The British Automobile Racing Club’s North West Centre enjoyed a memorable night of celebrations recently as drivers, teams, officials and volunteers came together for its Annual Presentation Dinner.
Coming together to mark what proved to be a hugely successful 2022 season, the evening also provided an opportunity for three annual CNC Heads Sports/Saloon Car Championship awards to be handed over to some worthy winners.
The first, and most prestigious award, to be handed out was the David Gledhill Driver of the Year – which is determined by championship officials and those marshals that attended the championship rounds.
Emerging victorious to lift the coveted accolade was Graeme Smith, who was firmly in title contention across both the 2021 and 2022 campaigns as he charged to class victories.
Starting every round in each of the last four years, Smith was recognised for the hard work he has put in to his car – a Mazda MX5 – as well as his enthusiasm and competitiveness to compete in the popular multi-class category.
Ric Walker was the second winner on the night as he lifted the Spirit of the Championship award. Determined by the championship committee, this award goes to the driver, team or supporter that over the years has fully embraced the friendliness, helpfulness and loyalty of the series.
Renowned for being one of the first to arrive at the track on a Friday and once unloaded, would help others in the paddock, Ric also showed that you can embody the spirit of the series off-track and be competitive on it as he won Class D and finished fifth overall.
The final annual award to be presented by the North West Centre was the Jock Sinclair Newcomer of the Year. Annually fought for by several drivers, notable mentions this year went to the impressive duo of Arron Armiger and Connor Harvey.
Ultimately though Ian Bamber was declared the winner as he bounced back from a bad accident on two wheels to make a name for himself on four as he competed in Class E in a Ginetta G20.
This year marks the 40th Anniversary of the CNC Heads Sports/Saloon Car Championship and the 2023 campaign is scheduled to commence at Oulton Park on April 1.