A BUDDING rally star has been named the UK Young Rally Driver of the Year at the 2019 Professional MotorSport World Awards.

Ledbury’s Rob Wilson was crowned the winner following an impressive season which saw him win the Junior 1000 Rally Championship overall last weekend.

The Young Rally Driver of the Year award recognises the achievements of drivers aged 14 to 16 and is judged by an exclusive panel of more than 20 leading motorsport journalists.

No stranger to overcoming stiff competition, the Ledbury youngster emerged victorious and was commended for his impressive commitment to continuous learning and his propensity for taking on advice in order to develop as a driver.

“I’ve been shortlisted for this award for the last two years, so to have finally won it is amazing”, said Wilson.

“I know how close it was between the top two or three nominees, so I’m delighted to pick up the award in what has been a very competitive season. "It is a nice confidence boost ahead of next year, where I’ll be stepping up to a higher level of racing.”

Wilson currently competes in the Junior 1000 Rally Championship – a competition borne out of Formula 1000, which itself was created in 2003 to offer a cost effective and enjoyable introduction to racing for budding drivers.

The championship is the only competition in the UK that allows drivers aged between 14 and 17 to compete in rallies across the UK.

Previous competitors in the junior series have gone on to compete in the British Rally Championship, BRC Challenge, BTRDA Tally Series, Formula 1000 Tarmac Championship and the Super 1000 Rally Championship, so success at the junior level can be indicative of a bright future in the senior ranks.

“My ultimate ambition is to race on the European and world stage as a fully sponsored driver, but I know that there’s a lot of hard work and dedication ahead if I’m to make it happen,” added Wilson.

Having started his 2019 campaign with a victory in the first round, Wilson has picked up a further three victories since then, placing him at the top of the overall championship standings.

At the final round last weekend in Anglesey, Wilson finished ninth to seal the overall title.