Step in the right direction for winner Josh

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Stowmarkets’ Josh Webster has been awarded the 2011 Racing Steps Foundation, Motor Sports Association Young Driver of the Year award.

Webster beat off strong competition from Max Coates, 17 from North Yorkshire; Jody Fannin, 18 from Surrey; Chris McCarthy, 18 from London; and David Wagner, 18 from Glasgow, to pick up the prize, awarded annually to a student enrolled on the Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence in Motor Sport programme, which forms part of the MSA Academy.

The five short-listed candidates travelled to Pure Tech Racing in Surrey, where the drivers went head-to-head in the centre’s state-of-the-art linked-up race simulators.

They then had to each deliver a short presentation on what they have learned on the AASE programme in front of the judges, MSA Performance Director Robert Reid, RSF’s Derek Walters, MSA Director of Development Ben Taylor, Autosport magazine’s Ben Anderson; and 2010 winner Jake Cook, who decided Webster was a worthy winner.

“I’m absolutely delighted to win this award and I would like to thank the RSF, the MSA Academy and the judges for this great honour,” said Webster.

“I am very grateful to the MSA Academy for the mentoring, support and education I have received as a student on the AASE programme, which has given me a solid foundation to build my career.

“I hope to repay their faith by being a good ambassador for AASE and the Academy and using my experiences to encourage other young drivers to make the most of the great opportunities offered by the MSA.”