LOUIS Foster enjoyed a fine start to his Simpson Race Products Ginetta Junior Championship campaign with a pair of rookie wins during the opening meeting of the year at Brands Hatch.

The 14-year-old from Odiham went into the weekend keen to build on a solid pre-season testing programme at the wheel of his Elite Motorsport-run car, and was on the pace from the moment he hit the track around the tight and challenging Brands Hatch Indy circuit.

A strong performance in qualifying saw the Lord Wandsworth College student qualify fourth on the grid as the best placed of the rookie drivers.

Although he briefly got up to third at the start, Louis soon settled into fourth spot but then came under attack from second year driver Luke Browning in what would become a race-long dice for position.

Despite ever increasing pressure from his rival, Louis showed maturity beyond his years with an impressive drive that saw him fend off the challenge from behind to secure fourth place overall and a fine rookie win.

The second race of the weekend would add an extra challenge for the drivers with the arrival of rain, but Louis would again produce a mature performance on track to match his result from race one with fourth place overall.

Once again that meant he ended up as the best placed rookie and ensures he comes away from the weekend sitting in an impressive fourth place in the overall championship standings.

“It’s a great way to start the season and to come away from Brands Hatch with two rookie wins is just perfect,” he said. “The first race was tough as Luke showed last year that he is a good driver, and I knew it would be difficult to keep him behind. I had to make sure I put my car in the right position on every lap to defend the position and to do that for 17 laps is tough.

“To get the rookie win was great and then to double up in race two made the weekend even better. The race itself was quite similar to the Winter Series in that there were gaps in the field and I was pretty much left on my own. I had to make sure that I didn’t lose concentration as it would be easy in that situation to make a silly mistake, and I just focused on bringing the car home to get the result.

“It’s the perfect way to start the season, especially as I’m not sure Brands Hatch will be my strongest circuit, and I want to thank my all my sponsors, including Carwow and Vans Direct, for their support.

“I feel good about my chances heading to Donington Park for the second round where I hope we can build on these results and push for an overall podium finish.”

THIS year's opening round of the British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch proved to be a disaster for Rob Collard.

Last season, he collected a podium and two 10 finishes, this time around he left with no points at all.

Having qualified 19th, he finished 15th in race one, but having been forced off the circuit after making it up to 12th in race two, he came in 28th.

The final race of the day, saw his West Surrey Racing BMW hit again and this time there was no way out of the gravel trap at Druids.

Collard said: "It was a disaster and I think my worst start to a Touring Car season for nearly 10 years. We found it hard to get the balance right for qualifying and race one I made up a few places. In race two I was caught in a three car sandwich which did not finish well and then in the last race I was knocked off."

Collard will now hope for better lucky at round two which is at Donington on the weekend of April 28/29, on the same weekend son Jordan is in action in the second round of the Mini Challenge, while oldest son Ricky is racing in a GT3 race at the Nuremberg rink this weekend and Monza the week after.