Epperstone's Tom Gamble wins 2018 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award
A 17-year-old driver has been named as the 30th winner of the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award at the 2018 Autosport Awards, reports Paul Horton.
Tom Gamble, who recently celebrated his birthday, becomes part of an illusive list of names that include 2009 Formula One world champion Jensen Button and former British Formula One driver Anthony Davidson.
Having won the prestigious trophy, the speed junkie will have the chance to test a McLaren Formula One car and will receive a full membership to the British Racing Drivers’ Club.
After being nominated for the McLaren award earlier in the year, Gamble said he couldn’t keep it off his mind of it and now, three months later, he can’t believe he has won it.
“It’s been a dream to win it since I was a kid,” said Gamble. “I’m lost for words.”
Gamble finished the season as the top-ranked British driver in the British F3 championship.
Having made the final places, the teenager and three other finalists underwent two days of tests at Silverstone in MotorSport Vision Formula 2, McLaren GT3 and Ligier LMP3 machinery.
“It was two of the best days of my life at Silverstone,” said Gamble, who outpaced benchmark driver Alexander Sims during his assessment.
“I can’t thank everyone involved enough [for the] experience and skills I learned.”
Having set the standard in the McLaren 650S GT3 on his way to winning the award, Gamble’s weekend took a significant turn the follow evening as the Epperstone driver picked up the Chris Bristow Trophy, a trophy that recognises promising young British drivers.
Alongside the silverware, he was inducted into the BRDC SuperStars programme for 2019.
Tom’s father, Jamie Gamble, who travelled up and down the country supporting his son during the recent Formula 3 season, said: “I can’t believe it.
“Going into the final he wasn’t the favourite.
“He was up against two 19-year-old's with more experience. But, he did it.
“Every driver’s dream is to go into Formula One and second to that, is winning this award.
“It’s hard to explain how happy I am for him (Tom).
“It has given him a great platform to make that step to the next level.
“If Tom gets the right support, he can go all the way, and achieve his Formula One dream.
“We just need the right financial backing.”