- Billy Monger wins coveted Henry Ford Trophy for extraordinary human endeavour.
- FIA British Formula 4 champion Jamie Caroline and vice-champion Oscar Piastri receive awards.
5 FEBRUARY, 2018 – Stars of the 2017 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost were out in force on Saturday 3 February for the BRSCC Awards at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon. It was a night to remember for Billy Monger. His determination to recover from his life-changing accident and get back behind the wheel of a race car saw him presented with the prestigious Henry Ford Trophy for human endeavour in the field of motorsports by Ford Performance Europe senior manager Gerard Quinn.
Introduced in 2015 and previously awarded to FIA British Formula 4 champions Lando Norris and Max Fewtrell, the trophy was commissioned by Ford Motor Company to recognise the person who Ford believes has shown extraordinary endeavour throughout the year.
“It’s really special to win a trophy as prestigious as this. I’ve had so much support and encouragement from people to help me get back behind the wheel. I want to take this opportunity to thank all those people because I wouldn’t have won this award if it wasn’t for them.
“I’ve got a lot more to give in the world of motorsport as a driver so let’s see what I can achieve in the next few years. Hopefully I can make everyone proud.
“I’m still looking for a few more sponsors for 2018, but we’re nearly there and I’m really looking forward to announcing my plans for this year.
“I had an amazing time in British F4 even though it came to an end much sooner than I wanted it to. I learnt so much racing in the championship. I know I can take all that knowledge and experience with me to the other forms of motorsport I will compete in and showcase just what British F4 graduates are capable of.”
“Henry Ford founded his company on the back of his racing exploits and we are proud that his legacy means that Ford can maintain its enablement of grass roots entry level motorsports,” explained Quinn.
“The recipient of the Henry Ford trophy for 2017 is a young man who epitomises the famous quote that Henry himself said in 1923 and which is inscribed on the trophy: ‘If people really set their minds on anything it is impossible to prevent their getting what they want.’
“In 2017 Billy overcame life-changing injuries following his horrific accident at the F4 meeting at Donington Park. His strength of character, determination and professional attitude as a sports person has set him apart as an inspiration to everyone.
“He is determined to race as an able-bodied athlete and has ensured that our sport has benefitted positively out of his adversity. He is an extraordinary person who has won the hearts of so many and has become a positive influence for the next generation of racers.”
Monger was joined by fellow British F4 graduates Jamie Caroline and Oscar Piastri who received their respective FIA British Formula 4 champion and vice-champion trophies from BRSCC chairman Peter Daly.
Caroline dominated the headlines throughout 2017 for his record-breaking exploits. He achieved the highest number of wins in a season, most consecutive victories and became first driver to win all three races in a single race weekend.
Meanwhile, Piastri shone with his excellent qualifying record and relentless consistency. The Arden driver qualified on pole seven times – more than any other driver – and stood on the podium in half of all races, including the top step on six occasions.
Carlin British F4 team manager Martin Knapman and mechanic Calum Wooldridge took to the stage to accept the Teams Cup. 2017 was the third successive year in which Carlin scooped the award after a season which saw it record more wins than any other team with a tally of 12.
“It’s fantastic to celebrate my record-breaking 2017 season with all of the team that have supported me and made my success possible,” said Caroline.
“The F4 British Championship is run by mega people, who I very much consider part of my racing family. It’s the best and most popular FIA Formula 4 championship in the world, with extremely competitive grids and a huge number of fans. It’s excellent value for money and a brilliant series for sponsors to be part of with fantastic publicity and media exposure.
“The future is bright for British F4. I’ve written my chapter in its history and I’ll be watching closely to see if anyone can beat my records.”
Images by Gary Hawkins Photography.