AUTOSPORT Awards: Jake Dennis wins McLaren AUTOSPORT BRDC Award
|By Jamie O'Leary||Monday, December 3rd 2012, 00:15 GMT|
Formula Renault NEC champion Jake Dennis has won a Formula 1 test with McLaren after being named the 24th winner of the McLaren AUTOSPORT BRDC Award.
Dennis, who also gets £100,000, full membership of the British Racing Drivers' Club, and a TW Steel watch, was revealed as the winner at the AUTOSPORT Awards in London on Sunday night.
The 17-year-old Briton was presented with the Award by McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale, AUTOSPORT publishing director Rob Aherne and BRDC president Derek Warwick.
Dennis said: "It's very hard to put your emotions across in a situation like this. It's such a relief to win this.
"For me it's incredible but also for Oliver Rowland to have won it last year means it's two straight wins for drivers supported by the Racing Steps Foundation and I want to thank them for their support."
Dennis beat Star Mazda champion Jack Hawksworth, Formula Renault NEC race-winners Josh Hill and Jordan King - who finished runner-up to Dennis - Formula Renault Eurocup and ALPS frontrunner Melville McKee and Formula Renault BARC runner-up Josh Webster to the prize after a number of tests, including driving a Formula 2 machine, a DTM Mercedes and a McLaren MP4-12C GT3 at Silverstone last month.
Former recipients of the award include 2009 F1 world champion Jenson Button, former grand prix winner David Coulthard and IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti.
Racing Steps Foundation-backed teenager Dennis, the Intersteps champion of 2011, stormed to the NEC title with Fortec Motorsport.
On his debut season in Formula Renault he won three races and took a further eight podium finishes to lead a British 1-2-3 in the final points, beating fellow award finalists King and Hill.
He also made selected appearances in the Formula Renault Eurocup and finished a strong second at Spa-Francorchamps.