We have many incredibly talented students at Northgate across a number of fields, including sport, music, drama and art. Sophie, Year 11, combines school work with a major passion of hers – racing. On the 26th August 2018 she won the Gold Roof Championship, at Swaffham Raceway, being the second girl in that formula to win the major title. Sophie tells us what it’s like to race and her experiences so far:
“It is unbelievable, to this day I still cannot put in to words how I am the second girl to win a major title in that formula! I used to watch my dad race, and other people in my family. But, my dad inspired me the most and is an idol to look up to and follow in his footsteps with racing. He has won multiple championships himself, and was a very determined driver. My mum encouraged me and supported me at every race meeting! It started from me racing a go – kart, to racing a manual car. I have been racing for just over 8 years now, travelling and making sure we get to as many meetings as possible. At age 8, I got my first race car, a go – kart. From age 12, I then started racing a manual car, in the junior rod formula, there are not many girls out there. Stock car and Banger racing is a boy dominated sport, but that did not fear me to go out and race with them. From 2014 – 2017, I was getting podium finishes in the East Anglian, National Points and Gold Roof championships, which was outstanding. But, my dream was to win a title and make my family proud”.
“In 2018, it was my last year to make my dream come true. I only had 16 meetings, it seems a lot but in reality it goes so quick. I had to balance this with my school work and my job! I spent many early mornings and late nights out in the garage fixing the car, making sure we got the car to the limit ready to race again for the weekend. We were determined that this was going to be our year, we had 3 qualifying rounds before the Gold roof championship with a last chance. I qualified on the second row of the grid for the championship. On the 26th August 2018, the big race was getting closer and closer… you always get the butterfly feeling when you are belting yourself up and lining up ready to go out for any race. But once the adrenaline kicks in, that changes everything for you. As soon as the green flag drops, you know that you have to focus on what is going to happen on the track. You’re hoping that nothing happens to your car, or anything happens to you – as that can ruin a whole race. But one thing I have been told by my dad and grandad is “no matter where you finish, you always should come off the track smiling!”. I never thought I would have gone and won the title against so many cars, in such wet conditions. I don’t have many words to express how I felt that night and how I feel now. It will always be the best moment in my racing career as a child. I would love to progress this career further, and go onto racing bigger things. ”
“I would love to encourage plenty more girls into the motorsport community. As I think that there are girls out there that can race, can be mechanics and be a champion! You should follow your dreams no matter how long it takes you”.