It’s taken me a while to write this report of my last race, apologies! I went into the race weekend with not too great a headspace for the whole week beforehand. I’m putting it down to almost being the end of the school year and exhaustion from a busy year. I had high hopes before that as I had a coaching session a fortnight previous and I made really good progress but when race weekend came I felt a bit empty and my head just wasn’t in it. This made me even more anxious as I didn’t want to let my coach down and it led to a bit of a downward spiral.
Testing on Sat was in the afternoon only, so only two 20 minute sessions compared to the three 15 minute and a 20 minute session I was used to (it’ll be this for the remainder of the season now). The first session was sooooo hot! The temps that weekend were quite high but in a tin top race car, it’s even hotter! As a result of not feeling great in the car and my headspace not what it usually was, I started to feel a bit lightheaded and dizzy so decided I’d had enough and came in with a few minutes left of the session to sit in the queue for scrutineering. Once I was through scrutineering, I left the car in the garage while I went off to find some cold drinks to cool myself down and have a chat with some fellow female racer friends.
In the second test session I decided to set an alarm on my watch for 10 minutes in so I could get some fresh air and a breather before going back out again. I still felt the same as earlier, not really feeling it but I kept going, pushing myself to brake later at the hairpin and work backwards around the track. My alarm went off 10 mins in and I sat in the pitlane. My mechanics came running towards me (I did warn them I’d come in for a breather so not to worry when I did come in), and as soon as they were at my car some smoke appeared from under my bonnet! They discovered it wasn’t anything to worry about, just the abs pump leaking oil and it was hitting the hot engine but they told me to go to the garage and they’d look at it properly so that was that, testing over!
I went home that night feeling like I needed to pull myself together and sort myself out. So I got home, went for a run (I’m on a mission to run a half marathon by the end of the year! Eek!), had dinner, a bath and a much needed early night.
Sunday, race day. I got to the track feeling a lot happier than the day previous. My car had been fixed, I had breakfast with Russell and we had a good chat and got signed on. Time for qualifying. I felt like I was driving better than I was on Saturday, but still didn’t have the confidence to drive as well as I was at my coaching session. Anyway, I put in as many laps as I could and went to meet my parents that had come along to support me. We had lunch and I got ready for the lunchtime gridwalk. It was the Fiesta and Cooper S’s turn for the gridwalk this time round. Before going there though, I got to see the amazing V10 Footwork Arrows F1 car getting ready to go out on track. Man is that thing fast! And loud! Whilst on the gridwalk I had a group of three girls and their parents come over to say hi and tell me they’d be cheering me on! Girl Power! They were so cute so we got a photo of them with my car. 😊
Once the gridwalk was over we got in our cars and prepared for racing. I had a decent start, but as I went down Duffus I saw some cars make contact with each other and Peter and Stewart spun off in front of me. It looked like Peter was going to spin back into my path but I just slid through the middle and hoped for the best that I wouldn’t get caught in the aftermath. Avoiding the crash put me behind though so I spent the rest of the race trying to catch up. As a result it was pretty uneventful. I eventually got lapped in the last lap by the mini’s, which actually is better than my previous races!
The sun was well and truly out by this point and it was soooo hot, so I sat outside the garage between race 1 and 2 and sunbathed before preparing for the second race. Again I had a good start but I still wasn’t driving like I was at my coaching session, which frustrated me because I know I can do it. I decided while I was driving round the circuit that I needed some more time in the car on my own, without the pressures of race weekend, to just have fun in the car and get used to it sliding around and just enjoy it. Just after Oly lapped me on lap 10, the yellow flags came out - one of the other minis had buried themselves into the tyre wall at McIntyres, and by the time we came out the hairpin for the last time the red flags were out so we missed the chequered flag! We got ourselves back to the garage and that was that!
All in all, despite my funky headspace, it wasn’t a bad weekend; another two signatures, no leaving the track, no collisions, improved times, and more track time in the car. I also learnt a lot about myself, in that when I burn the candle at both ends, I do suffer and I need to take better care of myself for my own sanity!
As always I want to thank Johnny M for his words of wisdom and support, my Mum and Dad for their support, David C for his post race chat, Paul Curtis and his amazing team of mechanics, especially Connor for looking after my sunnies so well 😂🙌🏼, SMRC and the staff at Knockhill for running another fantastic weekend and all the Marshals for looking after us and doing the most amazing job at keeping us safe.
Next race is a double header on 20th and 21st July. I am going to do a trackday on my own before this and really concentrate on getting faster and taking on board everything I covered in my coaching session before. The 21st July is also the SMRC’s Women on Track Ladies day, which will be really good fun. Iv been part of the planning team for it which has been great and we have some tours around all the different areas of Motorsport organised, which will be really cool. Unfortunately the tours are sold out, but if you do still want to attend, contact Emily at Knockhill to register your interest and she will give you more info.
You can view various videos from my race weekends and other stuff on my YouTube channel here:
Also check out my social media pages if you haven’t already. The links to these are at the bottom of this page.
Some other websites of interest:
I am now on holiday from school so using the next few weeks to chill out and get my head back to normal. Thanks so much for reading, and if you have any questions, just ask!