Katie Milner headed for North Yorkshire last weekend for the latest rounds of the Junior Saloon car championship at Croft. It’s her local circuit although it’s still a trip of an hour and a half to get there.
Approaching the weekend Katie was a little nervous with it being a fast track after she had her big crash at Rockingham, another fast track at the beginning of the year.
It’s easy to forget that this is her first season circuit racing in cars and she is still learning about both the car and the championship. So while good results are welcome, they aren’t necessarily expected. Next season Katie will be aiming to go for results from the start.
But before the actual race meeting she had a days testing with her driver coach Adriano. This was invaluable as even though Croft is her home circuit, Katie had never driven on it before.
The weather was bright and sunny on Friday as Katie took to the track with Adriano alongside her. She was soon putting in consistent times and gaining confidence all the time. The car felt good and was handling well so everything looked positive for qualifying. The only difference would be the lack of Adriano alongside her so she’d have to adjust slightly so allow for less weight in the car.
So with Katie now feeling confident about the car and the track she headed into qualifying on Saturday, the weather had remained warm and dry and so she could use everything she had learned on Friday.
By the end of the session she had taken fourth place on the grid for the first race and with her second best time also good enough for fourth on the race two grid she had her best qualifying of the season!
She now looked forward to the first race, held later on Saturday. As the lights went out she made a good start and things were looking good until contact from Scott Mitchell sent her spinning off. Luckily she didn’t hit anything and could re-join but she had dropped down to ninth place. She didn’t give up though and by the end of the race she had passed three of her rivals to take sixth. This then became fifth as she passed a further car going into the final hairpin taking her best result so far. But with a race still to go on Sunday, Katie hoped to get an even better result.
As everyone arrived to race on Sunday the track was damp after some overnight rain but with the JSCC race not until a bit later in the day at 3:20pm, the track had plenty of time to dry.
This time she made another good start and managed to avoid getting knocked off. After some battling in the early laps she held her starting position and crossed the line in fourth place, just off the podium and beating Saturday’s excellent result.
Katie was really happy with how her weekend had gone;
“This weekend has defiantly given me a boost and shown what I can achieve. Hopefully at Brands Hatch in two weeks, I can maybe even better my results. Thanks to My family, Mike Collins and my sponsors; Nimbus motorsport, Air supply and Merlin International who ran me this weekend.”
With her confidence now at an all-time high, Katie heads to Brands Hatch in Kent hoping for more good results and hopefully her first podium in the championship. By Marc Waller