North Shields teen just misses out on top title

James Robertson, from North Shields, came fifth in the Young Driver Challenge 2018.
James Robertson, from North Shields, came fifth in the Young Driver Challenge 2018.

A teenager has just missed out on driving off with a national award.

James Robertson, 14, from North Shields, claimed joint fifth place in the 14 to 16 age category at the Young Driver Challenge 2018.

Youngsters from around the country took part in the event at Fire Service College, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire hoping to be named Britain’s Best Young Driver.

James, a pupil at Marden High School, wowed the judges with his skills behind the wheel – being marked on general control, judgement and positioning, as well as manoeuvres including parallel parking, emergency stops and steering.

He had qualified for the final having entered at a Young Driver event at the Metro Centre.

James said: “It was a really fun day, I enjoyed getting to spend so long behind the wheel and showing the instructors everything I’ve learnt.

“They definitely put us to the test!

“I feel proud of myself for being in the top 20 in my age group across the whole country.

“I feel like all this experience is going to be really helpful when it comes to getting on the road for real – I’ll already have a good idea of how to physically drive the car, and will be able to focus more on what’s going on around me.

“Taking part in the Young Driver Challenge has really boosted my confidence in lots of ways.”

Laura White, head of marketing at Young Driver, added: “Huge congratulations to James, who should be very proud of how well he’s done!

“The quality of driving from the finalists was extremely high, so it was tough going – the instructors really put the finalists through their paces!

“The Challenge is a great way to celebrate the hard work and skills of all the finalists, but it also shows the wider world what a difference pre-17 driver education can make.”

For more information on Young Driver go to www.youngdriver.com or call 0844 371 9010.