Racing driving enthusiast Gary Barak has been crowned Person of the Year by CAT magazine, one of the leading titles in the automotive industry.
Mr Barak, 46, is the founder of Chicane, a PR and marketing firm for the motor sports and entertainment sector. Clients include Renault, Aston Martin Racing and Philips. Mr Barak, who has worked in the industry for more than 20 years, tells People: "Getting the award was a huge surprise. Usually it's me pushing the profiles of other people so it was the other way round this time."
Mr Barak, from Whitley Bay, was destined for a career involving cars. His father Philip is believed to be the oldest competitive racing driver in the country, still going at the age of 76.
Mr Barak co-founded Chicane 12 years ago. He is married to actress Kate Anthony, who plays Auntie Pam in ITV soap Coronation Street. They live in London and are members of Richmond Synagogue.