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Henley schoolboy is Britain's best young driver

A Henley schoolboy has been named Britain’s best young driver at the age of just thirteen.

Luke Swallow, who goes to Henley School, won the Young Driver Championship final at the British Motor Museum on 3 September.

The competition is aimed at those under 17 years and aims to find the best young drivers in the country.

This year youngsters as young as 10 were allowed to enter.

Luke won first place in the 10-13 age category, impressing the judges with his skill behind the wheel, including demonstrating an impressive control of the vehicle in manoeuvres such as tight steering, turns in the road and emergency stops.

Hundreds of youngsters entered the competition one of Young Driver’s 42 sites across England, Scotland and Wales.

The 40 finalists with the top scores came to the final to compete in two age categories – 10-13 and 14-16.

The competition is designed to encourage youngsters to consider responsible and safe driving, with top marks given to those who show the best levels of control and awareness.

The finalists were driving a dual-control SKODA car, with different instructors for different parts of the test, marking them on various skills and manoeuvres.

The second part of the final challenge was taken via the Goodyear Driving Academy, a virtual reality game which tests the youngsters’ ability to cope with everyday driving distractions – an important element for keeping safe on the road.

Luke, who takes Young Driver lessons at the scheme’s Stoneleigh Park venue, took home the top prize of 20 Young Driver lessons and £500 off a car insurance premium courtesy of Young Driver sponsor Admiral.

Luke said: “I still can’t believe I’m the winner, I can’t stop smiling! Making it to the final was something I was really pleased to have achieved but then to be crowned overall winner in my age category was just amazing.

“Everyone at the final was driving at a really high standard so the competition was tough, and the test itself was hard work – but great fun. As well as doing independent driving, we had to demonstrate things like parallel parking, reversing, tight steering, emergency stops and turns in the road.

“Luckily my Young Driver lessons have taught me well! I know it’s preparing me well for when I turn 17 and helping me learn how to keep myself and others safe on the road. Hopefully I can live up to my best young driver title.”

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