Fairclough and Turnbull win big in Downforce Awards 2021

January 12, 2022

Deagan Fairclough and Joshua Turnbull struck gold in the annual Downforce Awards as they won the prestigious Henry Surtees Teen and Keir Millar U13 Racer of the Year accolades in the 8th annual running of the event, in association with Clapham North MOT.

Downforce Radio’s annual awards night celebrates the best racers and championships from the season, covering all disciplines and areas of racing from single seaters to club racing, karting to grassroots. Many winners have gone on to incredible success, such as F4 British champion Luke Browning, W Series sensation Abbi Pulling and newly signed BTCC competitor Dexter Patterson.

Here are the winners from this year’s incredible event:

Fiesta Junior race winner Deagan Fairclough triumphed in the Henry Surtees Teen Racer of the Year ahead of karting stars Sophie Kinghorn and Aditya Kulkarni, The award is named in honour of the son of the late great John Surtees who was Formula One and motorcycle world champion. Henry Surtees was himself an incredible talent in the sport and was set for superstardom before his tragic accident at Brands Hatch in 2009, and it is with great pride and gratitude that we continue to award this prize with the support of the Henry Surtees Foundation and Surtees family. 

Former Daniel Ricciardo Series ace Joshua Turnbull swept the vote in the prestigious Keir Millar U13 Racer of the Year title – celebrating the most talented racers in Great Britain under the age of 13 – with fellow kart racing talents Rory Armstrong and Noah Wolfe close behind. The award is named after sensational oval racing talent and Ninja Kart racing champion Keir Millar who is still fondly missed and warmly celebrated by the sport, and we continue to honour his memory with pride and send our best wishes and thanks to the Millar family for allowing us to share his legacy with the world.

McLaren Formula 1 racer Lando Norris impressed everyone in 2021 and dominated the International Racer of the Year Award, with Sir Lewis Hamilton and Abbi Pulling not far behind in the votes, whilst Ash Sutton clinched the National Racer of the Year crown after sealing his third BTCC title ahead of Formula Ford Festival winner Jamie Sharp and GB3 champion Zak O’Sullivan.

The Overseas Racer of the Year was won by Canadian Formula Ford driver Megan Gilkes, who won favour after a tough and character-building season of transition, as fellow Formula Ford ace Max Esterson from the USA and Ginetta Junior rookie and winner Robert De Haan of the Netherlands scoring well in the voting process.

McLaren Racing celebrated a winning season in both Formula One and IndyCar, and the fans voted in their thousands for them to claim the Clapham North Team of the Year with Argenti Motorsport second after a brilliant year of success in both British F4 and karting and Williams Racing in third after returning to the points consistently in Formula One with George Russell and Nicholas Latifi.

Daniel Munro became the Zach Anderton Grassroots Racer of the Year – named in honour of the talented young Motorsport UK Academy student and F1000 star – and the Daytona SuperChamps Winter Series champion was able to seal the fabulous accolade ahead of esports hero and Britcar rookie Jimmy Broadbent, and rallycross champion Paige Bellerby who continues to rise the ranks.

Argenti Motorsport star Daniel Guinchard bowed out of British karting as the Martin Hines Kart Racer of the Year after winning the British Championship in both Junior Rotax and IAME, as well as the UKC Junior Rotax crown and the Kartmasters GP title amongst many other successes. Gabriel Stilp and Tom Riley – IAME International Finals Junior winner and British Superkart F125 Open champion - were behind him, separated by a single vote.

The John Bateman Club Racer of the Year for 2021 – named after one of the BRSCC’s most popular and beloved drivers and personalities – is Catherine Harris after the BRISCA Formula 1 stock car star showed amazing speed and strength throughout the year to wow the fans around the country, with Formula Ford star Alex Walker and Ginetta GT5 Challenge champion Josh Steed scoring well beside her in the top three.

In the championship contests, the W Series became the International Series of the Year following its first season as part of the Formula One weekend. The BRSCC’s Clubsport Trophy won the Club Series of the Year prize, whilst FunCup UK won the new Endurance Series of the Year title and the Formula Ford 1600 National Championship became Single Seater Series of the Year in a great night for the British Racing & Sports Car Club.

TCR UK was honoured as the Saloon Car Series of the Year, the British Indoor Karting Championship won the Grassroots Series of the Year and for the third year running the Junior Series of the Year went to the Ginetta Junior Championship.

The new Classic Series of the Year award went to the Masters Endurance Legends for Le Mans cars from the 2000s, whilst Super One Series proved its continued excellence as Karting Series of the Year once again. The Porsche Carrera Cup of Great Britain took the One-Make Series of the Year honour whilst the Sportscar Series of the Year was awarded not for the first time to the Britcar Endurance Championship. Finally the British Touring Car Championship won the National Series of the Year for the fifth time.

Departed legends of the sport were honoured in the Downforce Radio Hall of Fame – Murray Walker OBE, legendary commentator and the voice of Formula One for over twenty years, Sabine Schmitz, the famous queen of the Nurburgring and talented GT and touring car racer, and Sir Frank Williams, team principal and engineer behind the Williams Racing Formula 1 team.

Chaz Draycott was awarded the Commentator of the Year accolade after his breakthrough season in real life commentary beside his ever popular esports broadcasts, the organisers and participants of the Roger Albert Clark Rally were awarded the Outstanding Achievement of the Year, and the late Robert Foote was named Phil Bunn Marshal of the Year in honour of his incredible service to British motorsport.

The National Autistic Society Award will be shared by Junior Saloon Car talent Adam Parker and BIKC winner turned club karting star Stanley Donaldson who both continue to develop their talents and skills despite living with autism, and being phenomenal ambassadors for all autistic youngsters to strive for greatness in sports and life in general.

The final two awards went to Pride of Ireland recipient Alyx Coby who has represented the country on the world’s stage in the IAME Euro Series of karting, and to Richard Morris the co-founder and ambassador of Racing Pride which aims to promote the LGBTQ community and its equality within motorsport.

You can listen to the Downforce Awards Show again on our website’s podcast page.


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