Delighted racer Christie Doran paid tribute to her fans after being named Falkirk Herald Sports Personality of the Year last night.
The Carron speedster (22) saw off a tough challenge from last year’s winner, footballer Leanne Ross, football manager Alex Smith and boxer Monty Ogilvie to take the readers’ vote.
Christie has come third in class in the competitive VAG Trophy down south in the past two years – with three wins and 16 podiums – and she is taking a big step up into the Britcar Endurance Championship this year.
But she also impressed people by the way she bounced back from a huge crash at Rockingham Speedway in Northamptonshire to get back on the podium.
And she reckons the award will give her a huge boost as it shows the town is backing her efforts.
She said: “It is a massive honour to win this award. The Sports and Arts awards showed the depth of talent in the area. There were some seriously skilful people rightfully getting recognition.
“But I am delighted to get the Sports Personality of the Year from Falkirk Herald readers. I just want to thank everyone who took the trouble to vote.
“It is a real buzz because it feels like Falkirk will be cheering me on when I go racing.”
Christie helped make British motorsport history when she and Amy Dziurzynski came first and second in class at Brands Hatch in the VAG Trophy – the first time two women had taken the top two places in a mixed gender race.
But she reckons the award she picked up from Sports Editor David Oliver and Provost Billy Buchanan at Falkirk Town Hall was just as special.
She added: “I would like to thank the Herald and the Council for a great night. This award will look great with my race trophies. It was great to be part of British race history and I got a lot of publicity because of it but this is very cool.
“I couldn’t have done this without my team, SlideSports Race Engineering. They have worked so hard on my race technique. They give me the car. I just drive it as fast as I can.
“It is a great thrill to go racing. The Britcar Endurance Championship is another step up and I will be mixing things with iconic race cars like Ferraris and Porsches. I know the car. I know the team and I know the circuits. I also know it will be very tough, but I can’t wait to start.”
Falkirk Herald Sports Editor David Oliver added: “Christie was very close to winning our inaugral award for her achievements in 2015, but was pipped at the post by Stevie Beattie.
“This year there’s been no question – she was the runaway vote winner by a considerable margin and it’s an award that is richly deserved.
“I’m sure she’ll be back in future years too and wish her well for the new season where she’ll be testing her little Volkswagen Golf and all her driving abilities against Ferraris and Porsches.
“We all look forward to following her progress, and charting it throughout the year in The Falkirk Herald.”
More from last night’s ceremony throughout the week at The Falkirk herald website and in next week’s edition.