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With 60 days until the 2017 Autosport Awards, the nominees for the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award 2017 have today been announced.

BRDC F3 champion, Enaam Ahmed and Formula Renault Eurocup duo, Max Fewtrell and Dan Ticktum make their first awards appearance, while 2014 finalist and Euroformula Open champion, Harrison Scott makes his second appearance.

Introduced to identify and promote the best British talents, the Award has helped to launch the successful motorsport careers of David Coulthard, Dario Franchitti, Jenson Button, Anthony Davidson and Paul di Resta, to name a few. The Award has given 28 British drivers their first opportunity to drive a Formula 1 car.

The McLaren Autosport BRDC Award will be presented at the 2017 Autosport Awards on Sunday 3 December at the Grosvenor House Hotel on London’s Park Lane. This year’s ceremony will be broadcast live around the world on Motorsport TV for the first time, making it the best ever Autosport Awards in its history.

The Autosport Awards are presented by Motorsport Network – the world’s premier online and print motorsport publishers.

Motorsport Network is the world’s largest independent automotive and motorsport-related digital platform, connecting millions of people that love motorsport and cars. The network also creates key industry events including Autosport International.

McLaren is continuing its involvement this year and will conduct the fitness and simulator elements of the judging process. The four finalists will also compete in a two-day test at Silverstone, running in a variety of racing cars.

McLaren will also offer the winner simulator time, as well as a test in a Formula 1 car.

The winner will also receive full British Racing Drivers’ Club membership and an Arai GP-6 PED helmet.

Last year’s winner, Lando Norris, used his opportunity in the McLaren simulator to impress the marque enough to be the first ever winner to earn an official Formula 1 test, stepping into Stoffel Vandoorne’s McLaren Honda in the post-Hungary Grand Prix test.

“Winning the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award in 2016 was a great honour and it is the best stepping stone a young driver could wish for. Getting the opportunity to drive Stoffel’s current Formula 1 car in Hungary was such an unbelievable opportunity. I am honoured to have won the award and forever grateful to McLaren, Autosport and the BRDC for the opportunities the Award has offered,” said Lando Norris.

Ex-F1 driver and BRDC president Derek Warwick chairs the judging panel, which also comprises two-time British Touring Car champion Jason Plato, McLaren technical personnel, leading circuit commentator Ian Titchmarsh, and Autosport’s Kevin Turner and Scott Mitchell.

Alexander Sims, BMW factory racing driver and winner of the 2008 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award, will be this year’s guest judge.

Derek Warwick, chairman of the judging panel, said: “We are very excited by the four finalists for this year’s award. I believe that this is one of the best line-ups we have had in recent years. Each of the drivers has shown an extremely high quality of racing and they are all very nice guys. They follow in the footsteps of some big racing names and each driver will have to be on their top form to win this year’s McLaren Autosport BRDC Award.”

1.
Name: Enaam Ahmed
Age: 17
Home town: London
2017: BRDC F3 champion
Judging panel says: “Enaam dominated BRDC F3 this year, with 13 wins in 24 races, winning the championship by 164 points. We’ve enjoyed watching him in recent years. He has always been very quick right from his karting days and it’s quite incredible the way he’s progressed. He is a great guy and the kind of driver we want to work with.”
Enaam Ahmed says: “It’s something I had in my mind all season. I first went to the Autosport Awards when I was a nine-year-old karter with Martin Hines and the Award is something I’ve wanted to be involved in my entire life. To be nominated as one of the four is amazing. I’m really looking forward to getting into the DTM car, which will probably be the most different to what I am used to and I think is a bit special. This year has gone better than expected.”

2.
Name: Max Fewtrell
Age: 18
Home town: Birmingham
2017: sixth in Formula Renault Eurocup
Judging panel says: “Max has had a very strong season in Formula Renault Eurocup and impressed in F4 last year by winning the championship. He only just missed out on selection last year so we’re happy to see him in the final four this year.”
Max Fewtrell says: “I didn’t make it into the list of finalists last year [after winning the British F4 title] and to be in the final four this year caught me by surprise. The year has gone well – everyone ahead of me [in the championship] is a second or third year driver so we’ve always been playing catch-up – and to race on some of the iconic European tracks has been amazing. To drive the DTM car will be awesome, but I’m sure driving all the cars will be eye-opening.”

3.
Name: Harrison Scott
Age: 21
Home town: Althorne, Essex
2017: Euroformula Open champion
Judging panel says: “Harrison completely dominated the Euroformula Open this year. He won ten out of 12 races and has already won the championship with 4 races still remaining, building up a lead of 128 points. Harrison was a finalist two years ago when he was fresh from F4. It was perhaps too soon for him at the time, but he comes back quite a different driver and has earned this second opportunity.”
Harrison Scott says: “After the year I’ve had – ten wins from 12 races – one of my targets was to be nominated. When I was a finalist before [in 2014] I was still in the early stages of my development, the jump from Formula Ford to F2 was massive. But now I’ve two years in Formula Renault and a year in F3 so I’ll be better prepared. I’m looking forward to the F2 again and it’s not every day you get to drive a DTM car.”

4.
Name: Dan Ticktum
Age: 18
Home town: London
2017: seventh in Formula Renault Eurocup
Judging panel says: “Dan is a very exciting prospect for the future and has already gained the backing of Red Bull as he continues to impress. Dan intends to compete in some GP3 races before the winner is selected, which we have allowed him to do. He has had a difficult couple of years but he has now seen the way forward and we are impress by how he has developed as a racer.”
Dan Ticktum says: “It’s the most prestigious award for a junior driver so I feel very privileged to be chosen. It’s been a slightly worse year than I hoped – it’s been hard not having baseline data [because Arden is new to FR 2.0] – but we’ve worked hard and come to a decent place. I think driving more-powerful cars will play to my strengths. Jumping into a GT car will be different and I’m told you have to drive the DTM like a big F3 car. I don’t really get nervous, I take things how they come. I’m really looking forward to it.”

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