Dromore High School pupil Daniel Harper will next year race for the TV cameras.
That’s after the 14 year-old saw off competition from 64 other aspiring young drivers to win a fully funded season in the 2016 KICK Start Energy Drink Ginetta Junior Championship.
The series runs at the same meetings as the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) and Ginetta GT4 Super-cup, with coverage on ITV4.
To win the coveted prize, the drivers took part in driving, media and fitness assessments over the three day event, during which each competitor received one-on-one driver tuition from BTCC racing drivers Adam Morgan and Tom Ingram, as well as Michelin Ginetta GT4 SuperCup race winner, Bradley Smith and British GT driver, Jody Fannin.
He said: “It’s been a fantastic week for me, I’ve really enjoyed every moment of it. I still can’t believe I have got this far and won. Thank you to all the staff who have helped me this week, especially the instructors who have brought my driving on so much in so little time. I’m now looking forward to putting everything I’ve learnt into practice.”
Daniel, from Annahilt, managed to reach the finale along with 23 other drivers. He was given one run to impress the judges and survived the last cut to 12 competitors.
The task of driving three timed laps to decide a winner failed to intimidate Harper, who set the winning ‘hot lap’ alongside Ginetta Factory Driver Mike Simpson.
Daniel accepted his prize from outgoing scholar Stuart Middleton, with Seb Priaulx finishing as runner up.
“I think Daniel is a very worthy winner, and I look forward to watching his first race at Brands Hatch in 2016,” said Chief Instructor Tom Ingram.
“It was a very tough few days for all the Ginetta Junior Scholarship drivers, with rain and changeable track conditions putting added pressure on our finalists. It was a very close call between the final three, with each quite deserving in their own right.”
Ginetta Championships Manager Ashley Gallagher added: “Once again the Ginetta Junior Scholarship has unearthed a whole host of talented racing drivers from a range of motorsport backgrounds.
“It’s unfortunate that we can only choose one winner at the end of such a great competition and we wish each of our entrants all the best in their motorsport career.”