Christie Doran races for Slidesports Race Engineering in the VAG Trophy

Track action

Track actionThe Scot got into motorsport after Ginetta set her a challenge to learn how to drive from scratch in just seven months when she was just 15.

She passed the test and came 13th out of 15 in the British Ginetta Juniors at Knockhill.

Other challenges followed. Despite having never done any karting, she came second in class in her first full Scottish series – driving a Triumph TR8 in the Classics. Then she tried the BMW Compact Cup before tackling her first UK series last year. She came fourth in class in the VAG Trophy and is now back for a tilt at the title. Christie has joined Girl Racer as a columnist to give an insight into how the season is panning out….

IT is fair to say that the season has had a fair mix of highs and lows and we are not even at the halfway point.

The biggest rollercoaster came at Brands Hatch in the third round of the VAG Trophy. I had a DNF at Donington so needed to make up some points and the Indy layout is not one I have done well at before.

But I found loads of time in testing and my Slidesports Race Engineering team kept tweaking until we had a really good set-up. The result was a solid third place in class, and lap times that were right up with the front two.

So I was fairly confident ahead of the second race. I started third and was second going into Paddock Hill. By lap three I was leading and I stayed there. I had other cars chasing me down but I felt I kept it smooth and made myself as wide as possible.

Simulator There was less than five minutes to go when a crash with a couple of A-Class cars brought out the red flags. Fortunately, everyone was OK but we did not go long enough for the result to called. We needed a restart. I still felt good and led into Paddock Hill but the driveshaft went and that was that. I was gutted but needed to get my head up for race three.

I had a mini tantrum then I was ready and fired up. I got from the back to third, then was up to second. I tried hard but I had to settle for that as Amy Dzuirzynski did a great job to get the win. It turned out to be the first time in British motorsport history that females had come first and second in a mixed-gender race. I am still getting my head round that but it is a buzz to know Amy and I will always be the first to have done it.

Off the track, I am always looking promote my sponsors to show how much I value their support, and it is great when you can do something that helps more than one at one time.

We managed to get a picture opportunity for Tunnock’s wafer and make the general manager at the Macdonald Inchyra Hotel happy by giving him a couple of packs. He is keen to get publicity for the hotel, so we were able to do a review for the Scottish Sun.

It worked for both and I got a spa treatment and a steak dinner. It is tough, but someone had to do it.

My day job is working with Good Egg Drivers on their road safety programme in schools. We have been in Sunderland and Liverpool, talking to teenagers about the dangers on the road and comparing it with the race car.

One of the more interesting questions was about using simulators to learn how to drive. I am not sure how practical that would be, but it certainly helps with the racing. I got the chance to get in the Strakka Racing sim with engineer Bradley Appleton.

It was a chance for me to add to the work I have done with the Project Cars computer game to learn Brands Hatch GP circuit. We don’t get to test there ahead of our next race. Brad was brilliant and broke down my lap into corners before building up the speed. I was delighted with the results and I think he was pretty impressed with the times I produced.

I can’t wait for the top-up session back there next month. By Christie Doran

Written by