A teenage rallycross driver is off to a flying start after clocking up four national awards in his first year of driving.
A year ago, Luke Constantine, a Year 10 student at Richmond School and Sixth Form College, had never driven a car.
Fast forward 12 months and he is the youngest British Trials and Rally Drivers Association (BTDRA) champion in history and has won four national championships and a further 23 competition trophies.
Luke, 15, from Tunstall, was crowned Clubmans Rallycross Champion, Star of the Future Winner, Newcomer of the Year and Gold Star Winner at the recent BTRDA awards.
As if this wasn’t enough, Luke also won all nine clubman events in 2018.
Luke is following in his family’s footsteps.
Father Mark, uncle Andrew, brother Tom and cousin James are all keen rallycross competitors.
Luke said: “12 months ago, when I first sat behind the wheel, I was planning it to be a learning year, to get used to the tracks and the car. I could never have imagined that I would have achieved so much.
“However, whilst it has been an awesome year, my plan is to look ahead to the 2019 season. I obviously want to win, but I don’t want to get over confident and push the boundaries too far.
“I will carry on focusing on being the best I can be and hopefully the string of results can continue.”
Mark, Luke’s dad, said: “It has been incredible to watch Luke advance his driving expertise in such a short space of time.
“Our family are so proud of not only his success, but of his sheer commitment and hard work, and how he puts in every ounce of energy, drive and focus to reach the top in his class.
“We are so grateful to Luke’s sponsors: Victoria Garage Richmond, Teesside Karting, CCF Builders Merchants, Wray Joinery, Constantine Building Services, AVL and Royal Purple who make it possible for Luke to commit to the fortnightly race competitions.
“We are also really appreciative of our friends, family, the sponsors and Richmond School who have been wonderful in their support of Luke.”
Luke was recently the BTRDA’s guest of honour at the prestigious Autosports International Show at the NEC, Birmingham.
He was invited to show his winning Suzuki Swift 1300 car on the Association’s impressive stand and spoke to visitors of his plans for self-development in his second year of driving.
He rubbed shoulders with racing legends such as McLaren’s Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz, but his feet remained firmly on the ground.
Rallycross is fondly regarded as the wildchild of motor sport, a hybrid of circuit racing and rallying, a form of driving where kerbs, grass and sideways can be the norm.
The BTRDA Clubmans Rallycross Championship run a series of events at top circuits around the UK, including Croft, Pembrey and Silverstone, catering for all classes of four and two-wheeled cars.
Tony Potter, Richmond School and Sixth Form College’s head of community sport, said: “It is fantastic that Luke is competing at elite level at such an early age and achieving best in class after only one year behind the wheel.
“He undoubtedly has bags of talent which is supported with his determined and positive attitude, something that always impresses us at School. We wish him well for the 2019 season.”