The British Touring Car Championship's very own 'Mr. Popular', Paul O'Neill, has underlined his status as a fans' favourite by scooping another prestigious accolade – the inaugural HiQ Magnum Moment prize for his emotional podium finish at Snetterton in August.
That means that out of all of the HiQ champagne moments issued throughout the 2009 campaign – to O'Neill, Rob Collard, Stephen Jelley, Jason Plato
and Mat Jackson
– the one awarded to the Sunshine.co.uk with Tech-Speed star back in the summer has been voted the most popular.
With 31 per cent of the votes, O'Neill narrowly beat Plato – whose impressive hat-trick of victories in the Brands Hatch finale earned the 2001 BTCC Champion second (25 per cent) – whilst Racing Silverline team-mate Jackson's double triumph at Silverstone was voted third (16 per cent).
Fan Mike Bowers of Gloucester was picked at random to win two tickets to the 'Night of Champions' in Stratford-upon-Avon on Saturday, where he will present O'Neill with a magnum of champagne. He has also won complimentary race tickets for the first BTCC meeting of 2010 at Thruxton, along with a grid walk of the track before one of the races.
“What a fantastic year!” enthused O'Neill. “I can't honestly believe I have won this award. It caps a memorable season for me, and I look forward to meeting Mike and Jenna on Saturday evening.”
“We had a suspicion that Paul O'Neill would win the award,” added HiQ's BTCC marketing manager Geraldine McGovern. “He was an extremely popular winner of our champagne moment, and we are delighted for him. It has been another tremendous year both on and off the track for HiQ, and we would like to give fans another opportunity to win a great prize with us.”