A YOUNG North Yorkshire racing driver has had an impressive start to the new motorsport season.

Ethan Hammerton, 20, started his 2021 season with three top ten finishes and a Graduate Cup win at Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk.

Ethan was racing for Exceler8 Motorsport in the JCW Mini Challenge Championship, supporting the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC).

More than 4,000 fans were at Snetterton, returning for the first time since the pandemic began.

Ethan, from Northallerton, has returned to the JCW Mini Championship this year after competing in three rounds last year – before he stepped back up to the BTCC, racing an Audi S3 for Trade Price Cars in the final two rounds of the championship.

In the first race of the JCW Mini Challenge competition, Ethan qualified 14th out of a very strong field of 29 cars.

“I had a really good first run and set a solid time, but was unable to improve it because of yellow flags during my second run. The JCW grid is really tight this year and ultra competitive – another 0.2 seconds and I’d have been in sixth place,” said Ethan.

“I had a great start in the actual race and made some good overtakes to take eighth place. Exceler8 Motorsport have given me a great car and we definitely had the pace to be in the top five,” he added.

Exceler8 Motorsport won last year’s JCW Mini Championship.

The young racer performed even better in race two, starting in eighth place and making up two positions to finish sixth, securing a Graduate Cup win and a place on the podium.

In the JCW Mini Championship, race three runs a reverse grid with the top finishers in sixth to tenth place in race two reversed via a draw. This gave Ethan a fifth-place start for the last race.

“I had a good start and was pushing for fourth place before a safety car came out after a collision on track. After the restart I was going well until I was hit from behind, causing a half-spin at a hairpin turn. I lost three places, but battled back to finish seventh on track,” said Ethan.

A penalty awarded to another driver later promoted Ethan up to sixth place.

“I was really pleased with the way the weekend went – we had good pace and three solid results. Roll on Brands Hatch in a couple of weeks time,” Ethan added.

Despite only being 20, Ethan is already an experienced and accomplished driver. In 2018 he beat off stiff competition to land a fully-funded drive in the VW Cup Championship – he went on to become the third youngest ever British Touring Car driver, entering the BTCC aged only 17.

He would like to thank all of his loyal sponsors for their continued support .