The 2019 Autosport Awards has kicked off with World Rally champion Ott Tanak winning the Rally Driver of the Year accolade.
Tanak took his first WRC title in 2019 – before then making a shock switch to Hyundai for his title defence next year – managing the impressive feat of preventing Sebastien Ogier from taking seven crowns in a row.
Winning the Rally Driver of the Year award means Tanak also ends Ogier’s dominance of the award, the Frenchman having won the last six.
The Toyota driver won six of the 12 rounds, and was on the podium for nine rallies in his strongest campaign yet.
Tanak was presented with his award by 1981 WRC champion and four-time Dakar Rally winner Ari Vatanen, who called 2019 a “very exciting” season.
“The difference was we won!” said Tanak when asked of what made the difference for 2019. “For me, an award like this is very special because we had a good season and achieved a dream of a lifetime.”
Tanak’s rivals for the award included his Toyota replacement Ogier, WRC title rival and Hyundai driver Thierry Neuville, as well as new WRC signing Kalle Rovanpera, set to make his Toyota bow in 2020.
The 2019 Autosport Awards will be broadcast on Sky Sports F1 at 9pm on Monday December 9.
Source: Read Full Article