Friday, 27 August 2010

Under-17 Racing Series

During the past ten years in the UK, several full-size championships for junior drivers aged fourteen to seventeen have emerged. Girls have been involved from the start, and have found varying degrees of success, up to and including championship wins.

This is a list of drivers who are most known for, or have only competed in, racing series designed for the under-17s. Due to space constraints, this only includes full-size car racing and not karting.
Junior Rallycross racers can be found here. Sarah Moore, Irina Sidorkova and Katie Milner have "graduated". Sophia Floersch now has her own post.

Nina-Jo Atkinson - raced a Saxmax Citroen Saxo in 2006 and 2007, starting at the age of fourteen. She scored a few top-ten finishes towards the end of her time in the series. In 2008, she moved up to the Mini Challenge, despite being still only sixteen years old. She is noted for having driven the Nürburgring at speed when only fourteen. As well as circuit racing, she has done some rally navigation.

Lydia Austen - one of the first girls to take part in Britain's then-leading junior car racing series, T-Cars, in 2001. She raced for two full seasons. Her results were not spectacular, but she proved herself capable of holding her own on the track. She suffered a couple of nasty on-track accidents but always kept going, holding out for a finish. For 2002 she was considered good enough for the new Zip Formula junior single-seater category, and managed to put together a sponsorship deal. Unfortunately, the deal fell through and Lydia has been absent from the national racing scene ever since.

Charlotte Birch - raced in the Junior Saloon Car Championship in the UK in 2017 and 2018. In her first year she had a best finish of tenth, at Rockingham, Knockhill, Croft and Brands Hatch. This improved to second in 2018, at Anglesey, plus a third place at Rockingham. This was in spite of quite a nasty accident at Silverstone at the start of the season. She started racing cars at fourteen. Unusually, she stepped straight into junior motorsport without having done any karting beforehand. Her aim is to race in the BTCC or endurance racing and she took her first step towards this by competing in the senior Ginetta G40 championship in 2019. She was seventh in the championship after contesting most of the rounds and had a best finish of seventh, which she earned three times, at Oulton Park and Brands Hatch.

Sophie Byrne - raced in the Irish Ginetta Junior championship between 2011 and 2013. Her results improved every year, from eighth in 2011 to third in 2013. After moving up to senior competition, she acquired a Ford Fiesta XR2 which she raced in the Future Classics championship in 2014 and 2015. In 2014, as Sophie Austen-Byrne, she travelled to Silverstone for the BWRDC’s Race for a Record women’s handicap.

Megan Campbell - Northern Irish driver who raced in the Irish Ginetta Junior championship between 2015 and 2017. She was fifth in the 2017 series, having only been out of the top five when she did not finish twice at the start of the season. She made steady progress over her three seasons, with a tenth and a seventh in 2015 and 2016.

Pippa Coleman – did a season of Ginetta Junior racing in 2009. She was a competent, if not quite consistent driver, who did not compete for the full season. She managed six top-ten finishes, the best of these being two sixth places, at Thruxton and Rockingham. Her 2009 campaign followed a run in the 2008 Winter season. She does not appear to have raced since then.

Tatiana Dobrynina - member of the Volkswagen Junior Academy in Russia. She races in the Russian Touring Car Championship, in the National class. Her car is a Volkswagen Polo. 2017 seems to be her first year in the series. At the time of writing, her best result has been a fifteenth place, at Kazan. She has been active in Russian motorsport since 2015, when she took part in some Time Attack events in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo XI.

Molly Dodd - races in the Junior Saloon Car Championship in the UK. Her car is a series-standard Citroen Saxo. In 2018, she had a best finish of ninth at Rockingham and was 16th in the championship. As well as racing the Saxo, Molly took part in the FIA’s The Girls on Track all-female karting challenge in October 2018. In 2019, she competed in both the JSCC and Ginetta Juniors. Her results in the JSCC were better; she finished as high as seventh at Snetterton. It was more difficult in the Ginetta and her best finish was 15th at Brands Hatch.

