A night to remember!
Who were the big winners at the 2017 Professional Driver QSi awards?
The fifth edition of our QSi Awards was the biggest yet, with more than 450 people stretching our regular venue, the Effingham Park Hotel near Gatwick Airport, to the limit.
We had some great battles for gold, with some past champions battling it out against some tremendous first-time entries. And with more entries than ever before, judging the winners is certainly getting harder and harder each year.
We launched the Professional Driver QSi Awards back in 2013 with a simple aim – to recognise and reward the best private hire operators, chauffeur firms and drivers in the UK. And we’re certainly getting there judging by the feedback from this year’s event.
We’ve also created a much-needed social event for this industry. We know how many hours you must have spent waiting to pick up your customers outside black tie dinners and Christmas parties at this time of year. The QSi Awards evening is designed to be our readers’ chance to get dressed up and let their hair down. And more and more companies are taking tables, treating their staff to a well-earned end-of-year party.
On the night, we handed out a total of 34 trophies to the winning companies and drivers. There were 10 different QSi categories, each with Gold, Silver and Bronze awards. So there was something for everyone, from the owner-driver chauffeur to the giant Private Hire fleets.
And as you can read on the facing page, we made a rather special presentation to reflect just how good this industry can be.
And we also handed out our eight Professional Driver Car of the Year awards. Seven categories covering every size and shape of vehicle that’s suitable for private hire or chauffeuring, and our highly valued overall Car of the Year prize.
We’re very proud of our Car of the Year Awards – they are one of the most thoroughly judged awards anywhere in the automotive industry, and this year even more readers spent a day testing our 60 shortlisted cars at a fun day at Sandown Park racecourse. You can see some of the highlights of that day on pages 32-33. We don’t choose the winners – you do.
Professional Driver magazine has seen the private hire industry make giant leaps forward in quality and professionalism, and that’s reflected in the standard of the entries – make no mistake, every shortlisted company thoroughly deserved to be there.
Once again, the ceremony was expertly mastered by Amanda Stretton, racing driver and presenter of Channel 4’s motorsports TV programmes, joined this year for the first time by actor-turned presenter Bryn Lucas. And the aftershow party carried on well into the small hours – a fun casino upstairs and a more rowdy affair in the downstairs sports bar!
The pictures in this gallery are designed to give a flavour of the evening. We’re already planning for 2018 – so make sure you don’t miss out on the party of the year!