Katie Milner is the new leader of the Junior Saloon Car Championship standings after a superb weekend at Donington Park. Katie was the driver to beat coming into the fifth round of the championship after an excellent run of form and she maintained this by claiming her third victory of the season, in addition to a runner-up finish. During both races Milner showed excellent pace by claiming the fastest lap, with a late red flag in race two denying her a double victory. Nevertheless, Katie is extremely satisfied with her progress and is looking forward to the next round at Brands Hatch at the end of the month.
Following a brilliant weekend at Rockingham where Katie collected two podiums finishes including a stunning victory in race two, her confidence was high heading into Donington Park. With no Saturday practice session for the drivers, the Junior Saloon Car Championship field were given the chance to test on Friday evening prior to the event in which Milner enjoyed a productive session ahead of qualifying.
A bumper-grid of 25 cars took to the track for qualifying on Saturday afternoon with the challenge of setting two fast lap times increased by the lengthy Donington Park GP layout. Katie jumped to provisional pole early on in the session but was just squeezed down to second following a strong lap from Matteo Zanetti. Nevertheless, lining up on the front row of the grid for the opening race was a great way to start to the weekend, with Milner’s second fastest time good enough for a fifth place starting spot for race two.
Starting from the front row of the grid in race one, Katie was determined to make a good start and she led the field after the opening two laps. Unfortunately a red flag was brought out the following lap which meant that a full-restart was to take place with Milner needing to make another great start. Despite the pressure from Matteo Zanetti, Katie once again took the lead and didn’t look back as she pulled away from the chasing pack by almost a second a lap. Improving her own fastest lap of the race on the final four laps, Katie was in control and drove flawlessly to claim her third victory of the season by a margin of over five seconds ahead of closest challenger George Sutton. Milner displayed great maturity throughout the course of the race to compose herself after the red flag and to consistently improve her lap times on the challenging Donington Park GP circuit.
Race two was always going to be a challenge starting from the third row of the grid but with the pace Katie showed in the opening race, anything was possible. Milner made another tremendous start as she climbed to fourth on the opening lap, before rising to second by the end of lap two. With a three second gap to race leader Zanetti, Katie was determined to cut the deficit with just five laps remaining. Setting a number of fastest laps in the process, Milner caught Zanetti and made the move for the lead in what appeared to be the race-winning pass. However, a red flag was brought out shortly after which meant the results were brought back a lap, with Katie finishing in second place. It was a cruel way to end the weekend but Milner once again took fastest lap and was the only driver to set race laps under the two minute mark in both races during the weekend.
Katie’s performances have been highly impressive in recent meetings with her run of form showing no sign of ending. Consistency has been vital to the young driver’s success with Milner finishing inside the top-5 during the last eight races, the longest streak of any driver. These successes now mean that Katie leads the championship as we pass the halfway mark, with three victories and two other podium finishes to her name. The next round of the Junior Saloon Car Championship takes place at Brands Hatch in three weeks’ time with Katie aiming to continue her title challenge.
Katie would like to thank Nimbus Motorsport, Torco, Merlin International Trading, Richardson Transport, Autocool Radiators and Myprotein for all their continued support.
You can keep up to date with Katie’s progress using the social media links below:
Website – www.katiemilner.com
Facebook – www.facebook.com/katiemilnerracing
Twitter – www.twitter.com/katiemilner_