On Monday 19th December it was announced that Pedro Hiltbrand was the winner of our first ever International Driver of the Year Award. After a dream season with Pedro picking up three major titles, the Spaniard beat the likes of Marco Ardigo, Karol Basz and Anthony Abbasse to the title.
Pedro, who raced with the CRG Factory Team this year, got his season off to a great start in the new OK class as he finished 3rd in the WSK Super Master Series. So heading into the CIK-FIA European Championship he was always labelled a title contender, but things got off to a bad start as he scored no points in the finals at Zuera (ESP). At round two, Adria (ITA), Pedro started to turn things around as he took the win in the final with solid points in the heats and Pre Final too.
Portimao (POR, round three was where things started to fall in Tom Joyner’s favour who had Ben Hanley doing him favours when he finished 2nd which left it a three way fight for the title at Genk between Pedro, Karol Basz and Joyner. As Basz retired with technical issues, Pedro was having a good race up front and with Joyner down the order he did enough to take the title by 10 points!
With the CIK-FIA OK European championship won next for Pedro Hiltbrand was the CIK-FIA KZ2 International Supercup at Kristianstad in Sweden. Clearly flying with confidence Hiltbrand had dominated all weekend but found himself chasing Tommaso Mosca in the Final. When Mosca hit mechanical issues Hiltbrand was left out front on his own and cruised to victory.
The last stop for Pedro Hiltbrand in 2016 would be Bahrain for the CIK-FIA World Championship. After a good weekend he started on the front row for the final and took the lead at turn one. It was a great race to watch there was four or five for the lead on most occasions but Hiltbrand always remained in the top two. He lost the lead on lap 14 to Basz, but when he retook it again on lap 18 the effect on Basz was too much for him to recover from and Hiltbrand went on to complete a sensational year with two World titles and a European title!
He was the clear winner of the this award and a very deserved one. Finishing as highly commended were Paolo De Conto, Victor Martins and Noah Watt with Matteo Vigano receiving a special mention from Karting magazine Editor, Chris McCarthy.