Katia Loggie shows improved performance at Silverstone
Seventeen-year-old driver Katia Loggie took significant steps forward in the latest rounds of the Vertu Motors Mini Challenge Trophy at Silverstone, where she bounced back from the previous races to consistently challenge the midfield runners at the home of British motorsport.
Seventeen-year-old driver Katia Loggie took significant steps forward in the latest rounds of the Vertu Motors Mini Challenge Trophy at Silverstone. The EXCELR8 Motorsport racer bounced back from three retirements in the previous four races to consistently challenge the midfield runners at the home of British motorsport, achieving a best overall result of 20th in race two. Katia now sits 14th in the Rookie Class standings with one round of her rookie season remaining.
Katia began the 2023 season as a car racing rookie and joining the ultra-competitive Vertu Motors Mini Challenge Trophy was set to be a significant learning curve. With regular 30-car grids and a number of rounds featuring on the TOCA Package, it was set to be a challenging, yet rewarding campaign for the teenage driver. Loggie is one of three female drivers competing in the series and has received good exposure, with three of the six meetings to date having featured a live race on free-to-air tv in the UK.
The season got underway on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit, with challenging track conditions courtesy of the drivers racing alongside the British Truck Racing Championship. Despite encountering some challenges in her first ever race starts, Katia showed immense progress over the course of the weekend. Finding one and a half seconds of lap time improvement from qualifying to race three on the shortest lap of the year, Loggie highlighted her potential despite her inexperience.
Race three also saw the EXCELR8 Motorsport driver secure her best result of the weekend, finishing 26th overall, 13th in the Rookie Class, while enjoying a great battle with LDR Performance Tuning racer Mick Fitzgerald.
Snetterton hosted the second round of the championship and once again Katia displayed superb improvement. The 300 layout was the longest of the year with lap times well in-excess of two minutes. Loggie improved upon her race starts and coupled with over four seconds of lap time improvements from qualifying to race three, it enabled her to achieve a best overall result of 23rd, 12th among the Rookie Class drivers.
A breakthrough was to come at Thruxton, with the high-speed circuit playing host to round three of the Vertu Motors Mini Challenge Trophy, while also being the first appearance for the drivers on the TOCA package. Katia consistently enjoyed close battles throughout the weekend, with a chaotic race two allowing her finish an excellent 14th overall, sixth in the Rookie Class. Thruxton also saw Loggie also maintain her record of finishing each of the first nine races of the season, a notable feat in a championship which saw her being one of only six drivers to do so at that point.
The next two rounds of the Vertu Motors Mini Challenge Trophy were also in support of the British Touring Car Championship, however Katia faced considerable adversity at both Croft and Donington. Coming away from both meetings with a best overall finish of 26th, this did not represent the improvements Loggie had made and she was determined to turn things around at Silverstone.
Playing host to the sixth round of the championship, the Silverstone National circuit would share similarities to that of Thruxton with slipstreaming proving highly effective. The comparable nature of the circuits appeared to play into Katia’s favour, with the EXCELR8 Motorsport driver immediately finding her feet in free practice, lapping just one and a half seconds away from the pacesetter and championship leader Tom Ovenden.
Katia’s improvements were clear to see in the opening race of the weekend as she raced from 28th to 22nd, battling hard with fellow Rookie Class drivers Jamie Keates and Cameron Richardson. Loggie’s quickest lap was also just eight tenths of a second away from the fastest lap of the race, by the far smallest margin of the season.
Races two and three brought further cause for optimism as Katia continued to consistently race in the midfield of the highly competitive championship. After scoring her second top-20 finish of the season in race two courtesy of a last lap pass on Andy Cobb, Loggie’s confidence continued to grow. This saw Katia comfortably hold her own in the midfield during race three, running as high as 18th in a race which featured very little attrition.
Despite falling back in the closing stages to finish 22nd, Loggie ran her fastest lap of the weekend on the final lap of the race to end the weekend on a high.
Katia’s progress during the 2023 season has been admirable in a year which has seen the teenage racer compete against some of the best young drivers in the country.
Loggie’s performances at Thruxton provided a glimpse at the speed she is able to produce, with her lates weekend at Silverstone cementing her place among the midfield runners.
The EXCELR8 Motorsport driver will be aiming to close out the season strongly as the Vertu Motors Mini Challenge Trophy reaches a climax as the racers once again tackle the Brands Hatch Indy Circuit, this time on the weekend of 4th/5th November.