FIA announce two new awards for end of season prize-giving

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The FIA has announced two new awards that will be presented at the motorsport governing body’s end of season prize-giving alongside the trophies for the championships under its jurisdiction.

The FIA Personality of the Year and FIA Moment of the Year are the first awards in the history of the federation that are open to votes from non-members, with the latter being decided by fans on Facebook.

For the Personality of the Year award, permanently-accredited members of the media will each have a vote for a personality who, according to the FIA’s website “should be attributed to a living motorsport figure – a driver, a team manager, an official, a volunteer, etc., affiliated to an FIA’s championship or event and who achieved an exceptional individual or collective performance during the 2013 season.” Therefore, two members of NBCSN’s Formula One team will have a vote for this award. Each member will vote for three personalities in stage one before selecting a final choice from a shortlist of ten.

A jury comprising of many leading FIA members has selected twelve stand-out moments from the season so far (none of which come from this year’s Formula One world championship), and fans have the chance to vote for their favorite on Facebook by liking the FIA’s official page.

Brazilian F1 legend Emerson Fittipaldi is pleased to see the FIA reach out to the fans via this scheme, saying: “It’s been a fantastic year of motorsport. I hope all fans and media will get involved and cast their vote.”

Fans can cast their vote by clicking here. The prize-giving gala will take place in Paris on December 6.

MRTI: Keith Donegan earns Mazda Shootout Scholarship

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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Dublin, Ireland’s Keith Donegan claimed a $200K scholarship from Mazda after emerging victorious at the second annual Mazda Road to Indy Shootout. The 20-year-old Donegan earned an at-large nomination for the scholarship based on his performance at this year’s Formula Ford Festival, in which he finished second in the final, and emerged from a pack of 17 drivers from across the globe to claim the scholarship.

“It really hasn’t hit me yet,” said an emotional Donegan, who earlier in his career actually spent two years away from racing as he focused on academics. “The weekend was really good and I enjoyed it. I have to say a huge thanks to Mazda and Cooper Tires and everyone at the Mazda Road to Indy. I enjoyed every moment. Throughout the weekend we were consistent and I kept the small things in check. I didn’t make any stupid mistakes and kept my head cool and that really paid off in the end.”

The two-day shootout was held at the Bondurant Racing School in Arizona and saw the nominated drivers tackle the school’s 1.6-mile circuit in Formula Mazda race cars before facing on and off-track assessments. Donegan was selected by a panel of judges that included former driver and current Verizon IndyCar Series TV analyst Scott Goodyear, Mazda drivers Tom Long, Andrew Carbonell, and Jonathan Bomarito, as well as Victor Franzoni – the current champion of the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires – and Oliver Askew, the current champion of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.

Donegan was humbled to be in the presence of drivers who have won scholarships and championships previously, and added that he is grateful to have the opportunity to continue his racing career.

“You see all these champions here today that will go on to great things in the future and I’m sure the names you see here today aren’t going to disappear,” Donegan added. “They will be back up there and I’m sure I will be racing them again some day. It is an unbelievable opportunity to be given and for Mazda to provide that for any young driver. It just gives that bit of motivation that you need because the [U.S.] is where you need to go to become a professional these days. It is such a boost to my career.”

Donegan is now slated to join the 2018 USF2000 championship, with further announcements regarding the team with whom he’ll be racing to come in the future.

Follow @KyleMLavigne