LEWIS Hooper rounded out his debut season in the Junior 1000 Rally Championship in style, enjoying a solid performance at the Glyn Memorial Stages to confirm his third place in the series and victory in the Pre ‘03 category.

The Anglesey-based event took place over two days, with the added challenge of night-time special stages providing a sting in the tail for crews. A total of 25 junior competitors from across the UK entered last weekend's event in 1,000cc rally-prepared cars.

Heavy rain would be the order of most of the weekend, causing the circuit to become extremely slippery in places and adding to the challenge.

Undeterred by the conditions, Steeton-based Hooper, 15, delivered a mature drive on Saturday’s speed tests set a series of times within the top-three.

After safely completing two stages in the dark, he and co-driver, Bingley-born Sam Bilham, ended the opening leg in sixth overall and first of the Pre ‘03 category runners.

The second day of the rally followed a similar pattern. Hooper, who prepares the rally car himself, maintained a perfect balance between speed and consistency.

Locked into a tight duel with rival Micra driver Tom Naylor, a close battle ensued with the pair swapping seconds throughout the day.

At the end of the final stage, it was Naylor who came out on top by a mere two seconds, leaving Hooper to settle for seventh overall and second of the Pre ‘03 series drivers.

The result was still enough for the youngster to confirm a third-place finish in the overall championship and take the Pre ‘03 category title - an impressive feat during his first full year in the sport.

Hooper said: "I’m delighted with how this year has gone.

"I never expected to finish so high up in my first full season, but now I’m hungry for more success.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to everybody who has helped out so far, my co-driver Sam and also my family for their support.”

The Glyn Memorial Stages season-closer caps off an impressive campaign for Hooper.

The teenager drove an impressive rally to chalk up a career-best podium result in the Melbourne Junior Stages in May.

Throughout the season he rubbed shoulders with like-minded competitors between the ages of 14 and 16 in the Junior 1000 events.

Based near York, the Melbourne Junior Rally attracted an entry of 14 junior crews battling it out in 1,000cc rally cars and consisted of eight stages throughout the day.