Maritimo 11 throttleman, Pal Virik Nilsen, was voted Norwegian Motorsport Personality of the year at a lavish ceremony last weekend in Norway, hosted by the Norwegian Motorsport Federation.
Nilsen, 34, who lives in Sandefjord, won the prestigious award which covers all motorsport disciplines, in a closely contested vote, beating Paris-Dakar Motorcyclist Pal Anders Ullevaalseter. “I am very proud to receive this award,” said Pal Virik. “For me the way into Class 1 has been longer than most other drivers on the tour I guess. That’s actually a good feeling and an advantage with the experience I have gained in the smaller classes.
“I must thank Gianni Giorgi who gave me my first opportunity to test a Class 1 in 2005, and Bjorn Rune Gjelsten who believed in me and teamed me up with Tom Barry-Cotter in 2007 to race in Spirit of Norway 20.
“I dedicate this award to every crew member of the Maritimo Team, especially Bill Barry-Cotter, to show how grateful I am to be onboard with them.”
Nilsen received the award for his professionalism and for his achievements in Class 1 this season, finishing third in the European Championship and his current third place in the overall World Championship standings. “Pal Virik is a driver who has worked hard through many series in the U.I.M. system, and for us is a very valuable person to promote motorsport in Norway and throughout the rest of the world.” said Roy Wetterstad, general secretary of the Norwegian Motorsport Federation.