Up and coming Ripon driver Charlie Bean has made a big impact in his first competitive season, quite an achievement given that he only took up the sport in March.
The 14-year-old Outwood Academy student got behind the wheel to take part in the British Rallycross Championship’s Suzuki Swift junior class.
Under the guidance of his father Jonathan, Charlie made incredibly swift progress, winning his first heat at Mallory Park in Leicestershire in July.
After more race time, he went into the last round of the championship at Croft Circuit in the last weekend of October, sitting second with a one-point lead over his third-placed rival.
Charlie had to beat Welsh driver Matthew Thomas to finish the season in second, and this he did in style.
He finished first in the Saturday final on his home track to clinch the runners-up position.
Then the icing on the cake arrived on the Sunday, when Charlie won the Junior Grand Prix.
Dad Jonathan was national rallycross champion in 2010 in his Suzuki Swift 1600.
“”I’m very proud of him,” he said.
“This first season was supposed to be a learning one where he got used to the car and to driving, but he’s beaten all expectations and some very stiff competition and experienced drivers from places like Sweden.
“Charlie’s followed in my footsteps I suppose, he’s been around the paddock for a while and did a bit of karting and autograss, but then wanted to have a crack at the championship.
“He’s done really well, obviously if we can get the budget right for next year we’ll come back in 2013 and try to go one better.
“He’ll have some down time now, we’ll get the car prepped for next year and then the season starts again in March.”
Charlie’s school has been a big support during his first season on the track, and the young driver and his father brought the car to Outwood Academy last week to show teachers and students.
“The school has been brilliant, they’ve been understanding when he’s had to have time off to compete in places like Wales and Ireland, and are proud of his achievements,” said Jonathan.
“He actually drove his deputy head around the track at Croft last week.”
For more on Charlie, visit www.cjbmotorsport.com