Christie Doran - had her first season of full-sized motorsport in 2011, aged fifteen, in the Ginetta Junior championship. Despite a fairly large-scale media campaign in her favour, she only managed to compete at the Knockhill meeting. She was thirteenth in her first race and did not finish her second. Despite her age, she occasionally carries out road tests for the Scottish Sun, under the tutelage of her father, Jon. In 2012, she had support from the Scottish Sun for another race season, but she does not appear to have secured the additional funding she needed. Instead, she moved into historic racing, in a Triumph TR8. She was quite effective in the Scottish Classic Sports and Saloon series, finishing tenth overall. The next two seasons were spent in the Scottish BMW Compact Cup, which was a mixed experience, and she had to miss some of 2014 after a big crash in the first round. In 2015, she raced in England, in the VAG Trophy. Her car was a VW Golf. After a steep learning curve, she finished the season with three third places. As well as racing, she was part of an initiative that offers training and racing opportunities to injured service personnel. In 2016, she did her second VAG season, and scored three wins, putting her in the running for the Class B title. She raced the Golf again in 2017, but only for a part-season. This was due to badly damaging her car in a crash at Rockingham. Her best finishes were a pair of seconds at Thruxton, and she was third in the Class B championship. In 2018, she did some rounds of Britcar in the Golf, but her season was restricted by budget issues.

Shanel Drewe – competed in the UK Junior Touring Car Championship in 2016, driving a regulation Citroen Saxo. This was her first experience of circuit racing, although she has been active in motorsport for the past couple of years as a mechanic, despite only being fifteen years old. She was 25th in the championship after completing a full season, with a best finish of sixteenth, at Oulton Park. In 2017, she graduated to senior motorsport and had a successful season in the Road Car class of the Clio Cup. She was second overall, with three wins. She did not race as much in 2018 but did represent the UK in the FIA's "Girls on Track" karting initiative. 

Emily Glanvill – Scottish driver who raced in the Junior Touring Car Championship in the UK. She was born in 2000, and 2016 was her first season of circuit racing. Previously, she was active in Autograss grass-track racing, at club level, in the junior classes. Emily was a consistent finisher who stayed out of trouble, but was not quite on the pace. Her best finishes were early in the season, at Pembrey, and she was 24th in the championship.  In 2017, she raced as a senior in the Celticspeed Mini Cooper Cup, but dropped out part-way through the season to concentrate on her education. She made a comeback in 2019, racing in the Scottish C1 Cup. There was no delay in getting back on the pace; she was third in one race and fourth twice, all at Knockhill. This gave her a championship fifth spot.

Virsavia Goltsova - part of the Goltsova Racing team with her mother, Natalia Goltsova. She began racing in 2017. Her first race was the Kazan round of the Russian Junior Touring Car Championship. She was 16th then 13th in a Lada Kalina, as part of a three-car Goltsova Racing team. Her best overall results in the series were two eleventh places at Smolensk. In September, she was third in a two-hour endurance race at Kazan. She did a part-season in the Junior championship in 2018, driving a Kalina, and had a best finish of tenth at Kazan. 2019 was similar, with three races in the Junior championship.

Alicia Goundry - had her first season in cars in 2017, at the age of fourteen. She was competing in the Junior Saloon Car Championship for MMR Racing. Her season started steadily, but she found some speed at Croft and took the first of her two third places. Previously, she raced karts from 2013, as part of the “Goundry Girls” team with her two younger sisters, Tilly and Sienna. Alicia and Tilly competed in the 2016 National Super One series.

Esmée Hawkey – raced in Ginetta Juniors in 2014. She was a finalist in the Ginetta Junior Scholarship at the end of 2013, which led to a development deal with AmDTuning. As well as karting, she raced in the last three Ginetta Junior rounds, at Rockingham, Silverstone and Brands Hatch. Her best results were two 15th places, at Rockingham and Brands Hatch. She was 22nd overall. She also tested an AmDTuning BTCC car. In 2015, she is drove for JHR Developments in Ginetta Juniors. Her best overall finishes were two fourteenth places, at Oulton Park, but she did well among the Rookie drivers. She was 25th in the championship. 2016 was the year she graduated to senior competition, in the form of the GT Cup, racing a Porsche Cayman.  She was championship runner-up. In 2017, she was nominated for the Carrera Cup GB Junior Scholarship. She did a full season of the Carrera Cup in 2018, with two podium finishes in the Pro-Am class at Monza and Brands Hatch. In 2019, the Carrera Cup was combined with a season in the all-female W Series, where she was fifteenth in the championship. She did better in the Carrera Cup, with three wins in the Pro-Am class at Thruxton and Oulton Park and a third on the class leaderboard. 
Jamie-Lea Hawley - raced in the Renault Clio Cup Junior series in the UK in 2018, with the Finsport team. She did her first season in a car in 2017, in the Ford Fiesta Junior championship. With only a little karting experience, it was a steep learning curve for her, but by the end of the season she was almost finishing on the podium; she was fourth in the last race at Donington. This was enough for tenth overall in the championship.

Emma Laddiman - competed in some Saxmax races in 2008, after taking a year out from expected motorsport activities due to injuries. She now works for Barwell Motorsports.

