A Norfolk-born stock car racer is set to leave the county for America to begin working his way up to NASCAR's top flight.

Keenan Tully, 21, from Saxthorpe near Aylsham, is set to move to Charlotte, North Carolina this week in order to join a driver's agency which will develop a pathway for him to reach the sport's highest level.

NASCAR, which stands for National Association of Stock Car Racing, is one of the most popular sports in the USA and sees stock cars hurtle around oval circuits at speeds of more than 200mph.

Just last year Mr Tully began planning the move after being invited to race in NASCAR by the now defunct Patriot Motorsports team for a weekend in 2018.

He said: “I thought I must be pretty good then, if someone in the States is asking me to race over there.

"So then I thought, maybe I should try and make a career out of this and try and take it somewhere.

"It kind of switched from wanting to be a mechanic on a team to actually wanting to make racing my living.”

Mr Tully studied motorsport at City College in Norwich and had been racing in the Junior Rods series at Swaffham Raceway before switching to racing against adults.

He added: “It’s all helped me to gain knowledge about car set-ups, how to build race cars, how to work on them and fix them.

"At grassroots, you do all the work on the cars yourself, rather than pay a team to take the car for you and fix it.

"So I had to learn how to work on cars and how to fix them myself.

"So I’d race, and I’d come off the track, and I’d fix it, and I’d go back out again.”

Mr Tully will now continue his career in North Carolina, where most of the main NASCAR teams are based.

He said: “It’s what I’ve wanted to do since I was 12, driving a racing car, but once I actually went over there and raced with them I knew that NASCAR is what I’ve got to do now.

“So ever since then I’ve just been planning my move over there.”