Tomlinson sisters continue the racing tradition
Racing runs in the blood for Amy, Emma and Lucy Tomlinson: the three sisters embarked on their own motorsport journey by competing full-time in the Ginetta GT Academy, scoring five victories in the rookie class and standing on the podium an impressive 32 times combined in their debut season in motor racing.
Racing runs in the blood for Amy, Emma and Lucy Tomlinson who are forging their own paths in motorsport. Daughters of Lawrence Tomlinson, a leading figure in Ginetta Cars, in addition to being a class-winner at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the three sisters have grown up surrounded by racing.
This year, they embarked on a motorsport journey of their own by competing full-time in the Ginetta GT Academy. Scoring five victories in the Rookie Class between them; Amy, Emma and Lucy stood on the podium an impressive 32 times combined and this enabled all three sisters to finish inside the top-5 of the Rookie standings.
Launched in 2021, the Ginetta GT Academy provides racing rookies with a cost-effective way to sample high-performance GT racing. Drivers compete in equal Ginetta G56 machinery, featuring a V6 engine and controlled tyres in order to provide a level playing field. Lap times sit between Ginetta GT Pro and Ginetta GT5, leading to further opportunities on the Ginetta racing ladder.
The 2023 season featured a total of 26 races over eight rounds, with the majority of those forming the core support package for the British GT Championship, therefore ensuring substantial track time and significant exposure.
Amy Tomlinson finished the season as the highest placed sister in the championship standings, racking up a final score of 437 championship points to end the year second overall in the Rookie Class. Amy’s 13 podium finishes were just two short of Rookie champion Matt Shaw, with her solitary victory coming in damp conditions in race one of the season finale at Donington Park. Although finishing third on the road among the Rookie drivers, her rivals were guest entries and this allowed her to claim the top step of the podium in a meeting swept by the Tomlinson sisters.
Amy’s season has been one of progress, with her two strongest meetings of the season coming in the final two events of the year. However, her car racing career got off to a fantastic start at the Oulton Park curtain-raiser. Despite extremely challenging conditions, Amy scored a hattrick of podium finishers in the Rookie Class, holding off sister Emma by just a quarter of a second in race three.
Continuing her impressive form into the second round of the championship on the legendary Silverstone Grand Prix circuit, Amy scored an impressive runner-up finish in race one. She backed this up with a further podium in race two to begin her racing career with five straight trips to the rostrum.
As a rookie racing driver, challenges were inevitable and Amy soon found herself on a run of five consecutive races away from the podium places. Nonetheless, she fought back superbly at the final round of the Silverstone Ginetta G Fest in June by claiming a second place finish in the Rookie class, also placing inside the top-10 overall.
Snetterton played host to the next round of the Ginetta GT Academy with Amy finishing third on two occasions, before replicating that result in the opening race at Brands Hatch. Matching her best finish of second in the final two races, race three at Brands Hatch saw Amy post some of her most competitive lap times to date which gave her confidence heading into the season finale.
Despite limited testing heading into the weekend, Amy qualified amongst the more experienced GTA Class runners and continued this form into the races. Superbly handling treacherous track conditions in race one, Amy drove a flawless race which saw her claim her first ever Rookie Class victory in the Ginetta GT Academy. Finishing less than three seconds behind the leading guest driver in her class, this underlined Amy’s pace and was testament to her improvements.
Claiming one further podium finish across the two remaining races, this took her podium count to 13 to round off an excellent debut season in the championship.
Emma Tomlinson narrowly missed out on being the highest finishing Tomlinson sister by just 21 points, finishing third overall in the Rookie Class championship standings with 416 points to her name. Throughout the season, Emma scored four Rookie Class victories, the second-most of any driver, along with seven other podium finishers. Showing particularly strong pace at Snetterton and Donington Park, Emma was the highest average qualifier among the sisters.
At the season opening meeting at Oulton Park, Emma scored an excellent second place result in race one on her debut in the Ginetta G56. Challenging conditions in the remaining two races of the weekend led to difficulties for the rookie racer, but she was keen to continue building up her experience and developing her racecraft.
