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It was great to get back in the old pink Porsche at the Historic Sports Car Club (HSCC) meeting recently, despite my recent race in the Healey, which was fabulous fun but completely different. Getting back into the 1978 Porsche 911 SC is like putting on a pair of comfortable shoes, it fits and I like it!

Sarah back in the Pink Panther

Sarah back in the Pink Panther

I had my first races with the HSCC last year – I compete in their 70s RoadSports race – but despite this, I was greeted to the usual raised eyebrows from my fellow competitors on arrival.

It usually isn’t long before the side glances turn to snipes, not unkind ones but they come in the form of being explained the rules about weight and car modifications which are allowed. They usually arrive after a test session or the qualifying results are out, and this weekend was no exception after qualifying 5th overall out of a grid of 30 cars. Psyching out your competition is all part of the racing fun, and I’m well versed in taking the friendly banter on the chin – it’s water off a duck’s back. It also has the effect of making me drive just that little bit harder – and makes overtaking that little bit sweeter!  🙂

In the race I had a tricky start, dropping to 6th in the first lap battles, but I carefully picked my way back up to finish 4th after battling with the Ford Capri of Nic Strong. We swapped places twice on the last lap, so it was a pretty close thing and Nic came up and shook my hand in Parc Ferme to congratulate me on a great race.

Sarah battles with Nic Strong in the Capri

Sarah battles with Nic Strong in the Capri

The Adrian Flux  liveried Pink Panther is running well after its restful winter, and driving the Silverstone Historic Grand Prix circuit is an absolute treat. My race addiction comes from a love of driving flat out, throttle nailed to the floor wherever possible while trying to  squeeze more speed out of each corner lap by lap. It is pure selfish driving pleasure.

I was pretty pleased with the result and, as I trundled off to the showers afterwards looking somewhat dishevelled, I bumped into two rather nice ladies there supporting their husbands who were racing that day. They almost knocked me off my feet with their verbal hi-five of delight to see a lady at the sharp end of the race. It did make me smile as they trotted off back to support their husbands. Women have a great way of boosting each other’s self esteem; we stick together when it matters.  I am not the only lady on this grid but we are few and far between in racing. There is a small band of lady racers who belong to the British Women Racing Drivers Club and our aim to help inspire others to join us. If you are interested in joining us either as a support or getting into racing visit the website.

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