Laura finally started racing in late 2002, at the age of 11.
She raced in the Cadet class for drivers aged from 8 to 12 and then after completing her Cadet novice races in 2003, she changed to the more powerful Mini Max class for drivers aged 11 to 13.
After winning Buckmore Parks “Most promising young driver of the year” award, she was picked to represent the junior kart racers at the launch of a new Motorsport initiative by the ex World Champion on two and four wheels, John Surtees MBE. Laura was used in all the press photos with Sir Stirling Moss, Bernie Ecclestone and John Surtees as well as his own son the late Henry Surtees. Henry was tragically killed in an F2 race in 2009. John and Henry were very supportive of Laura in her early racing days so we were very sad to learn of this horrific incident.
By the end of 2004 Laura was the right age to race the fast Junior Max class and the even faster and more prestigious Junior Intercontinental “A” class, which both contain drivers up to 16 years old.
It was decided that Laura should participate in both classes during 2005 to accelerate race experience and this strategy proved successful, with vastly improved speed and race craft.
It was this year that Laura had her first taste of European racing in the European Junior Championship at Salbris in France.
Although a little early to have any hope of winning some valuable lesson were learned. One of the most valuable lessons was that a father and daughter team on their own was up against it in today’s top level professional karting. Things had changed a bit since Laura’s father finished racing in 1995.