This is a big year for me, so it’s great to be able to share my first season in the Ginetta Junior Championship with you via my blog here on The Checkered Flag.
For those of you who aren’t aware, I earned my drive through the annual Ginetta Junior Scholarship; a fantastic scheme run by Ginetta that awards young drivers with a fully-funded season in their Junior race series, supporting the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – and worth over £40,000.
I went up against a field of 60 hopefuls in a series of driving, fitness and media assessments over three days at the Bedford Autodrome. It was tough and very competitive, but truly amazing to be selected as the eventual 2013 Ginetta Scholarship Winner.
I have received a lot of attention since winning the Scholarship, for being a rookie and the only girl in this year’s field, so it felt great to finally line-up on the grid for my debut race weekend at the Brands Hatch Indy circuit.
I was reasonably satisfied with my results, although I feel I missed out on a better finish in the first race. I qualified 6th for Round 1, which was held in wet conditions, that weren’t too dissimilar to those I experienced when competing for the Scholarship.
I was involved in some brilliant and exciting on-track battles throughout and got as high as 4th and within sight of the lead, before slipping back to 6th place after incidents and a Safety Car closed the pack up again.
I started Round 2 from 5th and thought I’d have another bite at the cherry. But, while my pace was initially strong, it fell away in the closing stages as my set up deteriorated. We took risk with the tyre pressures on both mine and my brother Ollie’s car and this created handling issues during the latter stages. In addition, contact from another car left me with a flapping bonnet, which blocked my vision – a big distraction!.
But, on the whole, I can’t complain at all. The weekend was a great learning experience and it was a real privilege to be on the grid representing Ginetta.
I think I have a solid foundation on which to build and I’m genuinely excited about what this season has in store for my team and I.
Donington Park is up next (20-21April) and I’m really looking forward to that. My aim is to simply get as much racing experience as possible and continue improving on my performances. I have a great team behind me in JHR Developments and I think we have what it takes to eventually challenge at the sharp end.