Beauly racing driver Oliver Stewart is eager to carry on the momentum he has built up during his debut GB3 Championship season.
Stewart’s campaign drew to a conclusion at Donnington Park last month, with the north speedster finishing 16th in the overall championship standings.
He made the step up in March, after just a solitary season on the F4 British Championship circuit.
The highlight of his year came in June, when he become one of the youngest winners of a GB3 Championship event when claiming victory at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium.
That was one of several top-10 finishes – but it has not been all plain-sailing for Stewart.
The Elite Motorsport racer suffered a number of breakdown and mechanical issues, as well as making occasional mistakes he is not afraid to hold his hands up to.
That has all been part of the learning process, and Stewart remains more convinced than ever he is on the right track.
Stewart, who turns 17 in January, said: “It’s frustrating to have had as many let-downs as we have had this year, but then there are also a lot of positives to take.
“There was a win in Belgium, and fastest laps here and there.
“The pace has been improving massively throughout the season – at the start of the season I think I was 18th in qualifying, and now we are fighting for top-fives in qualifying.
“We are getting bad luck here and there – but the pace is good enough to be in the top-five.
“There have been big improvements, and if we can make it to the grid next year, at the moment it is looking good for me to do well if I get the support and backing we need.”
Stewart became increasingly competitive as season progressed
Casting his mind back to the early stages of the campaign, Stewart believes he has increasingly shown he can be competitive against other GB3 Championship racers as the year has progressed.
Stewart feels that bodes well for the future, adding: “We have made so much progress from the first year in F4 last year to now.
“At the shoot-out, I raced against drivers such as Tymek Kucharczyk – who was about three seconds faster than me as he had done a lot more days in the car than I had.
“In the last round, I beat him in basically every race.
“It just shows the difference and the improvements we have made.
“That’s a big positive, and it brings our confidence levels up for seeing things like that.
“It helps other people to believe in my ability.
“It’s just a case of carrying on from what we have already achieved and learned and bringing it into next year.”
Teenager’s plans for next season still being mapped out
Stewart remains uncertain about his plans for next season, with his father Jeff in charge of managing the sponsorship required for the teenager to compete.
In the meantime, Stewart is eager to prepare for any opportunity which may arise.
He added: “At the moment, I have no idea about the potentials of what we are going to do next year.
“As a driver, I just like to be pedalling the car, be as quick as I can and maximise every weekend I get.
“I have no idea – but I’m sure my dad has things he is working on at the moment.
“In the next couple of weeks. it’s just a case of working really hard and being ready for any opportunity that could arise.
“The season could restart in three or four weeks, or in four months. We just don’t know at the present moment.
“I’m just going to keep working hard, and if something pops up, I’ll be ready for it.”