A RYEDALE teenager roared onto the rookie podium in his debut single-seater race at Donington Park last weekend.

Nunnington’s Bart Harrison,16, scooped both a rookie cup victory and a rookie podium in the Formula 4 British Championships opener as the rain poured down in Derbyshire.

Bart, who caught the racing bug aged just five, made the step up to single-seaters with Tewkesbury-based Chris Dittmann Racing last year after ascending up the karting ranks.

He made his first forays into the sport with Fusion Motorsport in 2017, before adding a host of trophies to his collection as he raced across Europe in the Mini X30 category two years later.

After a move to Mick Barrett Racing in 2020, Bart was selected to represent Great Britain in the 2021 FIA Karting Trophy after becoming the only driver to win back-to-back Winter Cup titles in Valencia.

But if his first showing is anything to go by, it looks as though Bart will have a bright future in single-seaters racing against some of the world’s most impressive young drivers.

Qualifying was predictably tight, with the North Yorkshire talent 17th despite being just 0.4 seconds off pole.

However, Bart showed classic Yorkshire grit and determination to move through the field and make up places.

The first race saw drivers line up in order of their second-fastest qualifying time, with Bart starting in 11th. 

He improved upon that to cross the finish line in tenth position, coming second in the battle of the rookies and achieving his first rookie podium.

With the rain continuing into Sunday, the scheduled morning races proved a complete washout, causing a subsequent delay to the racing schedule that left time for just one race.

Starting from P17, Bart navigated the chaos of an early safety car and was able to keep his race clean.

He gained eight positions - more than any other racer - securing a ninth place finish which saw him also claim victory in the Rookie Cup.

Bart’s British Formula 4 debut sees him ranked as one of the competition’s top two rookies, whilst holding an impressive eighth position in the overall championship standings.

The teenager looked back positively on his debut, and believes he can learn a lot from his first Formula 4 race.

He reflected: “Qualifying was really close between everyone.

“We didn’t get the positions we wanted to, but we had a decent start for race one from P11 and made a place to run P10.

“We were fast when it started spitting with rain, so that helped us a lot and I had nothing to complain about. I was getting my arms out, it was fun. I enjoyed it.

“The start of race two was horrendous, so when everyone started bunching up in front, I got excited because I knew we could make some places back.

“We got stuck in, I kept it on the road, and we finished with a Rookie win.

“This week we have been starting further back than I’ve been hoping for, but I’ve learned a lot and am happy to come away with two trophies.”

Bart now moves on to the second round of the season at Brands Hatch this coming weekend.