Teenage driver heads for finals

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A 15-year-old from Kirkby Wharfe near Tadcaster will take part in the national final of a driving competition.

Harry Barlow will take part in the Young Driver Challenge 2018 on September 22 in Gloucestershire, as one of 40 finalists who are all aged between 10 and 17. The Challenge is run by Young Driver, the country’s largest provider of pre-17 driving tuition.

The scheme has delivered more than 550,000 lessons with fully qualified instructors in dual controlled Vauxhall Corsas at 60 venues across the UK.

The emphasis is on encouraging youngsters to be safer drivers, by helping them master the skills off-road and at a younger age.

Harry, who attends Tadcaster Grammar School, won his place at the final after being judged during a lesson at the scheme’s Leeds venue.

Harry said: “I was really pleased to find out I’d made the final and am looking forward to showing the judges what I can do.

“I’ve had 10 lessons with Young Driver, and although I was nervous being behind the wheel for the first time, it is a lot of fun and I think it will really help me when it comes to getting on the road at 17.

“I feel like I have a lot of driving skills under my belt and will therefore be able to focus more on other road users rather than what to do with my feet.”

At the final, the drivers will be marked on driving skills and manoeuvres, including parallel parking, emergency stops, steering, judgement and positioning, as well as having to undertake independent driving.

Judges include ex-police drivers and advanced instructors and first place prizes for each category include £200, 10 one-hour Young Driver lessons and family restaurant vouchers. Prizes are also given to the runners up.

Laura White, head of marketing at Young Driver, added: “Congratulations to Harry!”

“He’s done brilliantly to make the final and should feel very proud of himself.”