Russell Watson, 20, a Computer Systems Engineering Student at Bristol University, has fought off 3,500 other contestants to become Autocar Young Driver of the Year, and the proud owner of a brand new SEAT Ibiza 1.4 Sport worth £11,345.
Russell took part in the Autocar online competition sponsored by SEAT that ran for six months over the summer and was open to young drivers between the ages of 17-21. The competition had three increasingly difficult phases with contestants either eliminated along the way or progressing to the next stage. The first was an online motoring theory test developed from the BSM’s mock test, and the second stage an online driving skills test. This involved manoeuvring a new SEAT Ibiza along a virtual landscape in the style of the Ibiza TV ad, avoiding road hazards along the way. The 32 entrants with the highest scores for the virtual driving were invited to take part in real driving skills tests at the test circuit of Prodrive Live at Kenilworth.
Under the watchful eyes of the judges, SEAT’s team of professional female race instructors, the contestants were put through challenging driving skills tests including circuit driving, skid pan and cones avoidance. They were also subjected to a written paper, testing their knowledge of motoring, motor sport, SEAT products and Autocar magazine. After a final quick fire buzzer questions round, Russell Watson emerged the winner.
Autocar Editor, Steve Fowler, handed over the prize Ibiza 1.4 Sport in Flash Red to a delighted Russell Watson.Published 6 December 2002