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  • Writer's pictureLIAM REDFORD

Callie Clifford shows her speed in circuit racing debut at Silverstone

After claiming the JamSport Racing scholarship, BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship debutant Callie Clifford displayed fantastic speed on her maiden car racing weekend at Silverstone, where she showed impressive pace in both wet and dry conditions.

Callie Clifford, BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship
Photo credits: BRSCC

BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship debutant Callie Clifford displayed fantastic speed on her maiden car racing weekend at Silverstone. Clifford was the recipient of the JamSport Racing scholarship ahead of the season and carried this momentum into her first weekend with the team.

After qualifying eighth in a competitive 17-car field, Clifford’s pace went unrewarded in two frantic races as she achieved a best result of 11th in race two, second among the MK6 class runners.

Callie came into the weekend as a true car racing rookie, having claimed the JamSport Racing scholarship prize in February. As a result, Clifford secured a deal to compete in the BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship with established team JamSport Racing. Previously competing in Honda Cadets and Junior Rotax karting classes, circuit racing was the next step in Clifford’s motorsport career and the non-championship round at Silverstone was the perfect introduction.

The first competitive session of the weekend was qualifying on Saturday morning, with Clifford being one of four drivers competing in the MK6 Ford Fiesta. Despite her lack of experience, Callie was immediately on the pace and the racing rookie was challenging drivers with previous BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship experience. Ending the session eighth fastest in a 17-car field, it was an excellent debut for Clifford who was also the second highest MK6 runner, only behind teammate Jenson O’Neill-Going.

Starting race one of the weekend from eighth on the grid, Callie was aiming for a clean start. However, misfortune struck as an issue saw her immediately slow and bring the car into the pits at the conclusion of lap one. Following good work by the team, Clifford returned to the race one lap down and could therefore use the remaining nine laps as an extended test session.

Despite this disappointment, the JamSport Racing driver displayed fantastic race pace which regularly matched those inside the top-5. Setting her quickest time on lap five, her best lap was just hundredths of a second slower than her qualifying benchmark. Completing the race without further incident, Callie took the checkered flag in 15th position, fourth among the MK6 class drivers.

The grid for race two was set by the driver’s finishing positions in race one, with Clifford starting from 15th. Conditions were vastly different to Saturday with a wet track adding to the challenge of Callie’s debut race weekend. Nonetheless, she displayed brilliant confidence on the opening lap to make a series of overtakes to end lap one in ninth.

Callie was holding comfortably inside the top-10 when the safety car was deployed for Thomas Merritt’s stricken car on lap three. When the race restarted, Clifford was eager to move forward and in doing so went wide on the exit of Farm curve, saving the car well despite running across the wet grass. This dropped the JamSport Racing scholarship winner to 13th by the end of lap six. Battling in the midfield, Clifford was caught up in a lap seven incident which saw the race red flagged as the car of Henry Foote rolled into the Stowe gravel trap.

As a result, the results were taken from the lap previous, minus the car of Foote, which saw Clifford classified in 12th, third among the MK6 class runners. Her final position was improved to 11th following a post-race disqualification, with Callie also elevated to second among the MK6 runners.

Despite not achieving the results which her speed indicated, it was a superb debut weekend for Clifford who adapted well to the challenges of circuit racing. Showing impressive pace in both wet and dry conditions, the JamSport Racing scholarship winner will be eager to develop her race craft as the season progresses.

Callie’s start to race two highlighted her confidence which will stand her in good stead with larger grids expected when the full-season gets underway on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit on the weekend of 13th/14th April.



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