What a come back to karting!
After watching her brother Archie compete all year in high level karting and the Official European Championships, Laura was dying to get back out on track and do what she did best and race karts.
Nerves had been building up for weeks as Laura wasn’t sure whether she would be competitive enough or where she was be in the standings, as she hadn’t raced since 2011. Jumping in the deep end Laura decided to enter the last round of the European Championship in Sweden with team Strakka Zanardi, “the team have been doing really good in the championship with my team mate Tom Joyner in the running for winning the Europeans, I love the team, they are kind, friendly and hard working, I couldn’t have picked a better team to join for my come back”.
With not much testing Laura jumped in the kart and was 4th quickest within the first test session, this was a great first shot for Laura as she grew with confidence and all of her previous experience was coming back to her. “I am so happy to be back, of course I am nervous just as I was when I used to compete before, but just being back here and being able to compete at this level again is an amazing expereince and I am really grateful. Whatever the result from the weekend, just knowing I am competitive is rewarding and my big challenge is to beat my baby brother as this will be our first race against each other.”
With only 5 laps to qualify in, Laura couldn’t get the kart to work in time and qualified 34th overall out of 60 drivers. This meant Laura would start 14th for all of her heats.
Racing started and with 4 heats to compete in Laura had to get some good results to put her straight into the final, so with Laura’s results of the Saturday being 10th, 10th, 11th and 11th Laura had qualified directly into the main final and was starting 25th out of 34. Laura’s brother Archie, however didn’t make the final which was a bitter sweet moment within the family.
Laura had been tested all weekend with the weather conditions so this defiantly wasn’t an easy weekend for her first time back, but Laura showed real talent when out for her Prefinal whilst on slick tyres, the rain began to fall. Laura held her own really well and even with these difficult conditions she raced like the professional she is and managed to keep 29th for the main final.
Dry conditions where back for the final and with 25 laps to complete Laura was nervous to how she would perform with such a long race. Race started and Laura made up many places, really giving as good as she got but with the tyres overheating and the rear pushing, the kart was sliding and making it hard for her to keep her position. Half way through the final, Laura had to change her driving style to suit the situation and gradually reclaimed places she lost throughout the first half of the race. 25 laps completed and Laura finished a respectable 25th in the main final of the European Karting Championships. “I am really happy with the result, although I feel I should have been further up, I did the best job I could with the way the kart was handling at the time, and to say I made the main final of the Europeans on my first race back in 3 years is a real achievement, plus not to mention I survived a long 25 lap final which no training can prepare you for, I am over the moon!”.
Laura Is looking to come back and do some more high level karting, possibly the World Championships??? WATCH THIS SPACE!