CHARLIE Turner is already a champion driver, but he's ultra-ambitious and has his eyes firmly fixed on the road to even greater things, writes Dave Wright.

The 25-year-old from Warfield won karting's British Senior Rotax title last year after what was described as one of the closest title fights for several seasons, having gone into the final round with just a one-point lead over his closest challenger.

But he kept his nerve and his consistent performances – he had more top-three finishes than his rivals – saw him crowned champion.

"It was an unbelievable moment, a day I will never forget," he said.

Karting has seen some great champions in the past, with Formula 1 superstars Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and David Coulthard among a very illustrious list.

One day, Charlie would love to move into the big time, but at the moment he is happy to stay on the karting circuit and is currently aiming for further glory at European level.

He has certainly come on a great deal since first sitting in a go-kart at an indoor track at Woodley.

"I was nine then and really enjoyed it, "he recalled.

"When I was 13 I started outdoor karting at a track down in Kent and it wasn't too long before I got my racing licence there.

"It was just a hobby then, but when I was 17 or 18 I really started to get serious about racing.

"I started to go around Europe for meetings and competing in the British championships.

"In 2017 I was in the team which represented the UK at a meeting in Portugal and last year we raced in Brazil.

"This year, I am competing in the Belgium and European championships and it's going well. I'm running third in Belgium and ninth in the European championship.

"We are are up against some of the top teams and best drivers from around the world, so it is very competitive."

Turner is part of the Daventry-based Dan Holland Racing team which also includes Hannes Morin, the Swedish teenager who won the European championship last year.

"They give me great support," commented Turner, who is also backed by his father Derrick's company, electrical contractors Benville & Marsh. It is his dad who provides the transport to and from meetings.

"I currently work for his company, but ideally I really want to go full-time racing. My ambition is to go into the British GT (sports car) Championship, hopefully starting in 2020, but to achieve that I am going to need some sponsors to back me."

He has already had some experience of car racing having competed in the K-TEC Renault Clio series in 2017, while also spending a day in a Formula Renault car which is three divisions below Formula 1."

"Long term, I would like to become a professional racing driver. I will keep working hard to see what the future brings, but at the moment I am loving my karting."

* The interview Dave had with Charlie took place at the Berystede Hotel in Sunninghill and the News wish to thank general manager Rafal Grzemski for providing the hospitality.