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Rowland Rewarded for Formula Renault Achievements

McLaren test drive for 19-year old

Posted Dec 06, 2011 by Chris White

Rowland will drive the same car driven by Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button

Teenage driver Oliver Rowland has been rewarded for his achievements in 2011 by being given the chance to test-drive an official McLaren racing car, having picked up the Autosport British Racing Drivers’ Club award.

19-year old Rowland finished as runner-up in the Formula Renault UK race series in 2011, and was given the award, which comes with a £100,000 prize and full membership to the BRDC at the Autosport awards ceremony in London to reflect upon the achievements of drivers in 2011.

The award, backing by McLaren, as well as the BRDC and Autosport magazine, was set up in 1989 to acknowledge young racing drivers from the UK, and has previously been awarded to the likes of David Coulthard in the first year, IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti in 1992, and current Formula One drivers Jenson Button, in 1998 and Paul di Resta in 2004.

The six drivers in the running for the award were tested at an event at Silverstone in November in cold, wet and windy conditions, driving a single-seater Formula 2 Mercedes DTM and a McLaren GT3 car, before taking part in an interview with a judging panel to decide who was most deserving of the award.

Rowland said “I’ve had lots to learn in my first year of Formula Renault. I’ve learned a lot and I just can’t believe where I’ve got to.”

Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel was awarded the International Racing Driver of the Year award, while di Resta was given the Rookie of the Year title. Dan Wheldon, the two-time Indy 500 winner, who was tragically killed in a crash at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in October was awarded a lifetime achievement award, which was accepted by his father Clive.

Does Rowland have the potential to become the next Button, Hamilton or Hill? Is there another up and coming star you think the world should know about? Tell us what you think here, on Twitter @ImagineF1 and on Facebook by clicking here.

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