WINDOW cleaner Jay Gardner had a clear vision of his aims when he made his debut in this year’s Caterham Academy Championship.

After making it to the finals of a single-seater scholarship, the 28-year-old former motocross rider knew he had the ability.

And after building his own Caterham sports car, Gardner, who lives in Barrowford, is celebrating after mopping up in the seven-round series.

“I’ve always wanted to go motor racing, ever since I took part in a Formula Ford Scholarship in 1994 and made it to the final,” he explained.

“I really enjoyed the experience and knew I could drive fast, I just didn’t have the money to go any further.

“I did a few track days at Oulton Park last year and then decided to take the plunge. I picked the Caterham Academy as it’s a great way to get started.

“The scheme involves you buying a Caterham off the factory in kit form, which you then build yourself, and included in the price is the race licence, a track day to set-up the car and entry into the championship.

“That comprises seven rounds, with three sprint meetings at Curborough, Pembrey and Lydden Hill and then four races at Anglesey, Rockingham, Brands Hatch and Mallory Park.”

And Gardner proved to be the class of the 30-stong field, winning four rounds on his way to the title and taking the lap record at Rockingham and Mallory.

However, thanks to the competitive nature of the series, Gardner wasn’t certain of winning until the final round.

“The points table is designed to ensure a close-run championship, and it certainly works. I won it by just one point in the final at Mallory Park,” he explained.

“I felt under pressure in the last race, but it was a fantastic feeling when I saw the chequered flag.”

After collecting his trophy at a gala dinner in London, Gardner is now looking ahead to 2010.

“The Academy is for first-timers only, so I’m looking to move up to the next level, which is the Caterham Roadsports Championship.

"However, that also means that it’s much more expensive to do, the series comprises two races per weekend, with all the action shown on the satellite Motors TV channel, which provides a lot of exposure.”

l Jay Gardner would like to thank his partner Vicky and his mum and dad, Jim and Janet for all their support this season.