A TYNEDALE teenager, whose motorsport success has stemmed from video game racing in his bedroom, is today celebrating his GCSE results ahead of plans to compete at Silverstone racetrack next month.

Will Crewdson, 16, whose life is on a similar track to Darlington-born professional racing driver Jann Mardenborough - the subject of biopic film Gran Turismo, which hit the cinema screens this month – balanced his GCSE studies at Newcastle’s Dame Allan’s Schools with racing in the Junior Saloon Car Championship (JSCC) series.

As well as his results, Will is also being praised for his commitment to his exams after being involved in a serious crash at Pembrey Circuit in May and was discharged from hospital hours before sitting his Geography GCSE.

“I’m happy with my grades after juggling my GCSEs with motorsport racing,” said Will, who joined Dame Allan’s Junior School in Year 3.

“The racing season started pretty much at the same time as exam and revision season really kicked in. I knew I had to make school my priority - this is one of the non-negotiable aspects of JSCC, as a junior series they take that side of things very seriously and provide study spaces and flexibility for all drivers.”

Rookie racer Will, who holds a Motorsport UK competition licence having passed the ARDS (Association of Racing Driver Schools) test, has competed in the JSCC series for the first time this year. With races at Silverstone, Donnington Park and Brands Hatch still to take place, the season hasn’t been a smooth ride.

He explained: “Due to a GCSE exam clash, I had to miss a Friday training practice ahead of the race weekend at Pembrey in Wales. After a great qualifying round, I had a serious crash. It was a racing incident – it happens to everyone at some point - but it had a significant impact, and I knew both my racing career and my school work could potentially suffer.”

Will was forced to miss three races, which affected his points for the season. “I’m gutted, but in hindsight it was probably for the best as it allowed me to concentrate on recovering and exams,” he admitted. “My focus now is on gaining experience ready for next year when I can fully commit and compete… while working for my A Levels!”

Will intends to study A Level Physics, Geography and Business at Dame Allan’s Sixth Form, with a view to progressing into motorsport engineering.

“I’d like to continue racing. As 2024 is my last Junior year, I hope to race in a senior series,” he said. “There are many options moving forwards, including racing Ginetta GT cars, mini challenge and eventually British Touring Cars like previous JSCC racers such as Ronan Pearson.”

Dame Allan’s Schools Principal Will Scott praised Will’s attitude. He said: “GCSEs require hard work and commitment, and Will has balanced both of those with his passion for racing with admirable maturity. We look forward to welcoming him back in the Sixth Form and wish him the best of luck in the remaining JSCC series.”

Will secured a place on the JSCC series after proving his talents on simulated racing games and competitions. He raised £5,000 to buy a professional racing simulator to enable him to train in his bedroom at home, using gaming software including iRacing and the official GT World Challenge video game Assetto Corsa Competizone.

Will, who documents his racing journey on his Instagram page @will.racer, also plays Gran Turismo – the game favoured by Mardenborough, whose experience at SIM racing helped him turn professional and compete in the Japanese Super GT series.