I’m seriously considering putting the heating on, this is not how any of us imagined July to be. I’ve just come back from a holiday in Italy after racing at Imola and was hoping to show my tan off, but unfortunately I’m digging out my hoodies and thermals. So much for global warming! As Jeremy Clarkson tweeted yesterday morning, “The weather needs warming. Everyone switch on your engines, rev them up and then fire up the patio heater”.
Sorry for the long delay since my last blog, it’s been a busy year so far with a lot going on; stick with me and I‘ll fill you in.
January was seen in with the traditional trip to the Autosport show, with the added interest this year that I was nominated for an award: the British Women Racing Drivers club (BWRDC) GoldStar was being presented on the Friday on the MSA stand by John Surtees OBE and I was in the Elite category up against some strong competition. Plenty of friends turned up for support and I was fine until they called our category to the stage at which point the nerves went into overdrive! I was surprised and honoured to hear my name read out as the winner. It’s fantastic to know that all the hard work last year and great results I achieved were recognised. Since that day all at the BWRDC have been fantastic with their support and promotion of my achievements.
Instructing has been busy so far this year, mainly working at Mercedes-Benz World and driver coaching for Caterham Roadsport and Acadmey racers, but the highlight was working on the BookaTrack Iberia trip. This took us to Estoril, Portimao and Jerez all in one week. The weather was wonderful, the circuits are some of my favourite and we had a great bunch of cars and customers. I’m looking forward to the next one already.
On the 3rd March I attended the BWRDC 50th anniversary celebration and awards lunch at the BRDC, Silverstone. It was a great day that involved a photo shoot for award winners and members, some interviews, lunch and then the awards presentation which were presided over by BRDC Board Director and BWRDC Vice President Ian Titchmarsh. I was very fortunate to pick up four awards including being named as the club’s champion for 2011 which was a surprise and an honour. The highlight of the day for me was meeting some of the club’s founding and original members such as Natalie Goodwin, who drove Formula 3 cars in the 60’s, and 60s Mini Cooper ace Lady Christabel Watson (Carlisle). Their stories of when they raced were fascinating.
Since then I’ve been on BBC Midlands news, Radio Coventry and Warwickshire breakfast show talking about the awards, this year’s racing plans and future goals of driving an LMP car in the LMS championship and Le Mans 24 Hours. Recently Matthew Layton interviewed me for an hour-long show on Zone One Radio, I also got to select the music which is harder than it seems!
This year I’ve been competing in the Speed Euroseries for Juno and continuing my role driver coaching for TFL Racing. The season so far has been very mixed and definitely one of my toughest. The only good result and podium came in the first race
of the year at Paul Ricard, finishing 3rd, and we were on for the same result in the second race until a mechanical issue 6 laps from the end dropped us to 11th.
Next the championship headed to Spa, one of my favourite circuits on the calendar, but unfortunately an engine failure in testing in the UK the week before the race meant I did not get to compete. I made the trip to Spa anyway to support Juno and TFL racing and continue my role coaching the team’s drivers but I have to say it was painful to stand in the pit lane knowing I would not get to attack the challenging circuit. Thoughts then turned towards Imola, another fantastic circuit. It was not a smooth lead up to the race with worries over replacement engines and finding drivers. This is the side of the sport not always seen as we shield our struggles and problems from the world. The character building times were set to continue as we dropped out of strong positions in both races with a stone through the radiator in race one and a mechanical failure in race 2.
The next race for the team is the Speed Euroseries at Donington Park on 14/15th July supporting the European Le Mans Series. It’s a race I’m really looking forward to and a circuit I know very well – it seems like I’ve done thousands of laps there this year instructing already. It will be great to race on home soil and have plenty of support from family and friends.
As mentioned before, work has been very busy and this month is no different. The end of the month sees me heading to three stunning circuits working for BookaTrack. Nurburgring GP is the first destination, where I will be working as Chief Instructor for BookaTrack running the track and test day before the Caterham Motorsport race weekend. Sunday will see a quick pack up then the team will head to Spa for a two day event at the legendary circuit and then on to Zandvoort.
As you can see it’s been a busy year so far and we have an exciting month ahead. Follow me on Twitter @sarahreader24 and like my Facebook page Sarah Reader Racing to keep up to date with the next round at Donington.
All the best,