It was announced that the European Touring Car Drivers champion and Autosport British Competition Driver of the Year was top of the telephone poll last night at a gala dinner at the Hotel de France, but, in the tradition of award ceremonies, ‘could not be here tonight’.
He had a good excuse though – he was in Spain, testing a Williams BMW Formula 1 car.
Speaking from Spain by satellite, Priaulx said he was delighted to have won the CI award – after his third consecutive nomination – and thanked the voters for their efforts.
By the time the voting closed last night, Priaulx was the clear winner, around 400 votes ahead of Sark’s Olympic dressage star, Carl Hester.
But until midday yesterday all six nominees, including Jersey’s England badminton star Elizabeth Cann and Formula Ford racing driver Ryan Parouty, were neck-and-neck.
A total of around 4,800 votes were cast by members of the public.
Special guest at the awards night was Paralympian Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, who took part in a question-and-answer session about her life in sport.
Jersey swimmer Daniel Halksworth was the winner of the Rising Star category, his reward for winning gold and a silver Youth Commonwealth Games medals on top of other achievements in 2004.
‘I’m very excited, and very nervous.
I’ve never been so nervous in my life,’ he said.
‘Put me in a pool and I’m fine, but at an event like this – I’m really, really nervous!’ Full report in today’s JEP.