Will Layton manage to come away a creditable fifth place in the opening round of the Toyo Tires 2019 British Rally Cross Championship.
The 17-year-old Banbury driver took a break from his A level studies to compete for the first time in the Senior Suzuki Swift category on one of the largest grids this season at Silverstone.
Racing the family prepared 1.6 Suzuki Swift Sport, Layton was able to demonstrate his speed from the start. In the three heats and the semi-final Layton had mixed fortunes.
Heat one he started from last and managed to secure sixth. In heat two he was up to third but the Pole man clipped the tyre wall and blocked Layton’s run, which resulted in body damage, however he managed to complete the race.
In heat three he had everything to do from last on the grid due to the incident in the previous round, but a strong start with a demanding drive ensured Layton was into the semi-finals.
The drying surface became loose and had to be dampened down to arrest the dust which made the conditions varied and slippy and that suited Layton who recently returned from Norway after experiencing ice lake tuition from Peter Gwynne Motorsport.
Layton had his best result, securing second and setting the fastest lap. That gave him a fourth place in the final. Up against more experienced racers, Layton started well and got up to third.
With track conditions drying and conditions more demanding, Layton was nudged wide exiting turn five from the jump and dropped back to fifth were he crossed the line.
Layton said for the first time in the new car, new series and his first race to make the final was his goal but to come away with 21 points and securing a strong fifth place in the opener means he is focussed on round two at Lydden Hill at Easter.