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  • Writer's pictureLIAM REDFORD

Katia Loggie closes out the season with impressive showing at Brands Hatch

Seventeen-year-old Scottish racer Katia Loggie completed her rookie campaign in the Vertu Motors Mini Challenge Trophy with an excellent showing at Brands Hatch, where she achieved a top-10 Rookie Class finish and her second best overall result.

Katia Loggie - EXCELR8 Motorsport MINI
Photo credits: JEP

Seventeen-year-old Scottish racer Katia Loggie completed her rookie campaign in the Vertu Motors Mini Challenge Trophy with an excellent showing at Brands Hatch. Driving for Excerl8 Motorsport, Katia achieved a best overall result of 16th coming in race three, with this performance seeing her score a top-10 Rookie Class finish.

This was arguably Loggie’s most competitive showing of the entire season, taking significant steps forward from her earlier visit to the Brands Hatch Indy circuit in April.

Katia has made notable improvements during the course of the season and was looking forward to visiting Brands Hatch for the second time this season. This prior knowledge was vital for a driver in her rookie season and therefore Loggie was aiming for her best results of the campaign. A mix of wet and dry conditions in Friday testing gave her the opportunity to acclimatise to changeable conditions which look set to continue in the remainder of the weekend.

Qualifying was held in extremely treacherous conditions, with the Vertu Motors Mini Challenge Trophy being the first championship to qualify in green flag conditions on Saturday. The session was interrupted by three red flags which curtailed the running to just a handful of flying laps for each driver. Katia set the 26th quickest time overall, while qualifying inside the top-15 of the Rookie Class.

Race one was also held in wet conditions, however under bright skies with much less spray than the drivers faced in qualifying. Katia made a good start and held her position after the opening lap, gaining confidence in the conditions with each passing turn. Running behind Ben Taylor, Loggie was setting competitive sectors and on lap five, she set a lap time quicker than the next ten drivers ahead. Overtaking Taylor the following lap, Katia was up to 25th and look set to move further forward. Unfortunately, a trip to the gravel on lap seven saw the Excelr8 Motorsport driver retire, putting an early end to a promising performance.

Lining up 30th overall for race two, Katia was aiming to move forward on a track which was now predominantly dry, albeit damp off-line. An excellent start from the young Scottish racer propelled her up five positions after lap one as the safety car was deployed for a first-turn incident. As racing resumed, Loggie built up her speed and moved into 24th position at the conclusion of lap six.

The Excelr8 Motorsport driver was then involved in a great battle with championship protagonist Alex Solley, with Katia holding her own as she battled for position. The second half of the race was more challenging for Loggie who battled with Louis Fleet and Joshua Wilby, taking the checkered flag in 26th position, less than two tenths of a second behind Wilby. This result scored Katia another top-15 finish in the Rookie Class, with one race remaining in her 2023 season.

Katia Loggie - EXCELR8 Motorsport MINI
Photo credits: JEP

Katia started the final race of the weekend from 26th and made an excellent start to gain three positions on the opening lap, however a subsequent red flag would mean a full restart. Loggie’s starts were particularly impressive at Brands Hatch and she once again enjoyed a fantastic launch upon the restart, gaining six positions to move inside the top-20. After Harry Hickton and Joshua Wilby found a way past, Katia settled into her rhythm and was making significant lap time improvements.

Despite this being the only fully dry session of the weekend, lap seven saw her set a lap time a whole second faster than her personal best from the earlier meeting of the season on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit.

Continuing to set consistent lap times, Loggie’s speed allowed her to remain in touch with the group of drivers ahead. This paid dividends when she was able to capitalise on two incidents ahead of her in the closing stages, gaining four overall positions to run as high as 17th by lap 12. A late-race pass on Steven Chandler saw Katia cross the line in 16th position, while securing an excellent top-10 Rookie Class result to end her season.

Gaining ten positions from her starting position, Loggie took a sizeable step forward in the final race of the campaign, while her quickest lap was just one second away from the overall fastest. After a 14th place finish at Thruxton, this was her second best result of the year, however due to a number of guest drivers competing at Brands Hatch, Katia scored a career-high 20 points to end the season.

Katia’s debut season in the Vertu Motors Mini Challenge has been one of improvement, with the young driver taking great strides in the second half of the year especially. Finishing the campaign with her second best overall result, this enabled Loggie to maintain 14th place in the Rookie Class standings.

By displaying superb race pace in challenging conditions, the Excerl8 Motorsport racer showed her adaptability and this was a sign of progress in her debut circuit racing season. She will now be looking to carry this momentum forward into the off-season before assessing her options ahead of the 2024 season.



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