A CUDWORTH karting prodigy has said he won’t let having autism hold him back - and he’s determined to become the first Formula One driver from Barnsley.

Josh Whittaker, 13, has always been into his cars - but his first time behind the wheel was only began two years ago.

But that hasn’t stopped him rising to the top, and he’s currently competing in the National Championships for the Global Karting Outdoor League.

His mum Niky Brazier told the Chronicle: “This whole started because of how much he was into his cars.

“We bought him a lesson for Christmas a few years ago and he did a taster session.

“He really enjoyed it so he started at the Team Sport Academy the next month.

“By May he’d become fully qualified.”

Josh then started to partake in a number of indoor karting championships, even making it to the semi-finals of the regional competition - just months after learning how to drive karts.

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“He managed to make it to the semi-finals but unfortunately not the final of the regional championships,” she said.

“But he’s now qualified for the Global Karting Outdoor League.

“He goes all over the country every weekend at lots of different tracks.

“His aim for the rest of the season is to win as many races as possible.”

But his overall dream is something much greater.

“He wants to be a Formula One driver,” Niky added.

“His favourite driver is Lando Norris and that’s who he aspires to be like.”

Josh was diagnosed with autism when he was younger - but he’s determined to not let the disorder hold him back.

“He’s autistic so that’s an added challenge for him,” she said.

“But he wants to show that it’s not going to hold him back.

“He’s always said that he wants to prove he can do what he’s doing.

“He just takes everything in his stride - he’s such an amazing lad.”

Josh has been nominated for a Young Champions award - much to the delight of his mum.

“We’re just so proud of him,” she added.