Emily’s hard work is rewarded with 9th place in Televised thriller

Track action (Photo by Marc Waller)The Oulton Park circuit, in Cheshire, played host to round four of the amazing Ginetta Junior Championship races this weekend, supporting the BTCC, with Emily Linscott on the prowl for her best results of the season.

Her pace in testing promised much, but her mantra so far this season has been to drive the best she can and let the results come from that

With the glorious sunshine helping the drivers to treat the 30,000 strong trackside fans to a stunning spectacle of controlled aggression, stunning car control and all round great racing, all of which was played out in front of the ITV4 cameras broadcasting the action live to millions of viewers, the scene was set for some excitement.

Qually for Emily, once again, didn’t go according to plan as she struggled to find the pace she’d had in testing, lining up in 12th place om the grid for both races. Her thoughts after the qualifying session were typically honest, “I’m trying my hardest out there and for some reason, I’m able to do it in testing but I seem to get myself too worked up and nervous about qualifying, which is making me overdrive and not bringing the start positions I know I’m capable of. It’s crazy that I’m like this for qually, yet when the race comes I’m not affected by nerves and my speed and race craft comes in to play.”

On her first race on the Saturday, she remembers one thing in particular, “I was having a great fight with a friend from my karting days as he’d got the better of me when I made a mistake coming out of the chicane. As we got to the fastest corner on the circuit, the awesome 5th gear Druid double right-hander, I decided to go for a move that was a little daring, when I threw my car up his inside and slammed on the brakes locking all four wheels but still maintaining enough speed and to keep the momentum. This took him by surprise as it’s not known for being an overtaking place as it’s such a high-speed corner with very little margin for error, as the barriers are quite close there. I was pleased with that move, I didn’t stop smiling for the whole of the next lap.” Finishing across the line in 12th but advanced to 11th due to an alleged technical infringement of her teammates’ car.

With the confidence she’d gained from her race 1 antics, the youngster was relishing the fight in race 2 on Sunday in front of the much bigger crowd and television audience too. The start was the what you come to expect from these tenacious teens, some close contact, a bit of pushing and shoving, or ‘rubbing’ as it’s known in racing circles, with one cars’ wheel chaffing her door like that of Queen Boudica’s chariot, but nothing unusual really. Coming into the hairpin for the first time, there was a bit of contact at the front of the pack, which saw one car spin out, but not affecting Emily challenge for position, gaining two places in the process.

Track action (Photo by Marc Waller)The excitement of the race continued with Emily climbing through the order with some exceptionally clever driving, picking her fights carefully over the laps, and by half race distance she was embroiled in a scrap for 6th place. The battle continued for the reminder of the race, but the pair were now joined by two others, both previous race winners. Interestingly, Emily’s take on this was one of depth, as she considered her options almost instantaneously, she said, “I’d seen Adam close in on me at the chicane and I thought I’d not defend but allow him past and see if I could jump in behind him and get a tow further up the field and then see what fight there was to have at the end. “The two title contenders weren’t actually that much faster at all, their progress through the field didn’t really happen so I had a go at getting a place back at the hairpin. I managed to get up alongside him, but my exit speed was compromised too much so I couldn’t make it stick.”

The four drivers duelling for 6th place went across the line in close formation, with Emily taking well deserved 9th place overall, her best result of the championship so far and something to really build on the rest of the year. She commented, “I’m pleased with my performance today, it’s helped my confidence a lot being able to fight hard for position with two of the title contenders, I’m ready to take the fight to the next round in two weeks’ time now. I’ve only tested at Croft, in North Yorkshire, once before but I’m looking forward to the racing there, it’ll be good. Bring it on.”

Part of the Emily’s dilemma is caused by not having sufficient budget to test as often as she needs, and it may have an affect on how hard she wants to push in qualifying but having picked up new sponsor LSU Utility Solutions Ltd, a plant hire company in Benfleet, Essex, just before the Oulton Park round, who’s signed up for the remainder of the season, her mindset might be a little more comfortable. “It’s strange just how many tings go to make a driver fast and competitive. If you don’t have the budget to test and repair the car when things happen, then no matter how good you think you are, the results won’t come along, that’s why sponsors are such an important part of my racing and why I work so hard for them, it’s a privilege to be their ambassador and to represent them locally and all over the country,” said a very grateful Linscott.

Next Round – Croft, North Yorkshire – 23/24 June 2018

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