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  • Writer's pictureLIAM REDFORD

Caitlin Scharfegger opens the new season at Brands Hatch

 After contesting a partial campaign last season, Caitlin Scharfegger marked her return to the Junior Saloon Car Championship with a promising opening weekend at Brands Hatch.

Caitlin Sharfegger,  Junior Saloon Car Championship, 2024 Brands Hatch
Photo credits: Alan E Mcgee

Caitlin Scharfegger marked her return to the Junior Saloon Car Championship with a promising opening weekend at Brands Hatch. Scharfegger contested a partial campaign last season and was looking ahead to a full season of competition in 2024. After qualifying 19th, Caitlin showed fantastic improvements in race one to take the checkered flag in 19th. In a wet race two, she competed well but a late spin saw her classified in 18th.

Caitlin completed in a partial season in the Junior Saloon Car Championship in 2023, driving for CSC Racing. Making her debut at Anglesey, Scharfegger additionally raced at Oulton Park, Croft and Donington Park, achieving her best results at Croft in Yorkshire. Returning to the highly competitive junior series in 2024, Caitlin is aiming to continue her progress and fight for points scoring finishes within the midfield.

The race weekend schedule was a little unconventional due to the Easter period, with pre-event taking place during the early part of the weekend followed by the first competitive on-track action on Sunday afternoon. Conditions were good for qualifying, but with a capacity grid it would be challenging to negotiate the traffic and set a quick time. Two separate red flag periods also thwarted her progress, with Scharfegger ending the session in 19th position and would therefore be looking to move forward in Monday’s races.

Starting race one of the season from 19th, Scharfegger had a good start which saw her gain one position on the first lap. Lapping faster than she did in qualifying, Caitlin’s pace was strong as she was engaged in a tight midfield battle. Moving ahead of Jake Renshaw on lap four, she was up to 17th which was her highest running position to date.

The middle portion of the race was challenging for Scharfegger as she dropped behind Renshaw as well as Alexander Bergbaum and Ben Smiles. Nonetheless, she remained in contention for a strong result and moved back up to 19th following an excursion into the gravel for Kyle Wells. Setting her quickest lap of the event to date on her final lap of race one, Caitlin took the checkered flag in 19th position.

Race two at Brands Hatch was held in wet conditions, providing a further challenge for the young drivers. Caitlin’s second fastest lap time from qualifying placed her 19th on the grid and she held this position at the end of the opening lap. Scharfegger showed fantastic speed in the early stages and move up to 17th at the conclusion of lap two. A good battle with Jake Renshaw then saw her rival move past, with Caitlin’s momentum broken up by some side-by-side racing.

On lap six, a spin saw Scharfegger drop down the order and fall to 20th position while remaining on the lead lap. A safety car would have allowed Caitlin to catch the rear of the field, however a red flag on lap eight saw the race brought to an early conclusion. Due to the incident ahead, Scharfegger was classified in 18th and gained valuable championship points despite the earlier incident.

Caitlin gained extensive experience in a variety of conditions over the course of the weekend, enabling her to develop her skills. Displaying good improvements in both wet and dry conditions, it was a promising start to the season for Scharfegger who should be encouraged by her performances. The Junior Saloon Car Championship drivers will next be in action at Cadwell Park on the weekend of 27th/28th April.



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