Three of New Zealand’s current group of rising stars of international motor racing, Brendon Hartley, Mitch Evans and Nick Cassidy were all honoured at the prestigious British Racing Driver’s Club awards in London overnight.
Cassidy, who won the Japanese Formula Three Championship driving for the TOM’S Toyota Team, won the Bruce McLaren Trophy for the most meritorious performance by a British Commonwealth driver in international motor racing in 2015. Last year’s recipient was Australian Red Bull Formula 1 star Daniel Ricciardo.
Evans, who finished fifth in the GP2 single seater series, was awarded the Woolf Barnato Trophy for his performance at the Le Mans 24 Hours race in June. Evans finished tenth overall and second in the LMP2 class after an early race delay while one of his co-drivers was at the wheel. Evan’s performance in fighting back through the field put some of the faster LMP1 class drivers in the shade.
Woolf Barnato for whom the trophy is named after was a three times outright winner at the famous French race in the 1920s.
Hartley and his Australian co-driver Mark Webber were both awarded BRDC Gold Stars for their performance in winning the World Endurance Sports Car Championship with four victories during the season and second overall at the Le Mans 24 Hours race in their works Porsche 919.
The awards date back 80 years and are among the most sought after in motorsport’s English speaking countries.
All three drivers, Cassidy, Evans and Hartley, raced in New Zealand’s Toyota Racing Series on their way to international success. Hartley finished third overall in 2005 when he was 16 years old. Evans won the series in 2010 as a 15 year old and won again 2011 and Cassidy took the title in 2012 and 2013.