The readers of RACER magazine and Racer.com have chosen NHRA Funny Car's newest star Courtney Force as the RACER Rookie of the Year in the 18th annual RACER of the Year presented by Hawk Performance.
Courtney, the youngest daughter of drag racing's most prolific and popular driver, 15-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force (and the one said to be most like him), was in fact your runaway choice for this accolade.
The 24-year-old from Yorba Linda, Calif., a former national event champion in Alcohol Dragster, reached four Funny Car finals in her 2012 rookie season. She was runner-up to Jeff Arend at the Chicago event in July and was edged by eventual world champ Jack Beckman by less than 0.01sec in Denver. Then, just two weeks later, she defeated reigning Funny Car champ Matt Hagan in the Seattle final for one of the most well-received victories by any driver in any drag racing class all season.
A runner-up finish to Cruz Pedregon in the Pomona finals showed she'll be a Funny Car title contender in 2013 – and victory in the season-opening Winternationals confirmed it.
Courtney commented: “I want to thank the readers of RACER Magazine for voting for me as RACER Rookie of the Year. To be considered with top NASCAR, IndyCar and F1 rookies is an honor just in itself and to be voted as Rookie of the Year is unbelievable. I have to thank all my fans and especially RACER magazine for this honor. I also want to thank my dad, John Force, Ford and my sponsor, Traxxas for being so supportive last season."
RACER editor David Malsher said: “If Courtney Force thought she had a tough battle on her hands in NHRA Funny Car last year, she had an even tougher battle in the RACER Rookie of the Year award. Or so you'd think, considering she was up against Simon Pagenaud in IndyCar and Daniel Ricciardo in Formula 1. But actually, Courtney wiped the floor with all of them, earning over 60 percent of the readers' votes, and became the first NHRA driver ever to win this award. Scoring a win and fifth place in the championship standings in your first year of wrestling an 8,000hp, 300mph car is a heck of an achievement, and RACER readers clearly understand that.”
RACER Rookie Racer of the Year Hall of Fame:
2006 Colin Braun
2007 Lewis Hamilton
2008 Joey Logano
2009 Ben Spies
2010 Ryan Dungey
2011 James Hinchcliffe
Other 2012 winners voted for by RACER
's readers include:
RACER of the Year
– 2012 IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay
Road Racer of the Year
– 2012 IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay
Drag Racer of the Year
– 2012 NHRA Top Fuel Champion Antron Brown.
Rookie of the Year
– NHRA Funny Car race-winner Courtney Force.
's editors also selected these 2012 winners:
Car of the year:
Toyota TS030 Hybrid WEC LMP1 Hybrid
Sebastian Loeb, 9-time FIA World Rally Champion
Race of the Year:
Formula 1 Brazilian Grand Prix
Team of the Year:
BMW's DTM squad
The Spring 2013 issue of RACER
includes full coverage of RACER of the Year presented by Hawk Performance, a wide-ranging interview with Hunter-Reay and the man he replaced as IZOD IndyCar Series champion, Dario Franchitti. The issue also features previews to the 2013 IndyCar, Formula 1, NASCAR, ALMS, Grand-Am, WEC and NHRA seasons.
is beginning its 21st year of publication and is offered in print and digital editions and also in iTunes, Kindle and Android apps. It is also available at national bookstore newsstands in the USA and Canada. Visit www.racer.com for all the latest racing news and subscription offers.
● Paul Pfanner, Founder and Executive publisher of RACER
, announced that Hawk Performance is now the presenting sponsor of the annual awards that will be expanded in 2013 to also include an “Amateur Racer of the Year presented by Hawk Performance” category. Pfanner commented, “Hawk Performance is the ideal partner for our RACER of the Year, and their commitment to excellence is reflected in their high-quality products that are used by leading amateur and professional racers.”
He added: “Hawk's devotion to racers everywhere is exemplified by their 12-year partnership with the 40,000-member Sports Car Club of America. Our company has had the honor of publishing SportsCar
Magazine since 1984 and it was the Hawk team's shared passion for amateur racers that was the impetus for expanding our awards to honor their achievements.”
● THE HAWK ADVANTAGE
Hawk Performance provides unbeatable braking performance for racers.
Hawk Performance has dominated the motorsports market since 1990, offering a wide variety of highly engineered friction products with features designed to exceed the demanding environments found in nearly every type of racing, including open-wheel, sports car/GT, club, and Autocross competition.
Decades of experience in developing friction materials for aerospace, industrial, military, automotive and motorsports applications give Hawk an advantage over the competition.
In motorsports, we're committed to understanding the specific needs of the racecar, the driver and the demands of the environment in which they perform. Continuous research, development and testing assure the constant improvement of our line of brake materials and offer racers unbeatable braking performance.
Hawk is the Official Brake Pad of the Pirelli World Challenge and the Official Brake Products of the SCCA for a 12th straight year.
Learn more at hawkperformance.com or find us on Facebook at facebook.com/hawkperformance