Saturday, 31 July 2010

Ruth Senior

2003 was an important year for Ruth Senior. The fifteen-year-old club karting champion beat off stiff competition to win the T-Car Scholarship, a year's competition in the BRSCC T-Car championship for junior drivers. Judges decided that Ruth was the best candidate for the touring car series, following a series of driving and written tests. Past T-Car drivers have included BTCC stars Tom Chilton and Tom Boardman. Others have gone on to race single-seaters.

Ruth had rather a mixed season in her Building Environmental Services-sponsored car. Her best finish was third, towards the end of the season. Several times she fought back well after spinning, like she did in only her second-ever race. Most of the time she was a solid midfield finisher, and she enjoyed her racing a great deal. She finished sixth in the championship.

2004 promised even more, and Ruth scored her first win in the series. Will Bratt was the runaway winner of the championship, but consistent well-placed finishes, against strong opposition. allowed Ruth to take the runner-up spot.

For 2005, Ruth made the switch to single-seater competition, in the BRDC Single Seater Championship, a junior Formula Ford series. Although she surprised many with a third place in the season-opening non-championship race, the actual season was not a lot of fun for her. A couple of nasty crashes put her out of some of the rounds and she struggled to keep pace with her more experienced colleagues. Nevertheless, she chalked it all up as experience and pronounced herself ready for the challenge of the British Formula Ford Championship proper in 2006.

Ruth’s first appearance in Formula Ford was at the second round, at Donington. Her first race resulted in a DNF, and she was 20th in Race Two. At Snetterton, she was thirteenth and tenth. At Brands Hatch, she could only limp to the end in 28th, before sitting the second race out. Her season was not going to plan. She did not attend the Rockingham meeting, but returned for the second Brands Hatch round. Again, she went out early in the first race, and could not take part in the second. At Knockhill she managed to start both races, and was fourteenth and eleventh. She was fourteenth and thirteenth at Silverstone. She managed another thirteenth at Castle Combe after missing the Thruxton meeting, but did not finish the second race.

After this lacklustre season, plagued by damage to her car, Ruth took a step back from motorsport and concentrated on her other sporting interest, athletics. She placed well in AAA junior championships for both track and cross-country. Later, she went to Loughborough University. In 2009, she returned to motorsport as a member of their karting team. After that, she moved to the States, where she continues to study, work and compete in athletics.

Ruth has also appeared on the BBC's Techno Games, operating a climbing robot designed and built by her father, a former Lotus race engineer.

(Image source unknown)

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