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McLaren Autosport BRDC: Alex Sims

Alexander Sims became the 20th winner of the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Award at this year's Autosport Awards

McLaren Autosport BRDC: Alex Sims

Sims scooped a cheque for £50,000 and a McLaren Formula One test, along with an Aston Martin GT1 test, BRDC membership and a TW Steel watch.

As a winner of the prestigious award, he follows in the footsteps of British F1 winners David Coulthard and Jenson Button.

"To be honest, coming into this night I didn't know what to expect," he said after being presented with the award by 1996 world champion Damon Hill.

"I knew I'd done a pretty good job on the track, I just didn't know what to expect though. It's a fantastic achievement and I've got to say a massive thank you to my father first and foremost, because he's been there pushing me throughout my entire career."

Sims performed superbly across the two-day award shootout test at Snetterton last month, but particularly impressed the judges with his speed in the DTM car.

Winning the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award marks a watershed moment in the 20-year-old's rapid rise through the motorsport ranks - a rise which began nine years ago.

Sims started racing in 1999 as a 10-year-old karter and went on to win three British junior karting titles (one in 2000 and two in 2002) and the junior Monaco Kart Cup (also in 2002).

After four more seasons plying his trade in the karting ranks, Sims graduated to car racing for a Formula Renault campaign in 2007 with Tony Shaw's Manor Competition, who helped engineer Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton to titles in 2000 and 2003.

He finished on the podium three times in his rookie season and added a breakthrough win at Donington Park.

This season Sims went from raw rookie race winner to full-blown title contender. He took pole position for the opening race and, after a slow start to the season, went on to score 12 podiums (more than any other driver in the series) and two more wins.

With these results, he scored more points than any of his rivals, but lost out on the championship by dint of dropped scores - handing the title to fellow McLaren Autosport BRDC Award finalist Adam Christodoulou.

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