Motorsport champions of 2016 are honoured in Vienna

In the FIA World Touring Car Championship Argentina’s José María López took an emphatic third title in a row, winning eight times to also hand Citroën its third consecutive manufacturers’ trophy.

FIA World Rallycross, however, crowned a new champion in Mattias Ekström. The two-time DTM champion took four wins on the way to dethroning Petter Solberg, winner of the first two WRX campaigns.

After missing out on top spot in the inaugural FIA Formula E Championship by a single point a year ago Switzerland Sébastien Buemi made sure of the 2015-’16 title in a breathless final weekend at the season-ending London e-Prix, beating Lucas Di Grassi by just two points.

A number of special FIA awards were handed out on the night. For the second year in a row Max Verstappen won both the FIA Personality of the Year and the FIA Action of the Year Awards, the latter being presented for the teenager’s stunning overtake of Nico Rosberg in the wet at this year’s Brazilian Grand Prix. Eighteen-year-old FIA World Rallycross Championship star Kevin Hansen won the 2016 Rookie of the Year Award having won this year’s European Rallycross Supercar Championship.

In a first for the FIA Prize Giving, a new President’s Award was handed out by FIA President Jean Todt. The inaugural recipient was French racer Frédéric Sausset. Occupying Garage 56, the slot on the grid reserved for innovative vehicles, the quadruple amputee competed in this year’s Le Mans 24 Hour race, driving a specially adapted LMP2 class car.

FIA President said: “Frédéric Sausset has proved that with absolute determination and passion one can attain unbelievable results. His participation in the Le Mans 24 Hours proves that any barrier, any obstacle can be overcome if the will to do so is strong enough.”

The stars of the future were also honoured in Vienna, with champions from across the FIA racing pyramid being presented with their trophies.

Canada’s Lance Stroll, who will in 2017 race for the Williams team in Formula One, took an emphatic title win in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, taking 14 wins, including seven from the final nine races.

In Formula 4, the Federation’s bridge between the worlds of karting and single-seater racing, the winners from seven championships (Britain, China, South America, Japan, North East Europe, Spain and the United States) were awarded their trophies.

CIK-FIA World Karting Champions Pedro Hiltbrand (OK class), Victor Martins (OK Junior) and Paolo De Conto (KZ) were also awarded.

Awards were handed out across the FIA’s sporting discipline, including to female champion Anita Mäkelä in the Top Fuel category of the FIA European Drag Racing Championship, to Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel, winners of the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies and the FIA Middle East Rally Championship, as well as Esapekka Lappi and Jane Ferm in WRC 2 and Simone Tempesti and Giovanni Bernacchini in WRC 3.

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