Wednesday, September 05 2012
Cadwell Park marshal Rachel Pearson swapped her orange overalls for a race suit last Sunday (2 September) and took a class victory in MotorSport Vision Racing's Mk2 Golf GTi Championship.
Rachel can usually be found on the other side of the armco, having spent three seasons as a track safety marshal for trackdays and testdays. Her Golf is prepared by husband Richard at Spilsby's Franklin Motorsport, and he can also be found marshalling at the circuit during race weekends as part of the recovery team.
Rachel, who started karting at the age of 12 nine years ago, is the only female driver in the series and last week saw her first races of the season. Throughout qualifying Rachel and championship leader Alex Harris keenly swapped places for the top honours in the 8 valve class separated by just two thousandths before her final lap, which was eight tenths of a second quicker to give her 12th overall and the class pole position.
Encouraged by her qualifying performance Rachel took to the grid for the start of race one believing that a podium finish was a real possibility. As the lights went out she made a great start managing to put a 16v car between her and the hard charging Harris and this was enough to give a slight break until a safety car period at half distance closed up all of the field again. In the final four laps after the restart Harris did all he could to try and pass but had to settle for second at the flag as Rachel celebrated her first ever car racing win.
Race two also saw Rachel on the class pole, but Harris managed to get alongside her going into Coppice and take first place. However she fought hard and stayed with him for the remainder of the race, but never quite had the opportunity to make a move, taking the flag just over 2 seconds behind.
"It was a great day for me," Rachel enthused afterwards. "I competed in five rounds last year but I haven't had the budget so far for this season, so it's not only a relief to be back on the grid but so competitive too. I hope to race at Snetterton later this year. My family are big motor racing fans and have also raced karts - my sister has a matching Golf GTi trackday car - and my aspiration is to race in the Renault Clio Cup, we all enjoy the BTCC as well as Formula 1!"
The race can be seen on Motors TV on 21 September at 18:20.You can find out more about MotorSport Vision Racing and the Mk2 Golf GTi Championship by clicking here.