PH AWARDS 2012 - THE WINNERS!
The votes are in and here are the results!
OK, it didn't really work like that. But we're trying to build up some tension here. In which case we should really follow the form of Strictly, X-Factor, Masterchef and all the rest by leaving .................... unneccesarily long pauses and staring meaningfully around the room before announcing anything.
We're not going to do that. Realising that you may well want to discuss the results (grab a brew and some Christmas treats, it's going to be a long one...) we'll crack straight on.
But a quick note before we do - all the nominees deserve a huge cheer and all would have been worthy winners. But Stuart is only going to fund one trophy per category so there had to be one overall winner in each...
PH Carpooler of the year:Jamie Banks, Porsche 911 C4 Cab
You probably could have guessed the way this was going from the conversation thread that followed the poll, "Because he uses the damn thing, Porsche C4 Cab" from PHer BoxsterTtype typical of the sentiment. And so our final PHCarpool of 2012 also wins the overall prize, run a close second by Sam Frost and his Bristol 410. A huge cheer to everyone who submitted themselves for Carpool this year too, it's been fascinating to hear all the stories!
The 'really?' moment of the year - BMW pricing
Chris Harris's discussion of Aston Martin styling certainly got folk chatting and, together with 'that rear wing' on the Jaguar XFR-S made strong running in the votes. But the winner, by a decisive amount, was BMW's pricing of the astounding M135i for under £30K, assuming you go easy on the options. As Chris said in his nomination - enjoy it while it lasts.
The PH keeping it real award - Caterham
A runaway success for Caterham in this category with nearly half the votes cast. "To me 'keeping it real' includes building cars that are at least potentially affordable, not merely traditional - and Caterham are both," said PHer samoht in the discussion thread that followed, that a minimalist British sports car with a four-cylinder engine could beat the might of Pagani, Corvette and AMG surely a reason for a final gasp of national pride for 2012!
The PH award for outstanding engineering geekery - Deltawing
An absolute runaway success for the Deltawing in this category and, Nissan badge or not, another reason for a bit of national pride. PHers really took this unusual and mould-breaking racing car to its heart this year and every story we ran on it provoked a huge amount of interest. Then Chris Harris got to drive it and meet its amazing designer Ben Bowlby and you could have handed the award over then!
PHer of the year - Mel Johnson
Frankly it doesn't really seem fair to single out one particular person in this category, with all the nominees having gone well over and above and deserving of huge respect. We - well, you - had to pick a winner though and our PHer of the year is Mel Johnson for his tireless work as part of SERV, delivering vital medical supplies and keeping the memory of sadly missed PHer Ali B alive by using his much loved 'busa and drawing much needed attention to this vital service. Well done Mel and to all the others nominated.
Event of the year - the Brazilian Grand Prix
We weren't sure about the ethics of putting one of our own events - Sunday Service - in here but the popularity of these meets is impossible to argue with and we thank all PHers for making them so vibrant, well attended and fun. In the end Sunday Service came a close third place though, just a couple of points behind Goodwood. The winner is perhaps surprising though but a vindication for F1 in a year that it rediscovered racing. As Alex pointed out in his nomination, that the Brazilian Grand Prix was free-to-view on the BBC and we were all able to enjoy every action packed minute from our sofas just made it all the more satisfying.
The 'catch it while you can' award - Any TVR
"Any TVR for sure! 996 Turbo close second though," said PHer JnP in the discussion thread following the nominations, eerily predicting the results pretty much spot on. Although, to be fair, even with the weight of a recent buyer's guide behind it the 996 Turbo wasn't that close behind, PH's special affection for Blackpool rock meaning TVR romped to victory. The sad news that any possible chance of a revival has been destroyed late this year has probably sealed it too and if you've always promised yourself a TVR of your own you'll need to act fast to grab one while they're still vaguely attainable. There's at least one nice Chimaera going on the market soon...
Motorsport moment of the year - "Leave me alone, I know what I'm doing!"
With a massive 63 per cent of the vote the win for Kimi's legendary 'leave me alone' moment was (almost) the most clear-cut in the whole PH awards. That an off-the-cuff radio quip out-shone nine WRC titles very much underlines the spirit of PH too, Kimi's quote the basis of some PH T-shirts and the stuff of legend. It's more than just a soundbite though - as a rallying cry for those fed up of being nagged, bullied, harassed and patronised it's a moment deserving of recognition. Well done Kimi! Go on, raise a glass...
PH hero of the year- Alex Zanardi
With some incredibly strong and deserving nominations in this category we reckoned this would be hard fought. It wasn't. All the nominees would have been deserving winners but for sheer grit, determination, sportsmanship and selflessness Alex Zanardi's dominant victory with nearly three quarters of the vote is a result nobody's about to argue with. Second place was almost as interesting, albeit with a fraction of the votes: Fernando Alonso. For many years F1's pantomime villain, the Spaniard's reinvention as a serious contender for PH hero of the year is a measure of his success this year.
Car of the year- Toyota GT86/Subaru BRZ
We knew this would be the hardest fought category and with the most votes and seven pages of discussion it proved to be just that. And it was close, really close. That the two cars battling for honours are very real rivals in the showroom adds a fascinating frisson, ditto that the debates between them - prestige badges versus mass market, bragging rights compared with usable performance - cut to the core of what we want out of our cars. The result will inspire more chat and PH is the place to have it. But for now let's raise a glass to our car of the year - the Toyobaru. Whichever badge it has on its nose, it's a deserving winner.