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Teen dreams of motor racing career

Posted onPosted on 22nd Jan

A teenager has reached the final 50 of Formula Woman — a worldwide competition to find future female motor racing champions.

Alicia Barrett has always dreamed of being a professional racing driver.

Now she is closer to turning her dream into reality and stepping up from racing karts to cars.

Open to women with little or no motor racing experience, entrants for Formula Woman must be aged 17+ with a full driving licence and a passion for driving. With the ultimate prize for four women of a fully-sponsored McLaren GT4 seat in the UK GT Cup Championship 2022, Formula Woman attracted more than 800 female applicants from 28 countries.

“Being selected as one of 50 females to reach the final stages of the Formula Woman competition brings me one step closer to my goal of being a professional racing driver — something I have aspired to since I was young,” said the 17-year-old from Southwell.

Currently studying for her A-Levels, Worksop College head girl Alicia only passed her driving test in September and has no previous car racing experience.

However, her passion for racing was ignited in a go-kart aged eight, and after taking up karting she was later crowned 2017 X30 Ladies Champion at Le Mans and 2019 European Women’s IAME X30 Champion at Varennes sur Allier circuit, France.

“During the pandemic I was unable to continue funding my kart racing,” explains Alicia. “For me, Formula Woman has come around at the perfect time and if I was successful in winning a championship drive in the McLaren GT4, I would finally be able to make the transition from karts to cars.”

Formula Woman was launched last year to introduce more women from everyday lives and backgrounds into motorsport competition. From September to December, applicants took part in on-track assessments at circuits around the UK and were judged on their driving, fitness and media skills.

All-electric Vauxhall Corsa-e cars were used for training Formula Woman applicants, with qualified instructors giving tuition as they undertook a series of tests in the hope of making the next competition round.

On 2nd and 3rd March, the 50 selected finalists will take part in practical and written tests covering mind coaching, technical, reactions, simulator, media, social media, driving and racing. Just 10 women will progress to a ‘shootout’ in Europe, where the final four winning drivers will be chosen.

McLaren Customer Racing will provide two GT4 race cars for the Formula Woman winners, who will undergo full training and coaching during March and April, prior to taking to the grid in the 3.8 litre twin turbo V8 race cars in the televised GT Cup Championship.

The GT Cup Championship is an established and highly competitive motorsport series in the UK, designed with amateurs in mind. It enables drivers to have fun while developing their race craft and driving skills. This year’s seven-round championship starts at Donington Park National Circuit on April 9-10.

“It has been an amazing experience to meet other like-minded women from around the world who have the same interests and enthusiasm for driving,” Alicia added.

“Everyone taking part has been incredibly friendly and supportive, I hope I get through to the final stages because winning a fully-sponsored drive in the McLaren GT4 would be a dream come true.”

People can follow Alicia’s progress on her Instagram @aliciabarrettracing and Facebook @aliciabarrettracing accounts. For details of business, brand or individual sponsorship opportunities, email [email protected] or call 07929 453481.

Photos by @andrewjamesmedia and @jakobebrey