2015 was a tough and unlucky year for Laura as her transition to Saloon cars didn’t turn out a smooth one. Throughout the year Laura made massive improvements and looked like she would be a driver to watch out for, unfortunately a year of very bad luck, mechanical failures and a car issues saw Laura one her worst years of racing, until, she was given the chance to compete in the European Karting Championships again.
Laura has always been a well known driver within the karting paddock and due to her success in karting she was offered the chance of being one of the select few to test the new OK TM engine.
Laura did really well in the test showing she deserved to be in high level karting. Laura was then given the chance to compete with Zanardi Strakka in the European Championships, this was Laura’s first kart race back since 2013 and she did amazingly, coming through the competitive grid to make the main final of the Europeans in Kristenstad Sweden.
Laura was invited back to compete in the MRF Championship again in 2015 with rounds at Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Chennai. Laura really enjoys this championship and loves the single seater car, but unfortunatley this wasn’t Laura’s year and throughout the championship, Laura struggle with many more mechanical failures and problems. with only one race being clear of issues Laura drove a fantastic race in Dubai coming through from 14th to 6th.
Laura was out of the car for almost a year, just as she had been in 2013, until she was asked back to compete in the MRF Challenge again for 2014.
Laura had really enjoyed racing in this championship in 2013 and it had given her a great jump up in the form of single seater driving. With a great team behind her (Nathan Freke and Clive Rowland) Laura was hopeful for some great results. Before the series finished Laura had a huge accident, as another driver dived down the inside rolling Laura’s car over and taking her out from the race.
A determined Laura was prepared to be out for race three the very next day. Once the car was repaired Laura got straight back out and not only was driving amazingly after such a big crash but she was running in competitive times and driving up with the front pack of the grid with a chance of a podium for her last race.
After not competing for almost a year, Laura was itching to get back out and race again. A great opportunity arrose in the month of October, just two weeks before the Indian GP. Laura was asked to compete in the support race of the Indian GP in the Formula Renault backed car. The MRF Championship was able to give Laura the chance to compete at a high level of competition and get her name back out there with two rounds in India and two in Bahrain.
With no practise, a year gap and no sixth gear throughout the weekend Laura finished an impressive 13th and 15th.
Laura was later given the opportunity to complete the MRF Challenge where the round included Bahrain and Chennai in India.
With every passing round Laura was improving massively and enabling herself to compete up in the top ten against well known drivers in F3, GP3 and GP2. A great drive at the last round in Bahrain saw Laura receive a well deserved 10th and 8th.
The MRF Challenge have given Laura a great chance to improve her driving and gain back some lost laps she missed out on in 2013. With a great team behind her, she looks forward to competing in the last round in 2014 and receiving her best result to date.
Laura competed in her first year of cars and had the great chance to have the help of Fortec Motorsport whilst racing in the Formula BARC Renault series. It was a difficult transition for Laura as competing for 9 years in karting with no aero was all she knew. Laura worked extremely hard and learnt many new skills throughout 2012.
Without much testing and budget she struggled to find the limits of the car, this restricted Laura from any top results throughout the year until the final round at Brands Hatch GP along side the British Touring Car Championships. It was raining heavily and Laura was coming through the field nicely, trying to improve her lap and pull away from the ones behind Laura tried dropping a gear into Graham Hill and the rear locked up pushing Laura on. Laura rejoined to finish 11th.
Laura started 2011 as a works driver for the CRG manufacturing team. With another great team backing Laura and with the experience of her team mates Laura was looking forward to a promising year in KF1.
Laura performed well at the World Championships in Zuera, she was the fastest driver on track for most of the weekend, unfortunately due to difficultly with equipment Laura qualified 4th and as the problem got worse Laura struggle to compete at the front. Laura learnt a lot with CRG but unfortunately this was not a good year with the equipment with Laura and all of her team mates struggling to keep it up the front of the grid.
The 2010 season was a new start for Laura. After 5 years with Gillard karts she started the season in the Millennium Motorsport team on Tonykart chassis and TM engines. The package of Millennium Tonykart and TM was fantastic and she established herself as one of the fastest drivers on the grid. A fantastic grid 3 for the pre final at the Lonato Winter cup was spoilt by unbelievable bad luck when the plug failed as she started the main final. The race after at Zuera also saw Laura overtaking many of the professional drivers getting up to 4th before being pushed right off the track by someone whose reputation was being threatened.
It was at this event when Roberto Robazzi, head of Tonykart summoned Laura and offered her a factory supported drive in the Junior Team. Overjoyed at this opportunity Laura accepted and sadly left Millennium.
The first race at Genk the performance was still there cutting through the grid of works drivers with ease only to be taken off more than once by drivers that had already been overtaken. Laura finished the WSK European Championship in 11th overall.
The three World Series meetings in Portugal, America and Egypt were frustrating because although the team was professional and the effort could not be faulted the performance of the engines was not good enough to compete for the front positions, finishing in the championship in 13th overall. At the Macau cup in the final race of the year the speed returned but a broken wiring loom meant coming from a rear grid and finishing 11th.
2009 saw Laura’s first full year of European competition. The beginning of the year proved difficult having problems with both the performance of the karts and engines. The team eventually sorted the problem areas and the second half of the season saw Laura make the finals of the European Qualifiers in KF2 and the finals of the last four rounds of the WSK. She was 11th in the British KF2 championships and in the European SKF championships Laura was 24th.
The year was culminated by coming 25th in the World Championships in Super KF, out qualifying two ex World Champions during the meeting. Laura was the first British Female to ever race at this level of competition and she was nominated for the Gold star award by the BWRDC.
In 2008 she competed in the British and European KF2 Championship. With the help and guidance of Dean Panrucker as team manager with Rob McIntyre and Adam Wright as chief mechanics, Laura had a great team behind her, She managed 2nd in the Bridgestone Cup qualifier and 5th at the PF Kartmasters, she was19th place in the British Championship and was only one point from qualification in the European Championship Western Zone qualifier.
For the 2007 season Laura then permanently joined the RL race team, managed by Steve Armstrong, this was in order to take a much more professional approach to the racing.
During this year Laura’s driving continued to improve, her father Steve states “it’s like things suddenly clicked into place”. She was a front runner in the 2007 ICA British Super 1 Championship, regularly qualifying in the top ten. This culminated with a 3rd place podium in the final at Clay Pigeon. The ICA class of karting was one of the toughest and fastest types of karting and Laura was sad to see the demise of this exciting class.
In 2006 Laura concentrated only on the Junior Intercontinental A British Championship finishing 18th in a year catalogued by constant clutch failure. She raced twice in Braga Portugal finishing 9th in the warm up race for the European Championship qualification race and in the actual Championship only missed getting into the main race due to a split fuel line. (Dads fault)
Laura had a very successful season in 2005. Laura competed in the Junior British Championship, finishing 18th out of 46 competitors. By the end of the 2005 season fantastic progress had been made and by round 6 of the British Championship at Shennington she was able to compete in the top ten, finishing in front of the Junior Rotax European champion.