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  • Writer's pictureLIAM REDFORD

Double podium finish for Callie Clifford at Brands Hatch

JamSport scholarship winner Callie Clifford opened the season with two podiums in the MK6 class of the BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship and established herself as a leading rookie driver.

Callie Clifford, JamSport Racing, 2024 BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship, Brands Hatch
Photo credits: JamSport Racing

Claiming two podium finishes in the MK6 class of the BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship, Callie Clifford has established herself as a leading rookie driver. The JamSport scholarship winner qualified 12th overall at Brands Hatch, before finishing race one inside the top-10, second in class. A shortened race two saw Clifford move further forward, ending the contest seventh overall, once again finishing as the runner-up in class.

Making her circuit racing debut on the Silverstone International circuit last month, Clifford was a stand-out driver in the non-championship round of the BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship. The JamSport scholarship winner did not show a lack of experience as she competed superbly in her MK6 class Ford Fiesta. Following a best result of second in class, Callie was aiming to return to the MK6 class podium at Brands Hatch, while competing among the midfield runners.

Qualifying was Clifford’s strong suit at Silverstone and she was looking to replicate this pace at her first visit to the Brands Hatch Indy circuit. Despite several trips to the pits during the opening half of the session, Callie’s speed was impressive and this saw her qualify 12th overall, second among the MK6 competitors and less than a second away from pole position.

Starting race one from the sixth row of the grid, Clifford had to negotiate the stalled car of Archie Davies off the line. This delayed the JamSport driver slightly, however she was able to only lose one position at the end of the first lap. A safety car was then deployed to recover the stricken car, with just a single lap spent at a reduced pace.

Clifford made a great restart and immediately began putting pressure on fellow rookie driver Aaron Beattie. On lap five, she made a fantastic pass on her rival which moved her back into 12th position. From there, she set a series of quick lap times and this allowed her to close in on the drivers ahead.

Setting the sixth fastest lap of any driver in the race, Callie looked poised to gain further positions before an incident between George Foxlow and Joshua Watts brought out a second safety car. The contact between the drivers promoted Clifford to tenth, a position which she maintained until the checkered flag, while finishing second in the MK6 class.

The grid positions for race two were determined by the finishing positions from race one, with Clifford additionally promoted one spot following a grid penalty for a driver ahead. A clean start from Callie saw her hold position at the end of lap one, before turning her attention to the drivers in front.

Immediately putting pressure on Henry Foote, Clifford made a smart pass on lap four to move into eighth position overall. Despite the race being shortened to just ten minutes, there was still time for the JamSport driver to make another overtake as she elevated herself ahead of Billy Blockley for seventh. Claiming her best result to date, while showing superb pace once again, Callie took the checkered flag second in the MK6 class, seventh overall, with the race ending behind the safety car.

Lining up in a career best position of seventh overall for the final race of the weekend, Clifford’s speed indicated that she could contend for a top-5 position. Callie initially made a good start, but an issue with the car began to develop which dropped her to ninth overall at the end of the first lap. Unfortunately, the technical issue then prevented Clifford from continuing as she parked the car on the exit of Graham Hill bend to retire.

Despite the disappointing end to race three, Callie once again showed exceptional speed for a racing rookie. In just her second ever circuit racing event, Clifford displayed pace which comfortably placed her inside the top-10, while also challenging more experienced drivers.

Her assured driving style allowed her to move forward in races one and two, despite limited green flag running. Callie has opened the season with two podiums in the MK6 class will and aiming for the top step when the BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship drivers return to action at Snetterton on the weekend of 18th/19th May.



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