Moore and Milner win in the BWRDC race at Silverstone

The race gets under way (Photo by Marc Waller)Back in November 2014, the BWRDC (British Women Racing drivers club) held a race for their members as part of the Walter Hayes trophy Formula Ford event at Silverstone.

The race was for any closed wheel car driven by a member and they had an excellent turnout of 29 cars. It was held as a handicap event to try and give all competitors an equal chance of winning and Sarah Franklin eventually came out on top in her Renault Clio, winning a dramatic and very wet race. At the time it was hoped to repeat the race every year but that plan didn’t work out and it hasn’t been run since, until this year.

This time it was decided to run it as a conventional race but to also keep the handicap element, so there would be two sets of results from the same race, the overall result and one from a handicap where slower cars would be given an advantage and faster cars a disadvantage.

As last time, there was a huge variety of cars. Sarah Moore had the fastest, a GT4 spec Ginetta G50. Katie Milner had entered her Ginetta G40, Nathalie McGloin was in her Porsche Cayman. At the other end of the speed scale there were Rover Metros, an original Mini and a beautiful rare Warwick GT350.

Qualifying set the grid as well as allowing the handicapper to set the handicap. The fact that there was an overall race to go for discouraged drivers from “sand bagging” and everyone seemed to be pushing for a time.

It was no big surprise that Sarah Moore took pole in the rapid Ginetta G50 GT4 especially as, unlike in 2014, it was dry and sunny. Behind her was Katie Milner in the Ginetta G40 with Bridgette Smart impressing in the Sylva Phoenix in third. Fourth was Nathalie McGloin in her Porsche Cayman with Gail Hill taking fifth in her Jaguar XJS.

The Handicap would be decided after the race this time and all cars would get underway at the same time so the overall result would just be the order on track. Moore looked set to be favourite to win with her Ginetta G50 having a massive performance advantage over the rest of the field.

Katie Milner was worried that despite having the second fastest time, she might lose out on the start to some of the cars that had bigger engines with more torque. She’d then have to fight her way back past.

So the cars lined up on the grid and waited for the lights. Sarah Moore got a huge amount of wheelspin and the car moved slowly off the line. Katie Milner’s fears came true about her start and she dropped to fifth. But Nathalie McGloin meanwhile had an amazing start to go from fourth to lead as they headed to copse. Meanwhile Sarah Moore had got the Ginetta to put it’s power down and she powered round the outside of McGloin’s Cayman to take the lead. The Cayman settled into second with Bridgette Smart’s Phoenix in third. Meanwhile Milner repassed Sharlie Goddard’s Morgan Plus 8 which had jumped her on the line and set off after Smart.

For the next few laps, Milner and Smart had an epic battle. Every time Milner got past Smart, she found Smart slipstreaming her again and trying to repass. Eventually Milner got clear and set about passing Mcgloin’s Porsche. Both Milner’s Ginetta and McGloin’s Porsche were being run by Milner’s One call racing team but there were definitely no team orders here as Milner moved up to challenge McGloin. Eventually Milner slipped past. Mcgoin then briefly faced a challenge from Smart but lapping some traffic separated the two cars.

So across the line it was Sarah Moore from Katie Milner with Nathalie Mcgoin in third. Fourth was Bridgette Smart with Gail Hill fifth in her Jaguar XJS. Sharlie Goddard’s Morgan took sixth.

Sometime after the race, the handicap results were announced. This time it was Katie Milner who took the win by just 1.8 seconds from Gail Hill in the Jaguar. Third was Maxine Nicholls in her Toyota MR2.

Everyone seemed to agree the race was a success.

“I'm not sure what to say, I am so very proud of every single competitor in the BWRDC Ladies Race.

My only objective was to put on a great race for our members that everyone could enjoy, including the spectators, marshals and officials. Thank you, you didn't disappoint. “Commented Lorraine Gathercole, Chair of the BWRDC and who also competed in the race in a Mazda Mx5. She continued;

A huge variety of cars entered the race (Photo by Marc Waller) Sarah Moore was in a class of her own for the overall result (Photo by Marc Waller) Katie Milner was the only driver to win a trophy in both classifcations (Photo by Marc Waller) Gail Hill nearly topped the Handicap race (Photo by Marc Waller) Maxine Nicholls was third on Handicap (Photo by Marc Waller)

 

 

 

“I want to particularly thank Zoe Hockley BWRDC Press Officer for making the event so special; Lorina McLaughlin for presenting the Awards; David Gathercole for cooking the sausages; HSCC, Silverstone Circuit, James Beckett for running the event and letting us take part. The BRDC for their support. The Dog House Club for joining us. And every single person who helped to make the race very special.

Same time next year?”

The other drivers also appeared to have fun;

“What a way to end the season!” Said Handicap victor and second place overall finisher Katie Milner. “It was a tough race but I had a great time and it’s great to end my 2017 on the circuit with such a great result.”

“I did it! I finally got on that podium! Third overall. Great battle with my Sponsor twin too” [Katie Milner shares a sponsor] said Nathalie McGloin

“Noo! I Lost out by 1.8 seconds. Why did I back off so much for last few laps due to oil on track?” said Gail Hill, disappointed to lose out on the Handicap win. But she was happy with her race overall. “Cracking race. Finished where I started 5th overall but 2nd on handicap.“

Bridgette Smart was fast in her Sylva and took the presidents award (Photo by Marc Waller) Natalie McGloin took third overall (Photo by Marc Waller) Sarah Moore takes the flag (Photo by Marc Waller) Katie Milner takes the flag (Photo by Marc Waller) All the racers get together for a group photo (Photo by Marc Waller)

 

 

 

All the competitors seemed to unanimously agree that it was a great event. Hopefully it won’t be another three years before we have the next one! By Marc Waller

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