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McLaren AUTOSPORT BRDC list revealed

The six finalists for this year's McLaren AUTOSPORT BRDC Award have been announced

McLaren AUTOSPORT BRDC list revealed

The finalists are Formula Renault UK champion Dean Smith and runner-up James Calado, British Formula Ford champion James Cole and rival Chrissy Palmer, Star Mazda frontrunner Adam Christodoulou, and European Formula 3 Open racer Callum MacLeod.

The six will go to Silverstone next month to be assessed in a variety of single-seater and tin-top machinery by an expert judging panel that includes 1996 Formula 1 world champion Damon Hill, ex-F1 racer Anthony Davidson, McLaren's head of vehicle engineering Mark Williams, DTM star Jamie Green, veteran commentator Ian Titchmarsh and AUTOSPORT'S Marcus Pye and Kevin Turner.

There will also be a fitness test at Porsche's Human Performance Centre, based at Silverstone.

The winner, who will be revealed at the Autosport Awards in London on Sunday December 6, will be awarded £50,000, a McLaren F1 test drive, full BRDC membership, and Puma racewear for a year.

Former winners of the award include current world championship leader Jenson Button, 13-time grand prix winner David Coulthard, Davidson, Green, and IndyCar star Dario Franchitti.

THE CHOSEN

James Calado

2009: Runner-up in Formula Renault UK with Fortec Motorsport

Age: 20

Career: Calado stepped in to car racing in 2008 after a successful karting career. The Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver scored a win in his first season of Formula Renault UK before becoming a major force this year, taking eight wins on his way to second in the title race.

Adam Christodoulou

2009: Frontrunner in American Star Mazda series with JDC Motorsports

Age: 20

Career: Two years in Formula Renault UK culminated in Christodoulou taking the 2008 title with CR Scuderia. The former karting ace then moved to the Star Mazda series in America and immediately proved a frontrunner. Christodoulou was also an award finalist last year.

James Cole

2009: MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain champion with Jamun Racing

Age: 21

Career: Cole only began racing single-seaters in 2007, in club Formula Ford 1600 events. He moved to the British Formula Ford Championship last year, finishing 10th in the standings, before winning seven races on his way to the crown this season.

Callum MacLeod

2009: Frontrunner in European F3 Open with Team West-Tec

Age: 21

Career: MacLeod came to prominence in 2007 by taking the British Formula Ford title. Budget issues limited him to sporadic appearances in 2008, before a move to European F3 Open. There, he has been a frontrunner in Class B for older cars, as well as taking an overall podium. MacLeod was also an award finalist in 2007.

Chrissy Palmer

2009: Race winner and fourth overall in MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain, driving for Juno, GV Racing and Jamun Racing

Age: 18

Career: Palmer began his racing career in the 750 Motor Club's Saxmax Citroen Saxo series in 2006. After taking the runner-up spot in 2007, he graduated to British Formula Ford and won the Scholarship Class. Palmer became a frontrunner this season, winning five races, despite driving for three different teams.

Dean Smith

2009: Formula Renault UK champion with Manor Competition

Age: 21

Career: Ex-Formula BMW champion considered a move to GTs for 2009, but ultimately decided to commit to a fourth season in Formula Renault. Despite missing a round, he secured the title at the Brands Hatch finale. Smith has been nominated for the award before, in 2007.

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