Wigan boy, 12, gears up for driving glory
Schoolboy Jack Collier may only be 12 years old, but he has secured his place in the national final of a driving competition.
The Hindley High School pupil is one of 40 finalists, aged 10 to 17, who will take part in the Young Driver Challenge 2018.
Jack impressed judges during his lessons at the DW Stadium and Haydock Park Racecourse with Young Driver, which provides driving tuition to people under the age of 17.
In the competition, he 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.
It will take place on Saturday, September 22 at the Fire Service College in Gloucestershire, where emergency service drivers are taught.
Judges include former police drivers and advanced instructors, with prizes for the winners including Â£200, driving lessons and restaurant vouchers.
Jack, who lives in Hindley, said: “I was very happy when I found out I had got to the final of the Young Driver Challenge. I usually spend my time on motorbikes, BMX or mountain bikes, but mostly love anything with an engine.
“I welcome the opportunity to show my driving skills to the judges and am looking forward to sharing a day with others who have this same skill.
“Every time I have a lesson, my instructor Steve says I am a natural and he enjoys the time as much as I do. This will be really helpful when I come to driving on the roads when I reach 17.
I have gained a lot of experience through these lessons and this will be beneficial when I eventually get out on the roads.”
The competition will be run by Young Driver, which has lessons in dual-controlled Vauxhall Corsas to encourage youngsters to become safer drivers before they get their licence.
Laura White, head of marketing at Young Driver, said: “Congratulations to Jack! He’s done brilliantly to make the final and should feel very proud of himself.
“Every year we’re stunned at the quality of drivers we have entering the Young Driver Challenge – they all take the responsibility of being behind the wheel very seriously and have obviously been paying attention to every word their instructor tells them.
“The Challenge is a great way to celebrate the hard work they’ve done and to show the benefits of pre-17 driving education.
“When you see the youngsters driving, it becomes fairly obvious that the extended experience, and having started at a younger age, is a positive thing for all of our safety when it comes to them getting on the roads for real.”