Thursday, 17 December 2015

Jamie Chadwick


Jamie (right), Ross Gunn and the Beechdean Aston Martin

Jamie Chadwick graduated to senior motorsport in 2015. She is a product of the Ginetta sportscar racing development ladder, one of a few female racers to utilise this route into the sport.

Jamie began karting at the age of twelve. Taking advantage of the opportunities in the UK for juniors to race on full circuits, she switched to cars after only two years.

She was the winner of the Ginetta Junior Scholarship in 2012, at fourteen, beating around sixty other young drivers to the prize of a fully-funded season in the Ginetta Junior Championship in 2013.

She took up her prize-drive in Ginetta Juniors in 2013. Between her scholarship win and the start of the season proper, she took part in the three-round Winter Series at Rockingham, finishing seventh. She was the highest-scoring first-timer.

During her 2013 season, her best result was fifth, at Knockhill.  She was usually inside the top ten, averaging seventh place, but she also had some disappointments; she racked up three DNFs that year. She was tenth overall. Her brother, Ollie, also raced in the series against her.

She had a second full season of Ginetta Juniors in 2014. Her year started well, with a podium: a third place at Brands Hatch. She racked up four more podium finishes, all thirds, and was eighth in the championship. 

Following her seventeenth birthday in 2015, it was time to move on. Jamie jumped straight into the British GT Championship, in the GT4 class. Her car was no less than an Aston Martin Vantage, run by the Beechdean-AMR team. With her partner, Ross Gunn, she got off to another good start, with two second places at Oulton Park, followed by two wins, at Rockingham and Silverstone, a second place at Spa and a third at Brands Hatch. The only real disappointment of the season was a disqualification at Oulton, following their second place on the track. The exclusion was for causing an accident, although it was not deliberate. At the end of the season, this did not count for much; Jamie and Ross were British GT4 champions. Jamie is the youngest ever winner of the title.

2015 had one more adventure for Jamie. The Beechdean team entered the Vantage in the Britcar 24 Hours at Silverstone, driven by Jamie, plus Jonny Adam, Harry Whale and Andrew Howard. They won the race from pole. This was the first win for a female driver in this event.

In recognition of her achievements, the BRDC nominated Jamie as one of their Rising Stars in 2015, along with the support that the award entails. The BWRDC has put her forward for their Gold Star award, for outstanding female drivers. She is also part of the Evolution Academy for young drivers, run by Aston Martin and Prodrive.

She remained a Team AMR driver for 2016, and raced the Aston Martin again in the British GT Championship. Her best finish was fourth, at Brands Hatch. As she missed a couple of races mid-season, she was thirteenth in the championship. Among her team-mates was Great British Bake Off's Paul Hollywood.

(Image from http://www.prodrive.com/)

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