While elder brother Justin would no doubt love another chance to impress the Woking outfit, there will be no prouder onlooker as Stefan Wilson tests with McLaren as part of his 2007 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award selection.

Although not among the title-winners in the six-man shortlist, car racing debutant Wilson impressed sufficiently in a two-day 'selection shoot-out' at Snetterton last month to earn the judges' nomination to follow in the footsteps of his brother's former F1 rivals Jenson Button and David Coulthard. Justin will know what his sibling went through during the selection process, having been a one-time nomination himself.

Having finished second to Tim Bridgeman in the Formula Palmer Audi championship, Wilson tackled on-track assessments in Porsche Carrera Cup, Mercedes DTM and World Series by Renault machinery, as well as facing up to questions from the selection panel, before being chosen ahead of British Formula Ford champion Callum McLeod, Formula Renault champion Duncan Tappy, FFord Festival and FPA Shoot-out winner Nick Tandy and racewinners Henry Arundel and Dean Smith. As usual, however, the 18-year old had to wait several weeks before being announced as the winner at Sunday night's Autosport Awards.

"This will separate me a bit from my brother - and gives me the chance to tease him," Wilson joked as the enormity of his achievement - which capped an impressive first year of single-seater competition - sank in.

As well as the much-publicised test in one of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula One cars and the ?50,000 career enhancement award, Wilson will also receive a GP2 test, membership of the British Racing Drivers Club and a ?6000 one-off Graham Chronograph Swordfish timepiece.

The Briton has his sights set on stepping up a category or two next season, and recently tested one of Carlin Motorsport's F3 cars during an impromptu test session.

"The F3 car was a real step up in performance," he admitted after the test, which preceded the Award shoot-out, "It had so much downforce and it was the first car I've driven with substantial grip levels, so it was amazing to go through corners with only a slight lift off the power. Now I've driven a car with real downforce, I'm eager to do it again."

No timescale has been set for Wilson's F1 test and, if precedents are anything to go by, he may have to wait some time. Predecessors Oliver Jarvis and Paul di Resta only received their track time with the Woking team at Silverstone recently, in the Macau F3 GP winner's case some two years after taking to the stage at the Grovesnor House Hotel.

 

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