ARNSIDE teenager and ex-Super One cadet kart vice-champion Josh Smith will join Italy's ART Grand Prix factory racing team for a 2014 KFJ campaign in Europe.

The 14-year-old – formerly crowned ‘Rookie of the Year’ – will compete in the WSK Champions Cup and Super Master Series as well as the CIK-FIA European and World Championships with the Manerbio-based squad.

Smith finished within the top ten in the Super One MSA KFJ British Junior and ABkC National MiniMax Championships last year.

The Dallam School student also delivered the first non-Tony Kart MiniMax win since 2009 in his ART kart at Shenington last September and is now keen to pitch himself against Europe’s best.

"To get to race against many of the best international drivers competing at this level is a massive opportunity for me,” he said.

"I did a couple of the events that I'll be competing in this season in 2013 so I know just how big a step up it's going to be, competing against a grid-full of seriously quick drivers.

"But rest assured I won't be letting that faze me. As always, the aim will be to win, not least for the Foundation as without their backing I wouldn't be there."

Smith's season gets underway this weekend at the single round South Garda Winter Cup in Italy.