Championship heartbreak can be replaced by McLaren win

AWARD HONOUR: Josh Webster, who has made the final six for the McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the  Year award

AWARD HONOUR: Josh Webster, who has made the final six for the McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year award

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Despite missing out on the Formula Renault BARC Championship on the final race for the second successive season, Josh Webster could still end the year in a blaze of glory.

The Mickfield, near Stowmarket, race ace is down to the final six in the McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year award — previously won by the likes of F1 stars Jenson Button and David Coulthard.

He will be assessed at Silverstone, where he came runner-up in the championship to Scott Malvern at the weekend, over two days in November ahead of the winner being announced at a glittering London awards ceremony on December 2.

The winner will pick up a cheque for £100,000 along with a test drive in a McLaren F1 car.

Webster said: “It is fantastic to be in the final six and it is the light at the end of the tunnel.

“I am going to be training hard and hopefully I can win it.”

The 18-year-old MSA Team UK driver went into the final two races trailing Cullen Motorsport’s Malvern by 14 points.

But despite finishing one place ahead of his title rival in second on Saturday, reducing the gap to 11 points, he was caught up at the back of a crash on lap eight that effectively ended his challenge, with Malvern going on to finish second and Webster clawing his way back from 19th to 13th place.

“I wasn’t expecting something like that into Brooklands,” he said. “Middlehurst went straight into Walsh and I had nowhere to go and just spun off.

“Even if I had won the race and Scott had finished in second place, I would not have won the championship, so it is a bit of a consolation.”

Meanwhile, Great Finborough’s Oli Basey-Fisher said he was ‘really happy’ with his Silverstone race debut in the Ginetta Junior Championship.

The Tollbar Racing with WIRED driver lost out on sixth place at the final corner to come seventh in Saturday’s race and improved on that on Sunday with a fifth-place finish.

Basey-Fisher is ninth in the overall standings going into the final two races at Brands Hatch on October 21.