We meet an enthusiastic young racer, Katie Milner. Look out for this one!
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What advice would you give now to someone who’s eager to start a career in motorsport?
Most of my competitors started karting from a young age. However, I took a completely different route and competed in a 1-litre mini in Junior Autograss. These were 3 to 4-minute races in a grass field around an oval with 3 heats and a final. Compared to a lot of people I’ve raced on a circuit, I’ve noticed that the mud and grass have defiantly given me an advantage when it comes to car control and driving in the wet.
What’s your recipe for finding sponsors?
I think it’s important to make a sponsorship a long-term partnership. This way the deal isn’t just about the money and products they are giving you, but a long-term friendship which becomes personal. You also need brands that you want to be associated with and can see a clear connection; it’s more about what you can give back.
It’s important to make a sponsorship a long-term partnership.
And how do you deal with the competition on the track?
I’ve always said to anyone who’s asked me this question, once you have all your gear on, you look the same. It’s never easy being a female in what seems to be a male-dominated sport but your competitors learn to respect you and see you as a good person to have a battle on the track with. I’ve grown up in the motorsport industry with my father being a Double British Rally Champion and luckily he’s there to reassure me.
What was your very first experience of motor racing?
Ever since I was born, I was in a field somewhere, watching my dad fly through a forest, so it’s all I’ve ever known. I started competing at age 12 but I learned to drive at just 6 before I could touch the pedals! I had wooden blocks on the pedals to reach them.
What are your most important career highlights?
Winning 5 major titles in Junior Autograss and the Junior Saloon Car Championship before I could legally drive on the road all in 4 years. I was the first girl to win the JSCC championship making me the Most Successful Female Junior Driver to date. I was also awarded the BARC Women Driver of the Year Award and the BWRDC Gold Star Award at the Autosport Show earlier this year. My ambition is to race GT cars in the future and I’ve been lucky enough to fund an endurance race in early September in a Porsche GT3 Cup Car with another young driver.
Full name: Katie Harriet Milner
Date of birth: 29th November 1999
Place of birth: York, England
Team: Team One Call Insurance (Ginetta GT5)