2017 INDUSTRY H E R O E S MsD UK PROFESSIONAL DRIVER OF THE YEAR: MATT SIMPSON This award focuses on the successful drivers in the PRO arena. Drivers nominated from various championships like WTCC and BGT, even last year’s winner Jonny Adam was rated highly. But this year’s competition was tight and this racer came out top thanks to nominees sharing their views on how a Privateer managed to mix on a limited budget. “Fantastic results in numerous races in 2017 for a privateer driver” and being “committed, hardworking progressive driver” were just a few of the comments. Following in his father’s footsteps, this winner has managed multiple championships and in 2015 he had 10 overall wins from 16 starts and crowned the Quaife Intermarque Champion. So congratulations to Matt Simpson. MsD UK AMATEUR DRIVER OF THE YEAR: STEVE KITE The nominees were considered on results, performance, budgets and overall dedication for the UK Amateur Driver of the Year title. The winner, in only his second year in the Hyundai Cup, very nearly took the championship achieving “5 wins, 4 seconds, 1 third, 3 poles, 6 fastest laps and 3 lap records in the Carbon8 Coupe Cup”. One nominee went on to say: “He’s always willing to help out other competitors and even lent me his car to do the Stroke Association Day at Castle Combe for charity!” Something that came up a lot was this driver’s achievements on a limited budget: “No budget, borrowed the money to buy the car and scrimped and begged for the entry fees. He’s helped set up other people’s cars to pay for his racing.” A great result after a well-fought championship. Other drivers highlighted in this category were James Harridge in the Formula Vee, Mike Watton in the Formula 1000, AJ Owen in the CTCRC and Ben Simonds in the MSVT TrackDay Championship. Congratulations to Steve Kite on winning this award. UK/EUROPEAN TRACK DAY ORGANISER AWARD: JAVELIN TRACK DAYS MsD has seen the track day market increase impressively over the past 10 years and competition to compete and offer the right service is key. We’ve seen multiple winners over the last four years with RSR and even OpenTrack coming close again this year. Nominees said: “Good discount rates and friendly service to suit.” And as a new organiser with their sprint series: “Run a brilliant entry to motorsport sprint series.” This organiser offers users the chance to gain rewards on bookings which has proven popular and creates a unity with its track participants. This organiser runs over 250 days a year across 14 venues and offers some of the best choices on track. Make sure you visit them soon. Congratulations to Javelin Track Days. INSTRUCTOR AWARD: MIKE WILDS We at MsD feel this is a crucial element of any track day and racing scene. Where we continue to list all the instructors on our website ( to make it easier for drivers to make improvements on the track. This year’s runners-up included the likes of Scott Mansell, Andrew Jebson and Colin Tester. This year’s winner is renowned as a hugely experienced British racing driver who started racing in May 1965 and instructing on track in the early 1970s. He’s been refered to as “a great ambassador for the sport, a great chap who has a superb way of putting things across” and “he’s always professional and just a nice guy, along with his impressive racing career which echoes through his instruction. Congratulations Mike Wild. PRO ANNUAL 2018 73