Poulton teenager Adam Smalley had never driven an actual racing car before.
But the talented Go-Karter upset the odds by winning a fully funded scholarship season in the prestigeous and televised Ginetta Junior Championship 2017 at his first attempt.
The 15-year-old, who attends Baines High School in Poulton, was entered into the trials in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, by his dad, Darren, who thought it would be a great experience.
Despite Adam’s talent with Go-Karts, which saw him become a leading European competition, driving a Ginetta racing car was a huge step up and no one expected him to win against 53 much more experienced opponents.
Now, with the scholarship, an exciting year lies ahead beyond his wildest dreams, including TV coverage.
A delighted Adam, who hopes one day to be a Formula One world champ like his hero Lewis Hamilton, said: “I can’t believe I’ve won. There was such a high calibre of drivers here that to win this life-changing prize is incredible.”
To win the scholarship, the young drivers had to take part in driving, media and fitness assessments over three days, with one-on-one driver tuition from former Ginetta juniors. Adam made the final three and had to make two runs in the car with limited instructions to impress the four judges.
As the successful 2017 Ginetta Scholar Junior, he will race cars in the championship from next April. He will also receive professional car preparation with a top team, season-long insurance, a Ginetta race suit and a supply of race tyres and fuel.
Adam’s proud dad Darren, 45, who runs Brimelows Car Sales in Poulton, said: “I couldn’t believe he won, I was so proud of him, it’s something that doesn’t usually happen to people from ordinary backgrounds like ours.”