Competing on the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit for round two, Emma’s single lap pace was excellent as she qualified seventh overall in a competitive 17 car field, setting a time just half a second away from row two of the grid. Although Emma missed out on the Rookie Class podium in both of the races, she was rewarded with improved results at the Ginetta G Fest.
Once again competing at Silverstone, Emma equalled her season’s best finish to date in race one where she converted third on the grid to an excellent second place result in race one. Two further podiums were achieved by Emma at the Ginetta G Fest, with her retirement in the 12th race of the season being her penultimate of the campaign.
The second half of the Ginetta GT Academy season got underway at Snetterton and proved to be Emma’s most successful meeting yet. An exceptional drive in race one saw the first-year driver secure a landmark Rookie Class victory, while finishing fourth overall and taking the checkered flag less than two seconds away from the overall race winner. A superb defensive drive from Emma then saw her claim race two victory, crossing the line less than half a second ahead of eventual champion Matt Shaw. A third podium finish in as many races completed a superb weekend for Emma who remained in mathematical contention for the Rookie Class title leaving Snetterton.
The penultimate round at Brands Hatch was a mixed bag for Emma and although out of the reckoning for the championship following the event, hopes were high heading into the Donington Park season finale. After qualifying on pole among the full season entries, Emma claimed fastest lap in race one, coupled with a second place finish. However, the highlight of her season was to come in the remaining two races where she collected the maximum 36 points for two race victories and a pair of fastest laps.
This was the perfect way to end the year for Emma who had displayed exceptional raw speed in her rookie season of car racing, together with scoring the most points of any Rookie Class driver in the second half of the season.
Successfully securing a top-5 finish in the Rookie Class standings, Lucy Tomlinson ended the season on 332 points with eight podium finishes. With four runner-up results and four third place finishes to her name, Lucy was a consistent performer and was arguably the most improved driver across her rookie campaign. Achieving multiple trips to the podium at the Ginetta G Fest, in addition to the meetings at Snetterton and Donington Park, Lucy regularly battled against her sisters for Rookie Class honours.
Lucy’s season got off to a promising start at Oulton Park as she overcame tricky conditions to finish all three races, with a best result of fourth coming in race one. Despite race two taking place in the wet, Lucy set the fastest lap among the Tomlinson sisters to indicate her adaptability as a novice racer.
Lucy enjoyed the longest finishing streak of all the sisters to open the season, an impressive ten races, and it was this consistency which allowed her to take full advantage of the track time available. Although she was unable to step onto the podium on her first trip to Silverstone in May, a breakthrough was to come during the inaugural Ginetta G Fest event a month later.
Benefiting significantly from her first repeat visit to a circuit, Lucy’s pace took a sizeable step forward during the bumper event at the home of British motorsport. This resulted in a brilliant runner-up finish on the Grand Prix circuit, followed by two further podiums on the National layout. Lucy’s second place result in race four of the meeting was particularly impressive as she battled against the more experienced GTA Class competitors for the majority of the contest.
Snetterton proved to be another fruitful round for Lucy as she secured her joint-largest points haul of the season. Another excellent runner-up finish in race one was backed-up by a third in race two and a fourth in race three. Lucy’s pace in the opening race was particularly impressive as she was able to match her fastest time from qualifying, while setting the quickest lap of the race among the Tomlinson sisters.
The low point of Lucy’s season came at Brands Hatch with two retirements from three races, however like her sisters, the Donington Park finale saw an upturn in form. Despite not achieving the qualifying result she had hoped for, Lucy’s weekend continued to improve race-by-race. Following a spin in a wet race one, she bounced back superbly in race two to return to the podium with a third place result. Ending the season on a high, Lucy ran her fastest lap of the entire weekend in the season finale on her way to her fourth runner-up finish of the season.
All three Tomlinson sisters have made significant progress across the course of the season and have been rewarded with regular trips to the podium. Developing their consistency has been of primary importance in their rookie year of car racing, particularly when facing challenging conditions like those in the season finale at Donington Park.
Amy, Emma and Lucy Tomlinson have been an excellent addition to the Ginetta GT Academy grid and would surely be pushing towards overall podium finishes if they were to return for 2024.