Katie Milner has continued her excellent form in the Junior Saloon Car Championship by claiming her fourth win of the season to maintain her position atop the standings. Milner showed all her qualities during the Brands Hatch weekend by setting excellent lap times in a tricky qualifying session, before pulling off a number of fantastic overtakes in race two to finish as runner-up after starting on the fourth row of the grid. Katie has asserted herself as the driver to beat during the final three rounds of the season and will be looking forward to her home race at Croft in four weeks’ time.
After showing strong pace at Brands Hatch last year, Milner was confident of further good results as the weekend approached. Unfortunately Katie couldn’t take part in the regular Friday test session in preparation for the weekend, but she was able to book a test day earlier in the week to familiarise herself with the track. Junior Saloon Car Championship drivers were thrown straight into qualifying late on Saturday afternoon with no practice session earlier in the day as dark clouds loomed over the circuit. With the possibility of rain during qualifying, Katie was able to be the first driver out on track and immediately set a competitive top-5 lap time. This proved to be smart move as heavy rain came down early in the session with drivers only managing to set four flying laps, with Katie setting the second fastest time. Despite Milner’s second fastest lap putting her seventh on the grid for race two, she remained confident of securing a pair of strong finishes.
Race one of the weekend began on Sunday morning with Milner starting from the outside of the front row. Katie made a fantastic start and had already pulled clear of polesitter Matteo Zanetti as the drivers headed towards Paddock Hill Bend for the first time. After the opening lap Milner held a half a second lead over her rival and began to settle into her rhythm. As the race passed the halfway point, Katie’s lead extended past a second with the top-two drivers pulling out a small gap over the rest of the field. Milner’s advantage continued to grow during the closing stages of the race as she looked in complete control at the head of the field. At the end of the 16 lap contest, Katie took a dominant victory by almost three seconds ahead of Zanetti with Luke Browning completing the podium. Milner’s consistency was also highly impressive with 14 of her 16 laps being within four tenths of a second of each other, narrowly missing out on fastest lap by three hundredths of a second.
Katie was confident of another good finish in race two despite starting from seventh on the grid. Once again Milner made a fantastic start and climbed into the top-5 as the safety car was brought out for a start line incident involving George Smith. Racing resumed a lap later with Katie making a good restart in pursuit of fourth place driver Ed Moore. After a number of laps where she applied the pressure, Milner made the move on lap six and immediately set the fastest lap of the race as she closed in on championship rival George Sutton for the final podium position. On lap eight Katie made the decisive move after a close side-by-side battle with her fellow competitor which left Sutton in the clutches of Ethan Hammerton, who subsequently set the fastest lap of the race. Milner continued to make inroads on the leading pair and passed Matteo Zanetti for second with another impressive move as just three laps remained. Setting her fastest lap of the whole weekend, Katie closed up onto the back of race-leader Luke Browning but just ran out of time to make a move, finishing as the runner-up by less than two tenths of a second. Nevertheless, this was an extremely impressive drive from Milner who showed mature racecraft whilst still needing to take the championship standings into account.
With her sixth podium finish in succession, Katie has extended her lead in the Junior Saloon Car Championship standings to over 20 points with just three rounds remaining this season. Milner will be looking forward to the next round of the season which takes place at her home track at Croft, the circuit at which Katie collected her best result of the 2015 season. With her confidence growing at each and every meeting, Milner has strengthened her position as the driver to beat as the Junior Saloon Car Championship season enters the final stages.
Katie would like to thank Nimbus Motorsport, Richardson Transport, Torco, Merlin International Trading, 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_