Britain's youngest schoolgirl racing driver, 14, teaches boys a lesson after winning £40,000 track deal
- Jamie Chadwick to race in 2013 Ginetta Junior Championship
- 14-year-old beat dozens of teenagers to win full funding worth £40,000
- Teenager wants to become Formula 1 driver like hero Jenson Button
By JAMES RUSH
Britain's youngest schoolgirl racer Jamie Chadwick has beaten the boys to win a £40,000 track deal.
The fourteen-year-old is studying for her GCSE exams during the week - but at weekends she will soon be swapping her uniform for a flame-proof racing suit.
Jamie has won a prized scholarship from car makers Ginetta to campaign one of their racing cars in a championship that begins later this month.
Her backers predict the teenager will give the boys in the championship a real run for their money and could easily progress up the racing ladder to Formula One.
Jamie Chadwick has won a prized scholarship from car makers Ginetta to campaign one of their racing cars in a championship that begins later this month
Racing driver: Jamie will be competing in a rear-wheel drive Ginetta G40 in the 2013 Ginetta Junior Championship
Jamie, who lives near Tetbury, Gloucestershire, began her motor racing career when she was just 11, in go-karts, but last year beat dozens of 14 to 16-year-olds to win full funding, worth £40,000, for her to race in the 2013 Ginetta Junior Championship.
She will be racing in a rear-wheel drive Ginetta G40 with a restricted 100bhp output from a standard 1.8 litre Ford engine.
But the sleek two-seater cars are still capable of speeds in excess of 120 mph on the track and are highly manoeuvrable.
Jamie said: 'It's a dream come true. I have been watching the championship hoping one day to get involved and winning the scholarship has made it possible.
'I drove quads and things when I was younger but didn't start in karts until I was 12 which is relatively late these days.
'I want to become a professional driver and establish a proper career in the sport.
Speed: The two-seater cars have a restricted 100bhp output from a standard 1.8 litre Ford engine, but are still capable of speeds in excess of 120mph on the track
'The scholarship test was a terrific event staged over three days and there were sixty other drivers competing including some from Europe.
'We were tested not only on our driving ability but also on our fitness and media skills. On the final day there were just four of us left but I worked really hard in every discipline and the competition was tough but when I was announced as the winner it was a fantastic feeling.
'I am proud of myself and really want to do well this season - I am younger and less experienced than many of the other drivers but I am looking forward to the challenge.
Contender: Jamie began her motor racing career when she was just 11, in go-karts
'This is a brilliant opportunity for young racers to move up. Jenson Button is my hero - and he started in go-karts before moving up to racing cars . But he was 18 when he made the switch from karts.
'I definitely see females as Formula One drivers. There is no reason why a woman can't succeed at the highest level and with the right opportunity and support it is only a matter of time.
'Inevitably some men like to think they are better drivers than women but it is not always the case - there are plenty of hopeless male drivers around.'
Ginetta's general manager Simon Finnis said: 'During the scholarship programme Jamie impressed us with her speed, skill and personality.'
Future: She now wants to become an established racing driver and develop a career in the sport
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