the sport. Hamilton took home an unprecedented four awards. The highlight of the event for Rahal was meeting with BRDC President, Damon Hill.
The Newman/Haas/Lanigan racer said after the lunch, “Meeting Damon was quite special to me, as I was named after his father. I was in the midst of many racing heroes including Sir Jackie Stewart and Sir Stirling Moss, as well as many of the current leading British racing drivers, so it was a very unique occasion and a thrill to be part of this at the end of my first champ car season."
Rahal finished his rookie season in fifth place of the overall Drivers standings and second in the Rookie of the Year standings.