Dino Zamparelli's bid to become Bristol's first Formula 1 driver has been boosted after he received financial backing to race for Marussia.
The funding has come from Bristol Sport Ltd, a company led by Bristol City and Bristol Rugby owner Steve Lansdown.
It means the Clifton-based 20-year-old will compete in the GP3 this year, two tiers below Formula 1.
"I'm glad I can move forward now and head in the direction I want to go in," he told BBC Points West.
Zamparelli started go-kart racing aged six and progressed to cars during his teens.
He is now rated one of the best prospects in the UK, having won two championships in five years.
"Karting was always a problem, as my financial situation meant we couldn't compete and I was always quite tall for my age," said Zamparelli.
"But the moment I got in to cars I was able to cement a whole season, and in the Junior Championship in 2008, I won my first 10 races.
"From that moment I was determined to make it as a racing driver. It's been a massive struggle but fun at the same time. I've been able to fight my way to where I am now.
"That fighting instinct and determination makes me the driver I am today."
Having impressed during his first year in the FIA Formula Two Championship, Zamparelli has been signed to British-based Marussia and will be a part of the Formula 1 team's young driver programme.
"I'm looking forward to developing myself with the car and the team," he added.
"My plan is to win this year and become GP3 champion. The goal will be the same the year after in the GP2. Once that is achieved, it will be Formula 1."