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 has "graduated" and can now be found in "Les Autres after 1950". 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. 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.

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.

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.

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.

Emily Glanvill – Scottish driver who races in the Junior Touring Car Championship in the UK. She was born in 2000, and 2016 is 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. 

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 saw her graduate to senior competition, in the form of the GT Cup, racing a Porsche Cayman.  
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.

Katie Milner – raced in the Junior Saloon Car Championship in 2015, driving a Citroen Saxo. This was her first season of circuit racing. She was ninth in the championship. Her best finish was fourth, at Croft, and she two other top-five positions at Croft and Oulton Park. Prior to her season in the JSCC, she was a successful autograss racer, with two junior titles. In 2016, she is raced in the JSCC for a final season before she turns seventeen. It was a dramatic year; she was one of the leading drivers, with seven wins, but her championship title was only awarded after appeals. She was excluded for technical reasons at Knockhill, but was reinstated, and crowned the winner. Katie is the daughter of rally driver Johnny Milner.

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.

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. 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.

(Image copyright Jakob Ebrey)

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