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Following an intensive day-long competition at Silverstone racetrack, winners were revealed in the forklift truck (FLT), large goods vehicle (LGV) and Newcomer categories.

Wincanton’s annual Driver of the Year event has been running for the past 13 years and seeks to reward the top driving talent within the company. For the first time, this year’s event included a Newcomer Driver of the Year award, which the haulier said comes at a time when there is a pressing need to recruit and retain the industry’s next generation of drivers.

The winner of the Newcomer award was Stafford-based Paul Dustan, a Wincanton driver for the last 18 months, who completed a series of highly complex and technical manoeuvres, competing against his colleagues at the world-famous race track.

The result of fierce competition saw Darren Coombes of Chippenham awarded the coveted LGV Driver of the Year title, while Stafford-based James Leach scooped the FLT Driver of the Year trophy.

Dustan said: “Carrying out intricate moves with a hefty LGV definitely requires concentration, as well as nerves of steel. Taking part has given me a huge boost in confidence. Truck driving is such a highly skilled job, so it feels great to be recognised for the hard work I’ve put in.”

Adrian Colman, Wincanton’s CEO, said: “Our driving colleagues play a key role in our business and their knowledge and professionalism deserves to be celebrated. We host our annual Driver of the Year competition to determine the business’ top Heavy Goods Vehicle and fork lift truck drivers, as well as crowning the overall Newcomer Driver of the Year.

“We want to ensure our drivers are the best in the business, which is why we invest in them. Our talent management schemes aim to nurture and reward our employees through different approaches.

“Wincanton’s Driver of the Year awards aren’t just about celebrating the work our drivers do for us, but also for the integral role they play in the wider UK economy,” he concluded. “They work hard day-in day-out, whatever the weather, to keep British business moving.”