Katie Milner and the Merlin team have a Wizard trip to Wales!

Katie and her dad with her 2015 race car (Photo by Mrs Milner)

Katie and her dad with her 2015 race car (Photo by Mrs Milner)The Welsh circuit of Pembrey near Llanelli was the venue for the final rounds of the 2015 Junior Saloon car championship (JSCC).

Katie Milner and her family made the very long trip down from their Yorkshire base on Thursday ready to take part and finish Katie’s first season in the JSCC. Katie had been forced to miss the previous rounds at Silverstone for Logistical reasons so she was eager to get back and go for some good results to end her first season of circuit racing on a high.

She had no driver coach to help her this time during the test day and so she had to teach herself the circuit which at least was dry, making things a bit easier. She proved her ability when after a day of testing she was just 0.7 seconds off the more experienced leading driver.

Qualifying was on Saturday and after a busy session Katie found herself in tenth for race one and just outside the top ten for race two. (The race two grid is decided from the second best times from qualifying.)

Both the races were on Sunday and the weather was still dry and sunny, if a bit cold. Katie made a good start as the lights changed but Finlay Robinson had stalled on the grid and the stewards decided it was too dangerous to continue so the red flags came out. It was slightly frustrating for Katie as she had already gained two places and had moved into eighth place. Now she’d have to try and do it again. She did get a good getaway for the second time and found herself battling with Harry Bishop for ninth, the two battled hard but sadly Bishop managed to get ahead in the closing stages leaving Katie tenth, still a good result but she felt she could do better.

She got another good start for race two going from eleventh on the gird straight into tenth. Up ahead though, her rival Sutton braked unexpectedly hard causing a chain reaction where Kennedy ran into him, Katie and her 2015 season rivals (Photo by Mrs Milner)Bishop to collide with Kennedy and Katie then bumped into Bishop! There was no significant damage to Katie’s car though and she continued to battle in the pack just behind Sutton and Bishop. In the closing stages she managed to finally squeeze past her rivals to take eighth when they slowed each other up. They continued to battle allowing Katie to pull away from them and relieve the pressure on the final lap. She crossed the line in an excellent eighth. It was a strong finish to what has been a learning year for Katie.

She will be back next season with her team, Merlin. They hope to build a new car for Katie as well as a second car for a customer to run in. Katie hopes her strong performances this season will attract some new sponsors for her. It’s looking likely that she’ll still be the only female in the championship. Next season she’ll be looking to make further steps forward building on this season’s learning. She’ll be aiming for her first podium and hopefully also her first win.

We’ll leave the last words to Katie herself
“Thanks to my dad and team Merlin for a great debut year on circuits and I’m really looking forward to next year with the continued support of nimbus Motorsport, air supply and Merlin international! Also a big thanks to the whole JSCC family who have made us all welcome!” By Marc Waller

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