A FORMER go-karting star is hoping to take the chequered flag in his first-ever race in a car.

Ryan Smith is making the step up to the Scottish C1 Cup, with the first race taking place at Knockhill, Fife, on Sunday (April 7).

The West Barns 24-year-old enjoyed plenty of success in karts but will be on the starting grid for the new competition, which is run by the Scottish Motor Racing Club.

He was anticipating some wheel-to-wheel action on the Fife circuit with each racer in a Citroen C1.

Smith said: “You cannot do too much to the cars. They are one-litre Citroen C1s and it will be very even in the class.

“It comes down to the drivers a lot – the driver’s pace rather than the car.

“They are not the fastest cars in a straight line but the racing will be very close and competitive.

“It will be great to be part of as a driver and for the people at the track to watch as well.

“There will be a lot of good racing this year.”

More than a dozen drivers are expected to be on the start line, with a round taking place each month between April and October, with the exception of August, and two races at each round.

Already, Smith has been taking part in testing ahead of the series getting under way.

He said: “Things have gone really good.

“I felt pretty comfortable straight away and did not have to do much to change how it handled.”

The speedster said that the main difference between racing karts and cars was the suspension.

Smith, who previously raced at Raceland, near Gladsmuir, told Courier Sport: “It handles a lot differently to a kart.

“It takes a bit of getting used to but I drive on the roads.

“Getting on a racetrack is a bit different from karting as well.

“Knockhill is a very up and down track and it is just more of the challenge.”

Now, Smith, who drives a Ford Fiesta when he is not on the track, is looking for sponsors to help him through the season.

He hoped a good set of results in the opening round would convince people to get behind him.

He added: “I’m hoping to be fighting for the championship and definitely fighting for some wins.

“We have got the pace to do that.

“Hopefully, we will be up there at the end of the year to fight for the championship.”

Any potential sponsors keen to help Smith should contact him through Facebook at facebook.com/ryansmithracing