The prize, supported by Racing Steps Foundation (RSF), is awarded annually to a student enrolled on the Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE) in Motor Sport programme, which forms part of the MSA Academy.
The five students short-listed for this year’s award were: Webster, 17 from Suffolk; Max Coates, 17 from North Yorkshire; Jody Fannin, 18 from Surrey; Chris McCarthy, 18 from London; and David Wagner, 18 from Glasgow.
Assessment took place on Friday (December 9) at Pure Tech Racing in Surrey, where the student drivers went head-to-head in the centre’s race simulators. After a 20 minute familiarisation session at the wheel of a virtual F3 car on a fictional race track, each driver was asked to complete a timed ‘visualisation’ lap to see how well they were able to remember the circuit. A qualifying session then set the grid for 40 minutes of racing.
Team UK National Race Coach, David Brabham, was on hand and the Le Mans winner was able to debrief each session with the drivers and understand how each approached the challenges of the day.
The drivers also delivered a short presentation on what they have learned as students on the AASE programme in front of the judges: MSA Performance Director Robert Reid; RSF’s Derek Walters; MSA Director of Development Ben Taylor; Autosport magazine’s Ben Anderson; and 2010 winner Jake Cook.
Winner Webster said: “I’m absolutely delighted to win this award and I would like to thank the RSF, the MSA Academy and the judges for this great honour. I am very grateful to the MSA Academy for the mentoring, support and education I have received as a student on the AASE programme, which has given me a solid foundation on which to build my career. I hope to repay the faith that has been shown in me by being a good ambassador for AASE and the Academy and using my experiences to encourage other young drivers to make the most of the great opportunities offered by the MSA.”
Webster will receive a cheque for £1000 at the MSA’s prestigious Night of Champions ceremony at the Royal Automobile Club on 20 January 2012.
Source: Motor Sports Association.