Up and coming racing driver Katie Milner endured a tough weekend at Donington Park in the Britcar series. Using her new Motordrive seat and joined by former JSCC teammate Ollie Wilmott in a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car belonging to Ollie’s dad, Milner was thrown in at the deep end with only limited time available for testing.
The event would consist of practice and qualifying sessions, before two 50-minute long races held all in one day. Both drivers would start one race each, and swap over half way through.
After a successful practice session, Milner and Wilmott continued to improve their speed as they qualified 1st in invitation, 3rd in class and 11th overall, beating more experienced drivers along the way.
Ollie Wilmott was to start race one in the Merlin International run Porsche. However as the green flag lap began, the 911 GT3 began to pump out large amount of steam. The lap passed and the steam had not subsided, so Wilmott brought the car back into the pits. The issue was traced to the cooling system, and the Merlin International team set about rectifying the problem. With a good result in race one now out of reach, the focus was to get experience as the Porsche returned to track with a new hose fitted. It soon became clear that the cooling system still didn’t want to play ball, so again the car returned to the pits to have more work carried out.
The compact timetable of the day left the team with very little time to work on the car. Despite this, they worked tirelessly to have the Porsche ready for Katie Milner to take the wheel in race two. A fantastic start saw the MSA Academy athlete make a move in between two cars before they reached the first corner, and Milner looked set for a good race. However, suddenly two cars ahead had spun causing the whole pack to come to a halt. This left Katie with nowhere to go and despite her best efforts, she couldn’t avoid one of the slower cars ahead and there was light contact. Although the impact was only small, the Porsche’s fragile front-end had sustained some damage and Milner returned to the pits only to be told that the car was too badly damaged to continue.
“That was a tough weekend.” She said afterwards “We kept running into problems with the car and then the race two incident left me with nowhere to go, I’m gutted as our pace was really strong. I’m taking that as a positive from the weekend. I’d love to do more races with the Porsche and Ollie [Willmott] so we’ll have to see if we can find the budget.”
Katie returns to Donington Park on 23/24 September, driving her Ginetta G40 GT5; “I’m hoping racing the Porsche will help my pace and I’d love to take my first Ginetta podium.”