FOR THE first time ever The Guild of Motoring Writers has been involved in the judging process for the annual Autocar-Courland Next Generation Award – and the announcement of the results shows it has backed the winner, Roberto Antonio Pace, from the very start.

Guild chairman Richard Aucock joined the award’s judging panel to help narrow down this year’s huge number of entries for the annual contest, which was launched in 2009 to offer a unique chance to kick-start automotive industry careers. The Guild was eager to become involved owing to our long history of supporting up-and-coming talent through its own awards and our desire to offer a journalistic viewpoint on the contest. The opportunity to play a role in helping find the next generation of automotive industry talent was also welcomed, given the strong professional relationship Guild members have with the British automotive industry.

Roberto’s ‘Cylindrical Brake System’ scored joint top marks in GoMW chairman Aucock’s final rankings. The 25-year-old Kingston University student then went on to impress the main Autocar-Courland judging board, and collected his prize at the SMMT Dinner on 27 November at Grosvenor House, London.

Autocar editor-in-chief and GoMW member Steve Cropley presented the award, along with the chairman of Courland Automotive Practice, Kevin Gaskell. Runners-up Jonathan Maynard from Brunel University and James Benson from Huddersfield University were also honoured.

Cropley said: “Roberto, Jonathan and James should be justifiably proud of their achievement in the 2012 contest. The level of entries was extraordinarily high, and they have completed three tough judging processes, which was by no means an easy task.”

Richard Aucock added: “The ‘Cylindrical Brake System’ was a superb entry, and I’m delighted to see it go on and impress the main judging panel to scoop the overall prize. It was the sheer innovation of the design that caught my attention initially – and Roberto backed it up with full supporting evidence and technical information.”

Roberto, who also won a £7,500 cash prize, will now go on to complete a five-month work experience package with contest sponsors Jaguar Land Rover, McLaren Automotive, Peugeot, Skoda and Toyota.

The Guild’s own Dinner & Awards event take places on 6 December at the Royal Automobile Club on Pall Mall, London. Several prizes will be presented to the next generation of motoring journalism talent, including the Phil Llewellyn Student Journalist of the Year Award, the Sir William Lyons Award, the Breakthrough Blogger of the Year Award and the Headlineauto Young Writer of the Year Award.

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