Laura Tillett welcomed an inspirational group of race goers from CLIC Sargent, the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, to Donington Park on Sunday, 19th August, where the 21-year-old was in action in the Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship.
As part of her support for the incredible work done by CLIC Sargent, the West Malling car racing rookie extended an invitation for 20 youngsters – all of whom have been receiving treatment for cancer – to enjoy some paddock hospitality and a relaxing day at the racetrack.
The visiting guests also had the opportunity to take a close-up look at Laura’s FR 2.0 race car, have a tour of the Fortec Motosports pit garage and then watch her in action in two of the event’s Protyre Formula Renault BARC races. They also received replica podium caps courtesy of Michelin UK.
Boosted by the support, Laura enjoyed one of her most competitive weekends of the season with a best finish of 17th position coming in round 11 on Sunday morning where she out-performed several more experienced racers and posted a best lap just a second shy of the quickest of the race.
Starting in 23rd place, the Kent racer had battled through into the points-scoring top 20 on lap two and was up to 18th by lap four. Embroiled in a see-saw battle with experienced Lebanese driver Joe Ghanem and his compatriot Shahan Sarkissian, Laura raced well and took 17th on the final lap after an excursion for Fortec team-mate Diego Menchaca.
Cheering Laura on were 15-year-old Alex Brown and 22-year-old Dani Jackson from Nottingham, 17-year-old Masih Mohammed Nazar and 21-year-old Emma Parker from Mansfield, 18-year-old Chloe Hunt from Northampton, 17-year-old Nathan Roberts from Newark and 18-year-old Josh Appleyard from Lincoln.
“It was really nice to see everyone enjoying the sport and they all seemed really interested in all of it which was great”, said Laura, “It’s fantastic to have been able to do something for CLIC Sargent, it gave me a good insight into the work the charity does which is so important – the kids were all really lovely too!”
Laura also scored in the final race of the weekend, round 12, where she battled back from a moment on lap three – which dropped her to the tail of the field – to climb back into the top 20. Round 10 on Saturday, 18th August, though wasn’t as fruitful when contact to the rear of the TILLETT Racing Seats, ET Fashions, Puma Motorsport and Point Racing-backed driver’s car pitched her off the track.
Running inside the top 20 at the time, Laura was determined to recover as much lost ground as possible but unfortunately ended her race in the gravel trap at McLeans on lap 11 when pushing ultra-hard to catch the group of cars ahead.
“It’s a shame we couldn’t score in all three races but it’s been a big progression step this weekend, we found a lot of time and I’ve gained a lot of confidence – things are really starting to click more”, said the Caterham Motorsport ambassador, “The results haven’t exactly been perfect but the main thing is the confidence is there and our pace was much better this weekend. I’m really looking forward to Silverstone now, I really want to try and get my best result of the season there.”
Laura’s maiden season of car racing action will come to a conclusion seven weeks from now, over the weekend 6th/7th October, at Silverstone in Northamptonshire with rounds 13 and 14 of the Protyre Formula Renault BARC season. The event will be, by far, the biggest of her rookie year with the series running as part of the support package to the British Touring Car Championship.
For more information regarding the work of CLIC Sargent, please visit www.clicsargent.org.uk