Lining up on the starting grid at Silverstone was a dream come true for Bridlington racer Chris Horne - but winning on his debut weekend was beyond all of his expectations.
Horne had not even tested his car on the track before he started qualifying in the latest round of the BRSCC Fiesta Championship.
But remarkably, the rookie finished second in his opening race and then won the second race, finishing half-a-lap ahead of his rivals.
“It was brilliant,” he said.
The 28-year-old, who works as a mechanic in York, revelled in the surroundings of Silverstone against much more experienced rivals.
Horne admitted: “I only bought the car in February and and have spent six months getting it ready and getting my race licence.
“I have wanted to race since I was a child and watched the British Touring Car championship on TV.
“I have never been in a position to be able to compete until now but I have made a lot of sacrifices to do this.”
He lined up at Silverstone as a guest, competing in Class B, with a practice session, qualifying and two races scheduled.
In the championships, all the drivers get behind the wheel of a Ford Fiesta, although there are five classes ranging from the early 1.25 litre Fiesta Zetec to the current Fiesta Zetec S 1600cc.
Horne added: “It was the first time I had ever sat in the car because I had not done any testing.
“I was three seconds off the pace in practice and as we went into qualifying there were thunderstorms and torrential rain. I couldn’t believe the weather.”
Qualifying was eventually cancelled because of the conditions and finished the following morning, with Horne last in his four-strong class.
However, when the racing began, it was a different story and he grew in confidence.
He said: “In the first race, I managed to finish second.
“I had the battle of my life but there was no grip so I just couldn’t get past the winner
“I made an awesome start in the second race and found some real pace in the car and I ended up half a lap ahead.
“I even managed to get past some of the other quicker cars in the other classes.
“It was the most exhilarating thing you can do. When you are racing bumper to bumper, it is such an adrenaline rush.
“To bring a trophy home from my first weekend was a dream and I feel there is a championship in me.”
The race will be shown on Motors TV and Horne was interviewed for the programme after his win.
He will miss the next round at Anglesey but hopes to return for the final meeting at Brands Hatch in October, depending on cost.
Any local businesses wanting to help wih sponsorship can call Horne on 07427 640387.