By Mattias Persson
Felix has been named 2012 Athlete of the Year in his Swedish home town of Värnamo, after emerging victorious among ten candidates in local newspaper Värnamo Nyheter's annual vote for the tradition-steeped distinction.
The award marks the most prestigious recognition on offer for a local athlete from the Värnamo region, and was first handed out in 1946. Previous recipients include tennis player Hans Simonsson and skier Maria Rydqvist. The winner is produced by Värnamo Nyheter's own readers voting for their favourite athlete over the course of the past calendar year.
Felix Rosenqvist wins the accolade for the first time in his career, after obtaining 22 % of the votes from his fellow residents on the back of an emphatic year that saw him win four out of the final six Formula 3 Euro Series and FIA European F3 Championship feature races. He also claimed second place in the end-of-season Macau Grand Prix in China, where he became the first Swede to take to the podium in more than ten years.
Värnamo Nyheter is read by approximately 61.000 people each week.
"Big, big thanks to everyone who voted for me," says Felix. "It's particularly pleasant to receive an award which has been voted for by the general public, and it's great to see that so many people in Värnamo seem to appreciate the success I had in 2012 - when we worked our way back towards the top after a challenging start to the season. We have a lot of talented athletes in this region, and I'm honoured to have received this recognition from the people I literally live next door to.
"I want everyone to know how much I appreciate their interest in my career and the support they are giving me - it's instrumental coming from a small town like Värnamo, and I will do my utmost to build on 2012 during the up-coming season."
The Värnamo Nyheter award is the latest in a string of accolades for Felix, who received further recognition at Swedish motorsport ASN the SBF's Awards ceremony in Stockholm last weekend.
The 2012 Värnamo Nyheter Athlete of the Year candidates and voting results in full:
Felix Rosenqvist, motor racing, 22 % of the votes
Lina Boqvist, golf, 19 %
David Ruud, speedway, 17 %
Gislaveds VK, volleyball, 10 %
Victoria Almgren, horse riding, 10 %
Oscar Hiljemark, football, 9 %
Ellen Allgurin, tennis, 5 %
Westbo Atletklubb, powerlifting, 3 %
Viktor Claesson, football, 3 %
Patrik Turesson, powerlifting, 2 %