A 14-year-old from Banbury has been named one of Britain’s best young drivers – three years before he can officially take to the road.
Daniel Blake was a finalist in The Young Driver Challenge for under-17s on September 5 at Birmingham’s NEC.
Forty finalists from across the country competed in two age categories – 11 to 13 and 14 to 16 – and their driving abilities were assessed by judges from across the field of motoring.
Hundreds of youngsters from across the country entered the challenge, which was run by Young Driver, the UK’s largest provider of lessons to the under-17s.
The Young Driver scheme was set up in 2009 with the aim of creating safer newly qualified drivers.
Daniel who goes to the North Oxfordshire Academy, came third in the 14 to 16 age category, impressing the judges with his control of the vehicle, precise manoeuvres and quick thinking behind the wheel
For coming third, Daniel won a place on a Young Driver’s Prodrive Skills Day and five Young Driver lessons.
Judges included representatives from the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), Admiral and Goodyear, plus highly qualified driving instructors.
Daniel said: “It was fantastic taking part in the final, and I’m very proud of my achievement. To even be in the top 20 for my age group was just a great feeling, let alone to then come third.
“The driving challenge itself really put me to the test. We had to do things like parallel parking, reversing, tight steering, emergency stops and turns in the road, as well as take on independent driving.
“It was great fun to put everything I’ve learned in my lessons into practice and to be given the opportunity to get even more experience.