Aspiring professional racing driver Laura Tillett is delighted to confirm she will fly the flag for the UK for the remainder of the 2013/2014 MRF Challenge season, having secured vital sponsorship off the back of a strong debut in the FIA-sanctioned single-seater category in India just over a week ago.
Having been on the car racing sidelines for 12 months since concluding her maiden season in ‘slicks and wings’ in the 2012 Protyre Formula Renault Championship, the 22-year-old from West Malling is thrilled to be back in action and determined to shine over the course of the MRF season.
“I’m very excited to be competing in the MRF championship and to be able to visit the fantastic circuits which are on the calendar”, said Laura, “I feel very privileged to be able to race in such a great class, I wasn’t expecting anything like this to happen to my racing career this year. I am really grateful to my sponsors for the opportunity, we’re aiming to make good progress.”
Although the chance to debut in the opening event of the MRF Challenge at Buddh International Circuit, which ran as support to the FIA Formula One World Championship’s Indian Grand Prix on 26th/27th October, came at the eleventh hour, Laura grasped the chance with both hands.
Despite gearbox issues with her Renault-powered Dallara, which impacted her pace during practice, qualifying and the first race, the Kent starlet secured a 13th place finish in the second encounter even though she had to serve a drive-through penalty after slightly rolling on the grid at the start. Off the track, her profile was boosted after being interviewed live on the Sky Sports F1 Channel.
As well as support from new sponsor Kinesio, Laura is backed by TILLETT Racing Seats, ET Fashions, Puma Motorsport and Point Racing. She is also an ambassador for Caterham Motorsport, with links to the Caterham F1 Team.
Her next outing in the MRF Challenge will come at Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir four weeks from now, on Friday, 29th November, and Saturday, 30th November, where rounds three and four of the new season will take place as support to the FIA World Endurance Championship.
From there the MRF Challenge will return to Bahrain on Friday, 20th December, and Saturday, 21st December, for rounds five and six with the season finale scheduled for 15th/16th February next year in Chennai, India.
“I am really looking forward to racing at Bahrain”, added Laura, “I watched the Bahrain F1 race on TV last year and thought it would be a great place to drive – I never expected I would be driving it a year later! After racing at Buddh [in India] and seeing what a great track that was, I can’t wait to get back on track as soon as possible in Bahrain.
“Racing on the same circuit, on the same weekend, as Formula One in India was the best moment of my racing career. There was a great atmosphere, it really focused my commitment and I wanted to achieve more than ever. I would love to be able to race at that level again and hopefully racing in MRF will open the door for me to do it again next year.”
Prior to making her car racing debut last year in Protyre Formula Renault, Laura competed at the highest level in karts in the CIK-FIA World Super KF Karting Championship. In 2009, she made history by becoming the first female to ever race in the premier class.