Even though he only made his racing debut earlier this month, Ashley Marshall is not ruling out finishing in a top 10 place in his championship this year.
The 21-year-old is in competitive action for the first time in six years, but he has set his sights on a strong performance in the Ginetta GT5 Challenge.
And he overcame nerves to produce a pleasing debut in front of around 30,000 spectators at Thruxton.
Marshall, from Bempton, said: “When I was younger, I raced in karting and I was in the British Championships when I was 15.
“Then circumstances changed and competing at this level requires so much money.
“Now, I have left school, I’m working for my dad and I know that if I work hard, I can afford it.”
He works as a kitchen designer and fitter, and has been able to work around testing and race meetings.
Having missed the first round of the championships at Brands Hatch because he didn’t feel prepared, Marshall lined up at Thruxton and managed 17th and 15th places on his debut.
“I had only driven the car four times and I felt sick with nerves before qualifying. But it went much better than I thought.
“I might have been away for six years but my enthusiasm was always there.
“I have spent hours in the gym getting ready, people just assume you turn up and sit in a car.”
He will next be in action at Oulton Park on Bank Holiday weekend, before rounds at Silverstone, Croft, Donington Park and at the Spa course in Belgium.
“I have got a rough idea of what I want to achieve. i want to be a more complete driver, get more experience, be able to adapt to different conditions, get fitter and understand the car more.
“The team think we could get a top 10 place in the championships, but it is all about being in a position to really go for it next year.”
His new website will be up and running in the next few days at www.ashley-marshall.com and has details of sponsorship opportunities.