MSA British Race Elite driver Alexander Sims became the 20th winner of the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Award at Sunday’s Autosport Awards, following in the footsteps of names such as David Coulthard and Jenson Button.
The 20-year-old beat off strong competition from five of Britain’s finest young drivers to take the prize which, along with considerable prestige within the motorsport world, includes a McLaren Formula One test, a cheque for £50,000, an Aston Martin GT1 sports car test, BRDC membership and a TW Steel watch. Sims received a unanimous vote from the judges of the award after a two day track test and rigorous interviewing.
"Winning this award is a massive boost," said an elated Alexander. "I'm completely taken aback by it; it's such a massive honour and just looking at the list of past winners shows everything about what it means for a driver.
“Being part of the MSA British Race Elite scheme this year has been fantastic and everything I’ve learnt from it has helped me get where I am now. The visits we’ve had and the training in all the different areas has helped me improve in every way. There are great people to work with such as David Brabham and Peter Briggs, who are all really experienced and who are always available to offer help or advice or give a point of view. It’s been really fantastic.”
The Motor Sports Association’s elite driver training scheme was launched in January 2007, and reaffirms the MSA’s commitment to developing and promoting young British motor sport talent. As well as working on track performance, engineering skills and technical understanding, the drivers within the scheme are coached and guided in the vital additional areas such as physical training, mind coaching, career management, sponsorship generation, self-promotion and media presentation that complete the all-round package of the modern motor racing driver.
The MSA’s Performance Director, Robert Reid, commented:
“The MSA Elite schemes are designed to develop the most promising young talents in this country and ensure that they are in the best position to make the most of every opportunity. Alexander has done just that with the McLaren Autosport BRDC award and it is particularly pleasing that he recognises the impact that the Elite scheme has had in his development. The judges were obviously impressed not just with his speed and success, but also with his approach, maturity and knowledge.”
In 2008 Alexander Sims raced in the British Formula Renault Championship where he was runner up, taking wins and more podium finishes than any other driver. He scored more points than any other driver too but, because he had to drop scores to comply with Championship regulations, he ended up in 2nd place overall. In 2009 Alexander will be competing for Mucke Motorsport in the Formula 3 Euroseries.
Release MSA08-056: 10 December 2008
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