JUST a year after being legally being allowed to drive on the roads, a Bournemouth University student is set to spend the year behind the wheel of a rally car.

Ed Fossey, 18, has signed up to national British Trials and Rally Drivers Association (BTRDA) Championship, which will see him put his foot down on tracks across the UK.

He reached the next level from the Junior 1000 series at the beginning of last year after winning The Next Big Step scholarship.

Ed says that he spent the rest of 2016 developing his rallying skills with tarmac running and driving on a variety of gravel surfaces.

He added: "It was a good year to develop as a driver as there was no pressure to gain results. It was all about learning.

"I had never driven competitively on gravel before so I wanted to feed myself in and get used to it.

"The 1400 class is quite competitive throughout the British Isles and my objective was to break onto the podium and as a result we achieved on every event."

Ed, who is originally from Jersey, says that he is going into the new season 'with some optimism and hopes of having a good run in the championship.'

"It's a long year and to start off with I want to continue to learn whilst stringing some good results together and by the end I would like to fight at the sharp end in my class."

He will be joined in the Toyota Yaris, which is backed by Yokohama, by a new navigator, Chris Sharpe-Simkiss, 22.

"I am delighted to have Chris joining me this year. Although young himself, his experience is vital as he has done so many of these events before in a variety of different cars with different drivers.

"He is also hungry to do well and I think we will click quite quickly on the first event."

Ed's first race of 2017 is the Cambrian Rally in Wales. "To sample some of the stages used in the World Rally Championship on Wales Rally GB will be very special and I cannot wait to drive the Toyota on them.

"There is a great deal of buzz about this event as there will be an incredible entry including top drivers from the British Rally Championship so it will be quite good to compete on the same stages."