The search is on for Britain’s best young driver…who isn’t legally old enough to drive on the roads yet.
The 2014 Young Driver Challenge is open to those aged between 11 and 16 years and is being run by Young Driver, the UK’s largest provider of under-17 driving tuition. Youngsters taking lessons at Manchester’s Trafford Centre, Preston, Kirkby, Eccles or Crewe can enter until the end of July.
The first official entrant of the challenge was Reece Buttery, the 12-year old TV star of the Christmas hit Gangsta Granny and CBBC’s The Dumping Ground, who set the standard high for the 11-13 age group.
The challenge judges the ability of entrants based on a series of driving skills and manoeuvres, including parallel parking, figures of eight, a turn in the road, steering, judgement and positioning. Entrants will also have to complete the Goodyear Driving Academy, an interactive online driving simulator which puts youngsters’ knowledge of the Highway Code to the test.
Forty top-scoring finalists from across the country, spanning two age categories (11-13 years and 14-16 years), will then compete at a final to be held at the Prodrive circuit in the Midlands in September.
The winners will win a selection of prizes including 40 pre- and post-17 driving lessons provided by Goodyear, a Young Driver at School session for them and their classmates as well as £500 off a car insurance premium courtesy of Young Driver sponsor Admiral.
Kim Stanton from Young Driver said: “Young Driver was set up with the intention of reducing the shockingly high number of accidents which occur shortly after youngsters pass their driving test. We believe it is important that youngsters learn to drive over a longer period of time and at a younger age, when they’re more receptive to safety messages.
“We have given 125,000 lessons to under 17s since our launched in 2009, and we have seen so many outstanding young drivers in that time. Most of the youngsters who take part in our lessons give 100% to perfecting the skills they are shown and treat the cars with the utmost respect. We wanted to recognise the hard work our young drivers put in, and show the world how responsible young people can be when given the appropriate training.
“For the Young Driver Challenge, we have teamed up with our sponsors to create a programme that incorporates both practical experience through Young Driver and education on the Highway Code through the Goodyear Driving Academy. The prize package reflects this with a fantastic package of pre and post-17 lessons, as well as offering youngsters and their family a sizeable discount on their Admiral car insurance. Come on youngsters of the North West– show the country you’ve got the best young drivers out there!”
Reece Buttery, 12-year old star of TV’s Gangsta Granny and The Dumping Ground and the first official 2014 Young Driver Challenge entrant, said: “I have had a few Young Driver lessons now, and they’re great fun, but I’m also very aware that I’m learning some hugely important skills. I’d urge anyone aged 11-16 to give it a go, it’s a brilliant experience. You get to do everything you would in a driving lesson at 17, in a dual controlled car, but you’re on a specially constructed road course on private property rather than the real roads. I’m definitely keeping my fingers crossed that my challenge entry might make it into the top 20 for my age category!”
For more information about the challenge, or to book a Young Driver lesson, please log on to www.youngdriver.eu or call 0844 371 9010.