Garstang teenager Rob Cotton has hit top gear to win a prestigious motoring award.
The 17-year-old was named UK Young Rally Driver of the Year during the Professional Motorsport World Awards 2018, held in Cologne, Germany, last week.
Cotton has spent the last 12 months driving in the British Rally Series known as Formula 1000, an entry level category intended as a launch pad for junior drivers.
Starting in quad bike racing aged 10, Cotton turned to Formula 1000 aged 15, racing a Nissan Micra, and this year, competed in a Toyota IQ that he had rebuilt himself.
Tristan Dodd, chairman of Formula 1000 Rally Club, said: “Rob richly deserves this trophy. Developing a new car is difficult at the best of times, and with the close nature of Formula 1000, the task becomes even more tricky.
“Rob has combined hard work with natural ability and has driven at an increasing pace, significantly keeping the car undamaged. I’m confident we’ll see him presenting the UK Young Rally Driver of the Year award to an upcoming junior in a few years’ time.”
Cotton said: “This award means a lot to me and validates all the work we’ve done this year.
“We’ve been slowly developing the car and improving with each rally, so we’re really pleased to end up here.
“Next year I’d like to enter the BTRDA (British Trial and Rally Drivers Association) Rally Championships in the 1400cc category.
“We’ve been upgrading the car, and we’re looking forward to facing some good competition there as well.”
The Professional Motorsport World Awards are are judged by a fully independent, panel of motorsport journalists and industry experts.