Local teen makes the national final of driving awards
Date published: 05 September 2019
Thomas Braid was also a finalist in the Young Driver Challenge 2018, placing joint fourth in the 10-13 age category
A 13-year old from Rochdale has made the final of a national driving competition for the second time, beating off stiff competition from around the country – despite being four years away from being able to get his driving licence.
Thomas Braid, who attends Oulder Hill Community School, will be one of 20 finalists in his age category at the Young Driver Challenge 2019 run by Young Driver, the UK’s largest provider of pre-17 driving lessons.
Pupils were able to enter the competition throughout spring and were marked by their instructor on key driving techniques.
At the final on 7 September 2019, twenty pupils from across the UK will compete in each of two categories - 10-13 and 14-16 - at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham. Hosting the final will be TV presenters and motoring experts Vicki Butler-Henderson and Quentin Willson who have both appeared on ‘Fifth Gear’ and ‘Top Gear’.
Finalists will compete in a number of driving challenges, including manoeuvring a slalom, undertaking different types of parking, controlling an emergency brake and confidently tackling independent driving.
Top marks will be given to those who show the best levels of control and awareness and responsible and safe driving. Prizes up for grabs include £200, 10 one-hour Young Driver lessons, family restaurant vouchers and signed copies of Quentin Willson’s latest book ‘Learn to Drive Without Tears and Tantrums’.
Thomas said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have made the final of the Young Driver Challenge for the second time! Learning to drive before the age of 17 has been a great experience. Not only is it a lot of fun, but it’s also helping prepare me for when I do get on the road for real.
“I feel like I have a good understanding of what Young Driver calls the ‘under the dashboard’ stuff, so that when I learn on the road, I’ll be able to pay much more attention to what is going on around me and other road users. I can’t wait to put my skills to the test at the Challenge final – I’d love to win!”
Sue Waterfield, head of marketing for Young Driver, said: “Every year the quality of driving we see from these young people astounds us. They take their learning very seriously, and it’s a great way of reinforcing all those important safety messages when they don’t have the pressure of trying to pass a test as quickly as possible.
"The Challenge final is always the highlight of our calendar and it will be fantastic to have Vicki and Quentin there this year, cheering on our worthy finalists. Congratulations to Thomas, who has already done so well, beating hundreds of other entrants and having impressed us with his talents in 2018. We wish you every luck for the final.”
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