TWO Guiseley teenagers are celebrating gaining top GCSE scores after balancing their academic studies at Bradford Grammar School with their sporting careers.

Lorcan Hanafin, of Guiseley, competes in the Ginetta Junior Championships and secured seven 7s, one 8 and two 6s. The 16-year-old has been racing-mad since he was five-years-old, when his father bought him his first kart.

Lorcan, who plans to become an endurance racer, said: "On the days I was testing I used to sit around looking at my books so I managed to balance everything. I’m really happy with my results."

Mum, Claire, said: "The school have been really supportive in terms of his racing. A racing career is not something you pursue lightly so without that support I don’t think he would have got the grades he has."

Lorcan races with Douglas Motorsport in the Junior Championship, which is run by sports and racing car manufacturer Ginetta, which is open to 14 to 17-year-old racers.

The teenager joins swimmer Rebecca Clynes, who scored three 9s and six grade 8s and swam for Great Britain at the European Junior Championships, in Russia, over the summer. Rebecca has balanced her studies with her 4am wake up calls for training sessions.

Rebecca, also of Guiseley and a City of Leeds swimmer, said: "It has been hard balancing everything but with swimming it does make you organised. The teachers have been really supportive and I would always go to them for work to catch up on and friends would send me their notes. I’ve got a close group of friends here which is great."

Mum Sally said: "It’s hard work fitting everything in but the school has been great through the exams with her swimming."

Students at BGS take a mixture of IGCSEs and GCSEs, graded either 9-1 or A*-G. This year, 47 per cent of all exams taken at BGS were awarded A/A* or 9-8 grades while 71 per cent achieved passes of 9-7. 97 per cent of students achieved grades of 9-4 (formerly C and above). Twelve students were awarded 8/9 grades in all their subjects.

Headmaster Dr Simon Hinchliffe said: "Congratulations to students at Bradford Grammar School for once again achieving a fantastic set of GCSE scores.

"Results such as these such reflect much hard work over many years and a positive approach that enables everyone to learn from both successes and setbacks. Public exams test both academic ability and character; naturally, I am proud of our students who were not found wanting on either front.

"Education is about much more than doing well in exams. Today we celebrate all that is laudable and worthy about scholarship and the qualities of mind and spirit that give rise to the kind of high academic achievement that characterises Bradford Grammar School. But on this day, just like any other at BGS, we maintain a sense of proportion and balance, and recognise exam success as part of a much bigger and richer picture of progress and fulfilment. We feed the brain at BGS, but nurture decent and kind human beings too."

BGS, which counts Olympic medallists, prominent artists and politicians among its prestigious alumni, has undergone a £4m investment in its sports provision and has seen major upgrades of its cricket, netball, tennis and hockey facilities as well as a new sports enclosure.

Former pupils of the independent school on Keighley Road, Bradford, include Olympic heroes Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee, artist David Hockney, Denis Healey and actress Georgie Henley.