DECEMBER 4, 2006

Alonso wins top Autosport Award

The annual Autosport Awards in London resulted in further recognition for Fernando Alonso, who took the award for International Racing Driver of the Year although the Spaniard was not there to be pick up his latest trophy. Renault F1 team members Tim Densham and Dino Toso did the honours while also picking up the award for the car of the year. Ford won the rally car of the year with John Fleming of Ford Europe accepting the award while Sebastien Loeb was Rally Driver of the Year and also failed to appear. The good news was that Jenson Button was present to pick up his British Competition Driver award.

Among the other awards were Gregor Grant Awards for Andy Priaulx, Sir Jack Brabham and James Winslow, the latter for rescuing a competitor after a fiery accident in the Asian F3 Championship. Lewis Hamilton was also present to pick up his Rookie of the Year Award while Mike Conway was named National Driver of the Year, Audi won an award for pioneering and innovation and Michelin's Pierre Dupasquier accepted the John Bolster Award for Michelin in recognition of the French company's achievements in the sport.

The McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award went to 19 year-old Oliver Turvey, who has been competing in Formula BMW UK.