BRDC British F3 race winners Tom Gamble and Jamie Caroline face a nervy wait as they edge closer to Sunday’s glittering Autosport Awards ceremony in London.
The duo are finalists for this year’s McLaren Autosport BRDC Award, one of the most prestigious awards in motorsport, and one which is constantly acting as a springboard to the big time – recent winners George Russell and Lando Norris have been elevated to F1 race seats for 2019.
Both drivers were recognised for their superb performances this season, and underwent assessments both on and off the track at Silverstone at the end of October.
Caroline competed in three rounds of the BRDC British F3 Championship, as a substitute for the Carlin team, and showed just what he was capable of with two victories and two additional podiums from the nine races he competed in. He’s feeling the nerves ahead of a potentially pivotal night for his career.
“I’m really excited but nervous as well obviously,” he commented. “I’ve never attended the Awards before, and it’s a massive achievement and something my family and I have chased since I started karting! It was a surprise [to be a finalist], considering I have done next to nothing this year.”
Focusing on his season as a whole, Caroline admits it has been an unusual one, having dovetailed his trio of British F3 appearances with four rounds in the US F2000 category.
“2018 has felt very empty without a full campaign – having done some racing is great but without a full season, the race wins have felt a bit empty and the weekends haven’t quite had the same buzz, due to not fighting for a championship I suppose.”
When asked what he could have done with a full campaign, Caroline was under no illusions: “I think I could have won! I did no testing and in the three weekends, I got two wins and multiple podiums, so I can only imagine what would have happened with a testing programme and a full season.”
Caroline says that the destiny of his career could all rest on the outcome of the Award this Sunday evening: “The McLaren Autosport BRDC Award decides it all! It won’t necessarily be the deciding factor in me being on the grid, but will be the deciding factor in whether I race what I want to and if I can continue chasing the dream I have had since I could breathe.”
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10 January 2019 - Gamble reflects on McLaren Autosport BRDC Award triumph
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24 December 2018 - The 2018 BRDC British F3 season in stats