“It's a great honour for me to receive this prestigious award from a magazine that is known around the world,” he acknowledged, “Sportscar endurance racing is a 'team' sport and I have been very fortunate to drive for the very best teams and to share a car with fantastic co-drivers and so in this respect, this award is for them just as much as me.
“I've had fantastic times with two drivers here tonight, Allan [McNish] and Dindo [Capello], both on and off the track. Of course Audi Sport Team Joest has given us the car, engineers, technicians and strategy, everything that has combined to enable us to achieve our success.
“It would be remiss of me not to mention my father, Carl Erik, who gave me the encouragement and advice at the beginning of my career. I owe him, and of course my lovely family, absolutely everything.”
A unique charity auction staged on behalf of the Grand Prix Mechanics Charitable Trust accompanied the event, courtesy of Bonhams, and raised over £92,000.
Sky Sports F1 will show exclusive coverage from the event on Friday (1 March).