3 - Paul O'Neill

He might be the only person in our top ten not to win a race during 2010, but few would begrudge Paul O'Neill of a place towards the top of our run-down for the driver of the year.

Back with Team sunshine.co.uk with Tech-Speed for a second year, O'Neill continued to punch above his weight with the older BTC-spec Honda Integra and consistently embarrassed drivers running in much more modern machinery - and with a much larger budget behind them.

A third place finish at Thruxton was followed by a stunning drive to second at Rockingham, and O'Neill could have found himself leading the overall standings after round three at Brands Hatch had it not been for a retirement at the start of race three.

Although there were disappointments at Oulton Park and Donington, O'Neill was a thorn in the side of his rivals and his drive at Silverstone, where he was the only person able to fight the dominant LPG-powered Fords.

Almost single-handedly, O'Neill helped his team to finish sixth in the teams' championship and fourth in the Independents' teams - only losing out on third on the final weekend of the season.

Given the right car, there is no doubt he can add to his two BTCC victories in future.

Statistics - Paul O'Neill:

Team: Team sunshine.co.uk with Tech-Speed Car: Honda Integra (BTC)

Championship position: 9th Points: 136 Independents championship position: 5th Independents points: 208

Victories: 0 Podiums: 3 (excludes victories) Best result: 2nd (Rockingham, Silverstone) Points finishes: 22

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