Loughborough College racing driver Katie Milner has been presented with a coveted accolade after she became the first female to win the national Junior Saloon Car Championship.
The 17 year old was selected to receive the Gold Star Award, which recognizes talented women in motorsport, by the British Women Racing Drivers’ Club.
Katie, who studies on the Motor Sport Association programme at Loughborough College, received her Gold Star trophy at the Autosport International Racing Car Show in Birmingham.
With new manager Ivor Bourne, who has worked alongside top F1 drivers Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, Katie is focusing on getting used to a new car, having swapped her Citroen Saxo for a G40, and is preparing to face older, more experienced drivers when she begins her first season with Ginetta in April.
“The psychology element in my course at Loughborough College has been particularly helpful for me. It gives me a different perspective in my approach to racing which has been really valuable.
“But I cover a wide range of subjects and I am finding they are all feeding in to what I do and helping me improve.
“I get my head down when I am in the classroom at college but then when I am on the road they send me my work and support me. It’s great – and being at the College gives me a chance to socialize with classmates too. There is not a lot of time to do that otherwise.
“I have a personal trainer now, who is ex-Army and I am in the gym several times a week, developing my upper body strength and endurance.
“Plus I am doing a lot of work on moving from a front wheel to a rear wheel drive car. I’m off to Norway for four days straight of ice racing across the lakes. It’s such a different environment and is great for getting on top of car control.”
Triumphing against male rivals to be crowned Championship winner in November and receiving the Gold Star Award have given Katie a real confidence boost.
“I have been around the sport for five years and I am used to it being male dominated – only 4% of licence holders are female – but there is a shift happening. There are female champions coming through – and not only at grassroots level. At the end of the day you get on the grid and that’s what counts.”
Katie has been nominated for no fewer than four further awards, including the Hillwood Coup des Dames for Wins and Records and the 2016 Roll of Honour, by the British Women Racing Drivers’ Club.
“The success has kept coming for me and it has been fantastic but now it’s a case of concentrating on what lies ahead.
“I will be focusing on the Ginetta competition for while and then hopefully moving through to GT3.
“It is challenging but it is absolutely worth it. I love what I do.”
Elizabeth Udall, Communications Consultant:
Tel: 07515 852690