KELTY motorsport star Dean MacDonald has started preparations for the new British GT season by racing to victory in Spain.

The 18-year-old, who moved into sports car competition in 2017 after a highly successful karting career, returned to his roots by getting behind the wheel at the Iame Euro Series Winter Cup in Valencia.

The event, which took place from Thursday to Sunday, was MacDonald's first karting event in 12 months and saw 90 senior drivers – including the existing champion and current world champion – take to the grid.

Despite his move into GT racing, MacDonald was able to display the ability that marked him out as one of the most successful karters of his generation by shining in qualifying to start each race on pole position.

In the first of four heats on Saturday, the teenager put his foot down and accelerated away from his rivals to win in 5.382 seconds, which was followed by a victory in heat two that saw him finish 0.267 seconds quicker than his team-mate and 7.395 ahead of the chasing field.

Wins by 0.554 and 0.353 seconds respectively in heats three and four put MacDonald on pole for the pre-final and, by a margin of 2.701 seconds, he stormed to a clean sweep of victories and ensured he would be at the head of the grid for the final.

There was no stopping the West Fifer as, after speeding away and into the lead, it was an advantage he wouldn't relinquish as he won the race with a lead of 2.249 seconds to clinch the title.

MacDonald's focus will now switch back to training for the British GT, which begins on April 20 at Oulton Park, in which he will race for HHC Motorsport and team-up with Callum Pointon.

He entered GT racing after joining the McLaren GT Driver Academy, designed to provide a pathway for youngsters to move into sports cars, and raced with McLaren's Black Bull Garage 59 line-up.

In July 2018, after joining BMW, he achieved his first victory at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium in round seven of the GT4 Championship.