CHARLIE Farrer scored two third places in his HEL Performance British Motostar debut at Oulton Park – on a bike he had never ridden until the first practice session.

The 17-year-old stormed to two strong podium finishes at the Cheshire track and sits third in the championship after a dramatic week where he initially thought he wouldn’t be racing at all.

Following the news that Pete Banks – whose team the teenager was due to ride with – had fallen ill, Farrer was given an 11th hour lifeline when Richard Mortimer offered him the loan of his Honda to run himself in the Standard class.

The Farrer family pulled together and with help from some of Pete Banks’ squad, prepared the Honda themselves after picking it up on Friday morning.

Farrer was thrilled to bank two third places at the opening round…

The youngster got his first taste of the bike in Saturday’s first free practice and after a bit of work he headed out to qualifying on Sunday, setting the third best time in class behind his fellow British Talent Cup racers Scott Ogden and Cameron Horsman.

Horsman got the class lead in Sunday afternoon’s opening scrap, as a delighted Farrer stuck close to the leading pair and followed Ogden home in third. In Monday’s longer race, it was the same three riders who made up the Standard podium.

This time Ogden got the lead as Farrer and Horsman stuck close together on track. As the pair closed in on Ogden, Farrer was right up behind Horsman but when an Open class bike came into play and separated him and Horsman, Farrer decided to take the points for third and not do anything stupid.

“In the first race I was shocked to take a comfortable third so I was really happy with that,” said Farrer. “In the second, I was sat in third again following Cameron all the way through.

The team prepared the bike at the track after collecting it on Friday morning…

“With about three laps to go we finally managed to catch Scott from about seven seconds behind and I felt ready to battle for the win. Unfortunately, there was an Open bike in the mix and Cameron went through.

“I couldn’t get through so it caused me to drop away from them a bit so I had to settle for third but I’m still really happy. It’s been a great weekend.

“I hadn’t sat on the bike until Saturday morning so I said to myself I just wanted to get some points so when I get back on the Banks bike I can still battle for somewhere in the championship.

“Considering everything that has happened I was shocked to be on the podium. Overall I’m really happy and to come away from the first round sitting third in the championship, it’s great.

“I’d like to say a massive thanks to Richard and everyone who’s helped – particularly Keith Taylor as we couldn’t have done any of this without him.”

Farrer will be back on track in three weeks’ time for round two of the British Talent Cup at Donington Park.