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  3. Joseph Loake wins the 2023 Aston Martin AUTOSPORT BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award

Joseph Loake wins the 2023 Aston Martin AUTOSPORT BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award

07 Dec 2023

Aston Martin Lagonda is proud to confirm Joseph Loake as the 2023 Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award winner. The 18-year-old Briton, from Macclesfield, was awarded the most prestigious honour in junior motorsport during the gala Autosport Awards ceremony held at the Grosvenor House Hotel, on London’s Park Lane, on Sunday evening.

An impressive performance for Loake

An impressive performance for Loake

Loake, who was a GB3 Championship race winner and consistent front-runner in 2023, earns a test in an Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One® Team car on Silverstone’s legendary Grand Prix circuit. He also received a cheque for £200,000 on the night, a full membership to the BRDC, an Arai crash helmet and a Jordan Bespoke helmet bag.

Loake joins a star-studded list of former winners that includes 2009 FIA Formula 1® world champion Jenson Button, three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti, and several Le Mans 24 Hours class winners including Aston Martin’s Darren Turner. The roll of honour also includes current F1® drivers, George Russell and Lando Norris, as well as last year’s winner Luke Browning, who was crowned the champion of the prestigious Macau Grand Prix (for F3 cars) last month.

To win the Award, Loake had to outshine three other outstanding finalists in what was considered one of the most closely contested shoot-outs in the Award’s history. Taylor Barnard (19), runner-up in the Formula Regional Middle East Championship and a race winner in the 2023 FIA F3 Championship, Macau GP Formula 4 winner Arvid Lindblad (16) who was third in the Italian F4 Championship, and GB3 champion Callum Voisin (17), all excelled in an intensive two-day shoot-out on Silverstone’s Grand Prix circuit.

The four drivers were pitted against each other in four 425bhp MotorSport Vision F2 cars, a Beechdean AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3 and a United Autosports Ligier JS P320 LMP3 prototype. Moreover, the finalists were subjected to an extensive fitness test with Athletic Thinking and an in-depth simulator assessment with the Formula 1® world championship-winning Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1® Team, prior to their on-track examination.

“I honestly can’t believe I’ve won the Award,” said Loake, who becomes the 34th winner, and the fourth since Aston Martin became the principal partner of the initiative. “This is the best thing I have received in my life. Thank you to everyone for helping me and sticking by me.

“This has topped off an incredible season for me, I wasn’t expecting it. It felt like I’d done a good job during the assessment and I think I stood out in the wet conditions, but I didn’t know what the others had done. Winning this has given me a lot of self belief and confidence that I can do this. Hopefully next year I can make a step towards the FIA F3 Championship, and after receiving this Award, I think I deserve the opportunity.”

The judging panel was led by 1992 World Sportscar champion and BRDC vice-president Derek Warwick. He was joined by four-time IndyCar champion and three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti, Darren Turner, 24 Hours of Le Mans-winning engineer Leena Gade, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar champion Alexander Sims, commentator Ian Titchmarsh, Garage 59 team principal Andrew Kirkaldy, Autosport editor Kevin Turner and engineer Mark Williams. The 1995 British Grand Prix winner Johnny Herbert also contributed as a guest judge.

This was the fourth occasion that Aston Martin Lagonda has been the title partner of the Award alongside the world-renowned Autosport media platform and the British Racing Drivers’ Club, owner of Silverstone, the home of British motorsport and also Aston Martin’s High Performance Test Centre. The 2019 winner Johnathan Hoggard, 2021 recipient Zak O’Sullivan, and Browning are Aston Martin’s three previous Award winners.

Darren Turner, Aston Martin development driver said: “It’s always a privilege to be a part of the judging panel for the Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Award, but what made this year stand out from others was how difficult it was to pick a winner. The standard was so high, and each of the finalists excelled during different stages of the assessment. Ultimately, Joseph grew stronger through the competition and made the most consistent and compelling case to receive the Award. He certainly showed all the attributes necessary to have an outstanding career in the years to come. Congratulations to Joseph, who thoroughly deserves to stand among an incredible group of champions that have won the Award previously. Performance is at the heart of everything that Aston Martin does, so for us it’s essential that we work to harness and develop outstanding motorsport talent and we are proud to associate with initiatives such as the Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Award.”

Motor 283

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