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Ipswich teen to race live on national television this summer

PUBLISHED: 16:00 01 August 2020 | UPDATED: 07:45 02 August 2020

Lydia has been racing since she was 14 and often finds she is the youngest driver on track, as well as being the only woman. Picture: IAN CUTTING PHOTOGRAPHY

Lydia has been racing since she was 14 and often finds she is the youngest driver on track, as well as being the only woman. Picture: IAN CUTTING PHOTOGRAPHY

© Ian Cutting Photography

A Kesgrave High School student, who often finds she’s one of the youngest on the track and almost always the only woman, will be racing live on ITV4 this summer in one of the biggest motorsport events of the year.

The teen racing sensation from Kesgrave celebrated the end to a great 2019 season after winning the Mini Challenge Race at Snetterton Circuit. Picture: DAVE YOUNGThe teen racing sensation from Kesgrave celebrated the end to a great 2019 season after winning the Mini Challenge Race at Snetterton Circuit. Picture: DAVE YOUNG

Lydia Walmsley has been involved in racing since she was 14, the youngest you can compete in British motorsport, and is eagerly awaiting her A-Level results ahead of the British Touring Car Championship.

The 18-year-old will be spending three weekends starting in August supporting the main event, where the best drivers in the country go head to head at Oulton Park from August 22.

“The British Touring Car Championship is the pinnacle of British motorsport and it’s such a privilege to race there,” Lydia explained.

“It’s brilliant to get the opportunity and I know it’s going to be such a great experience because it’s not every day an opportunity like this comes along – and to be broadcast live in ITV4 too.”

Lydia Walmsley won her first Mini Challenge Race at Snetterton Circuit at the end of 2019. Picture: DAVE YOUNGLydia Walmsley won her first Mini Challenge Race at Snetterton Circuit at the end of 2019. Picture: DAVE YOUNG

She finished off a great season in 2019 by winning the final race of the Mini Challenge UK Champsionship at the Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk and is sponsored by a number national and local companies including Morris Lubricants, Ipswich based Iron Glaze, Whip Street Motors and Print 4 U, as well as MR Walker & Sons from Felixstowe.

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The racing sensation has been defying stereotypes on the track for several years and she wants more women to get involved in motorsport.

Lydia races in a Mini Cooper and will be taking it to Oulton Park in a few weeks for the British Touring Car Championships. Picture: IAN CUTTING PHOTOGRAPHYLydia races in a Mini Cooper and will be taking it to Oulton Park in a few weeks for the British Touring Car Championships. Picture: IAN CUTTING PHOTOGRAPHY

She added: “There’s not many sports where you get to compete as a young woman against grown men and win.

“There is no advantage to being a male in this and women can do just as well as men – there do need to be more women racing though.”

She will arrive at Oulton Park on the Thursday before the race and spend the next couple of days going through test sessions and races to determine her starting position at the main event on Sunday.

While the event is still going ahead, there will be no spectators and some of the atmosphere will be missing, but the pressure of being on national television is enough to inspire the drivers to do their best.

Lydia’s placing in these events contributes to her overall standing in the championship this year.


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