Basildon teenager Emily Linscott takes sensational back to back wins at Brands Hatch finale.
16 year old racing driver ace, Emily, took to the grid alongside a true legend of the motor racing world, as Le Mans winner and former F1 driver David Brabham, son of 3 time Formula One World Champion, Sir Jack Brabham, when she qualified the Hedgehog Security sponsored Ginetta G55 Supercup car in a stunning 7th place last Saturday in very tricky conditions.
The teenager was racing the 155mph car for only the third time, and the first time in in the dark, as the season finale in the Britcar Endurance Championship concluded its 2019 season with their annual “Into The Night” races, which see’s a host of full time professional drivers, teams and exotic race cars arrive for this prestigious event at one of the UK’s most technically challenging race tracks, Brands Hatch.
With Friday’s test day going well for her and her team mate, and sponsor, Peter Bassill, the century Motorsport Team were confident they had the set-up they for all eventualities as the English weather had thrown everything at them, so a good amount of data had been collected.
When the night time test session came, the young Linscott became excited at the prospect of her first outing under headlight conditions; she said, after her first and very successful stint, “I’d been looking forward to this race weekend all season because driving at night is something that’s very challenging and needs a new level of concentration. The lights on other cars behind disturb your depth of vision so it’s very difficult to determine where on the track they are and if there’s faster car’s come up behind them. Planning overtakes becomes even more crucial as your field of vision ahead is obviously massively reduced, so you need to factor in so many other things than you do with normal daytime racing, especially when it’s pouring with rain and you’re in a multi-class race where there’s a big variation in driver and car performance.”
The youngster continued, ”I knew this was an important weekend for me as I wanted to sign-off on a high and get at least a podium from the two races. When I pulled out of the pits for the start of my stint, my engineer gave me my orders. Once I’d got up to pace and cleared some traffic, I got the news on the radio that we were catching the class leaders at about 2 seconds a lap, so the win was on. I managed to catch and pass them on track to take the lead with just twelve minutes remaining, and they were the longest twelve minutes of my life, but we managed to secure our first win as a team this year and 6th place overall up against Ferrari’s, Le Mans Prototype cars and the incredible Brabham BT62 Hypercar . Our whole team garage which was also full of guests were so excited! It was a good day!”
Sunday’s race was another race into the night, starting at dusk and ending in darkness, but this time two hours in length. The rain had stayed away but the conditions would still be very tricky with a dry but very cold racetrack for the final race of the year. The team decided once again that Peter should start the race since the driver changes this way around were faster. Emily recalls, “Peter did a stellar job on track, possibly the best I’ve seen him race all season, which was great to see. The pit-stop and refuelling went so well, the Century Motorsport crew doing their job better than anyone in the pitlane as usual. Once again, we were playing catch up as our main rivals, Team Hard, with Mike Epps in the car, had put in some fantastic laps. Our strategy meant that we would lose out to them by four laps when we pitted because they had their Pro driver in first and he was taking the longer stint, but that would come back to us when they pitted. I was maintaining the gap to their pro until the safety car came out and they pitted for their driver change, which only cost them a lap, so I had a lot of work to do. It started off well, catching them around 3-4 seconds a lap meaning I’d catch them with five minutes remaining but then another safety car came out after I’d taken a lap off them. It turned out that they had made a mistake, gone off track and we took the class lead, and fourth overall, under SC conditions. My engineer come on the radio saying, “and that’s the lead of the race, keep focused, keep your pace up and bring it home”, which is exactly what I did. It’s amazing to have taken two wins in one weekend.”
What does the future hold for this talented star of the future? Well, she’s been shortlisted for Sports Personality of the Year by both Active Basildon and Essex TV, both of which have their awards evenings this month, so let’s see if there’s even more good news to come out from those, plus, Emily flies back to the US again in December, where she’s been racing Formula cars this year with great success, for meetings with sponsors to discuss opportunities for her racing career in America for the 2020 season. We shall bring you more information when we have it.
For now though, she can take great store in the fact that she’s earned podiums both sides of the Atlantic this year, in two very different types of car; Formula in the US and GT cars in the UK, posted fastest laps, pole positions and has a new l ap record to her name at the NCM Motorsport Park, Kentucky, to boot. Not bad considering she didn’t think she’d be racing this season due to lack of budget.
One last word from Emily, “I’d really like to say a massive thank you to all of my sponsors for being part of this amazing year but one special word of thanks must go to my awesome teammate, Peter Bassill, because without him, I might not have had a drive in the UK this year at all. It’s been great!”