Financial constraints are a common obstacle for young racers but Louise Richardson isn’t letting it stop her as she continues to chase the dream of a place on the 24 Hours of Le Mans grid. The Grantham driver has missed the last two meetings of the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup but is back in action at Snetterton this weekend, over three months after winning in the G50 class on her last appearance.
Richardson admits it has been tough to keep morale high during the recent hiatus but accepts that sacrifices need to be made and is determined to do whatever it takes to showcase her talents.
“It’s been difficult to miss races, but at least I’ve been able to secure a victory this season. Last year I showed I was fast enough to run at the front, but I didn’t manage to get a win. I would have been more frustrated if I’d been sidelined and hadn’t had the opportunity to show that I can be a race winner. It’s still difficult, but at least I know I have shown people what I am capable of.”
“The problem I have is the same as everyone who needs a budget to race, and that is that sponsorship is really difficult to find in the current economic climate. If you are able to find a big sponsor, you are very lucky and sometimes it is a case of being put in touch with the right person at the right time. So much time and effort goes in to searching for sponsors and I’m working hard to get the funds needed to get back on track.
“In the past few weeks, I’ve even auctioned off some signed Lewis Hamilton memorabilia that I won while karting in Belgium for the most overtaking. It meant a lot to me as I’d earned it by showing what I could do on track, but every little bit towards a budget will help.”
Le Mans remains the ultimate goal for the 19 year old and she believes she’s on the correct career path to realise that ambition. Richardson also sees this formula as the most cost-effective way of going racing, especially for a family-run outfit.
“It would be nice if I could get the backing to move up into the G55 class next year. Ultimately I would love to one day race at Le Mans, so I think that getting into a G55 and then looking to make a move into the BTCC would be the best route for my career as it would keep me in the public viewpoint and allow me to get more exposure. If I could then move into something like the DTM or WTCC, it could help me move towards my goal.
“I do have a love for single-seaters, but in reality, I think that sportscars and saloon cars is a better direction for my career. To be successful in single-seaters, you need to have a lot of money behind you and it is more difficult to get into it if you don’t have a big budget. Motorsport isn’t cheap, but for a family run team like ours, the Ginetta series is more manageable as you don’t need as much of a budget.
“When it comes to Le Mans, age isn’t as much of a barrier as it is elsewhere as you get a real mixture of ages competing. I have time on my side and I’ll continue to work hard to get there.”