Bradley Ellis will be awarded the BRDC Innes Ireland Trophy at the annual prestigious British Racing Drivers' Club Awards 2008 at the Cafe Royal, London, on Monday 8 December. The 21 year-old from Croydon will receive the coveted accolade as the driver who best displayed the qualities of courage and sportsmanship epitomized by the late Innes Ireland, during 2008.
The 2007 Avon Tyres British GT Champion suffered a massive accident during a guest return to the series in June 2008 at Thruxton. Contact to the rear of Ellis' Ginetta G50 on one of the fastest parts of the Hampshire circuit launched him off the track and into a bank protecting a marshals' post, just before the chicane, resulting in a compression fracture to the sixth vertebra.
Despite an overnight stay in hospital, Ellis bounced back to buy another crash helmet and HANS device on the way home and returned to the racing seat less than one week later, to contest the next FIA GT3 European round at Oschersleben, Germany.
His swift recovery and determination to return to racing no doubt helped Ellis to stay in the fight for the FIA GT3 European Championship crown. Ironically, Ellis will fly directly back from the final rounds of the series in Dubai on Sunday, where he remains one of seven drivers who could take the title, in order to attend the BRDC Awards ceremony.
Commenting from Dubai, Ellis said: "It will be an immense honour to receive the Innes Ireland Trophy and my first ever BRDC award. The accident at Thruxton was by far the most serious of my career, although I don't plan on having another, but the moment I got to hospital I was determined that it wouldn't ruin my season. However, it was thanks to the fantastic support from across the industry, including the BRDC of which I was invited to become a member earlier this year, that I was able to get back racing as soon as possible. I'm very much looking forward to the ceremony and hope to return to the UK after a successful weekend here in Dubai."
The star-studded awards ceremony at the Cafe Royal will be introduced by Tiff Needell while BRDC President Damon Hill OBE will be on stage to present the respective trophies alongside each award sponsor. The 2008 Innes Ireland Trophy is sponsored by DMC Business Machines.