Emily Linscott - first raced a car in 2017, when she competed in the last three rounds of the Ginetta Junior championship. This was only her second season in motorsport, full stop, having taken up karting in 2016. Her best Ginetta Junior overall finishes were a pair of twelfth places at Brands Hatch and Silverstone, although she scored far better in the rookie rankings. Richardson Racing saw her potential and she was signed by the team for the 2018 Ginetta Junior season, earning a best finish of ninth and 16th in the championship. At the end of the season she travelled to Malaysia for a guest appearance in the Southeast Asia Formula 4 championship, and was seventh twice. In 2019, she travelled to the USA at weekends for the Lucas Oil Formula Car race series, where she was being mentored by Pippa Mann. She was eighth in the championship, with two second places at NCM Motorsports Park. At the end of the year, she was third in the series' Scholarship shootout. She also took part in a couple of rounds of the Dunlop Endurance Championship with Peter Bassill, driving his Ginetta G55. They won their class in both of their races.

Abby Lock - began racing in the BRSCC Fiesta Junior championship in 2017, when she was 14. She had not had any prior competitive experience before that. She returned for a longer part-season in 2018, and had a best finish of sixth at Thruxton. She was ninth in the championship. She was named Driver of the Day at Rockingham in 2018. In 2019, she had another season in Fiesta Juniors, which was hampered by very small grids.

Jemma Moore - took her first steps in circuit racing in 2017 when she entered the Brands Hatch rounds of the Junior Saloon Car Championship. In 2018, she started the season proper and took pole for her first race. She finished third. This was her best result of the season and she repeated it at Rockingham, on the way to seventh in the championship. In 2019, she won her first JSCC race at Knockhill. Later in the season, she traded in her junior licence and began competing as a senior, driving a Ginetta G50 in some rounds of the GT4 South European Series with Moh Ritson.They were first and second in class at the Algarve circuit. Jemma is the younger sister of Britcar racer and former Ginetta Junior racewinner Sarah Moore.

Mia Morgan - started racing in Ginetta Juniors in 2007. She returned to the series for a part-season in 2008, improving slightly on her 2007 results.

Emma Pascall - raced in the UK's T-Car series in 2004 and 2005. A serious accident limited her participation in 2004 and she was a solid, rather than competitive, finisher. She does not appear to have continued in motorsport after 2005.

Abbi Pulling - made her car racing debut at the start of 2018, in Ginetta Juniors in the UK. She proved herself capable of top-ten finishes, including a ninth place at Brands Hatch, but she only did a part-season. Prior to her Ginetta drive, she was one of Britain’s most successful karters of 2017. She won the Super 1 Junior TKM championship and the British ‘O’ Plate championship outright. She had been runner up in Super 1 Junior TKM in 2016. She is now supported by Motorsport UK in both competition and studies, and made her step up to senior competition in 2019. The season in the Ginetta GT5 Challenge got going a little slowly, but she became more and more confident and scored her best finish right at the end of the season: sixth at Donington.

Amy Scarisbrick - has competed in both junior and senior categories. She ran a whole season of Saxmax in 2006, before using the same Citroen Saxo in the 750MC Stock Hatch championship in 2007. Her results were unspectacular, but she managed to hold her own against experienced drivers. In 2008, Amy concentrated on her education and did not race. She now works as a sports broadcaster on local radio.

Julia Strukova – Russian driver who made her circuit racing debut in 2015, in the RSKG Junior championship, a saloon series for 14-17 year olds. Her car was a VAZ, and she was second in the championship, winning two races at Kazan. For the rest of the season, she was rarely off the podium. As she turned 17 in 2015, she had to move up to senior motorsport in 2016. She joined the Russian National Touring Car Championship, driving a Kia Rio. At the end of the season, she was eleventh in the championship, with a best finish of sixth, at Kazan. She had another season in the Kia in 2017, recording a best finish of seventh, at Smolensk. 2018 was quite similar, with three top-ten finishes and a best of fifth at Grozny. Prior to 2015, she was involved in rally raids.

Lydia Walmsley – started her career in cars in 2016, driving a Citroen Saxo in the Junior Saloon Car Championship. She was fourteen when she entered the championship, and combined her part-season with karting. Her best result was a sixth place, at Knockhill. After four races, she was 26th in the championship. She returned to the JSCC in 2017 and proved a competent driver. Her best finishes were two fourths at Silverstone. In 2018, she graduated to the Mini Challenge, competing in the Cooper Pro class. She was ninth overall. This improved to third in 2019 and included her debut win at Snetterton, plus four other podiums.

(Image copyright Jakob Ebrey)

No comments:

Post a Comment