WHILE many teenagers may pass their weekends in front of a television screen, Steeton’s Lewis Hooper likes to do things differently, as the 14-year-old produced a strong showing in only his second ever rally at the weekend.

The Junior 1000 Rally Series is the only rally championship in the UK that allows youngsters to compete in fully fledged stage rallies, before they are legally allowed to drive on public roads.

Drivers aged 14-17 compete against the clock in 1000cc rally prepared cars, on single venue rallies throughout England, Wales and Scotland.

Sunday’s ‘Fairfield Merlin Stages’ at Pembrey Circuit in South Wales played host to the latest round of the J1000 Series.

The inexperienced Hooper set an impressive pace in his self-prepared Nissan Micra and after the first stage, the team sat sixth overall in the standings

Hooper and co-driver Andrew Varley headed into the next test ready for more action. However, leading junior driver Elliott Payne rolled his Citroen C1 out of the event and the stage had to be cancelled. Thankfully, everyone involved was okay.

The rain then arrived for the final two stages of the event. Pembrey’s fast, open sections are combined with some twisty, technical roads that can become very slippery when damp.

An unfortunate overshoot in the tricky conditions meant the South Craven School pupil dropped down the leaderboard to finish seventh overall and second Micra in the rally, which was still a brilliant result at this early stage.

Hooper said: “It’s been a really good day. I was happy with our pace this morning and it’s a shame about the overshoot that caused us to drop time.

“We’ve still come away with a great result and enjoyed ourselves, which is the main thing."

The team now head to Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire on November 17 for their next challenge.