Giving women drivers a good name is child's play for Sarah

She's 15, she's fast and is making history in Ginetta Juniors

Sarah Moore has been described as an "angel outside the car and a Yorkshire Terrier inside it". These words were not spoken by her driving instructor: she is two years shy of sitting her test. They come from the boss of Ginetta Juniors, the motor racing championship in which Moore has made history by claiming three wins from six rounds.

When the 15-year-old stood on the top step of the podium at Hampshire's ultra-fast Thruxton circuit last month, she became the only female to win a race on the TOCA package – home to the country's biggest motor racing series, the British Touring Car Championship. Some of her male competitors said it was a fluke: she silenced them by taking victory again the following day. Having added a further win and podium at Donington Park, she is comfortably leading the points standings in the series created for 14 to 16-year-olds, and is destined to become the first female to ever win a mixed-sex motorsport championship.

"She's fast, she's aggressive and out of the car she's perfect – good in front of the camera and really sweet," says Richard Dean, managing director of Ginetta Cars and a sportscar racer himself. "That said, I'm not sure I'd like to go wheel to wheel with her! After her first win you could just see the confidence in her. I'd love to see her in touring cars – it needs a good, fast female driver to mix it up."

Moore lives at Tockwith airfield, near York, which gives its name to the family-run team. Younger brother David also competes in Ginetta Juniors while older brother Nigel is a champion of the more senior Ginetta G50 series and will, at 17, become one of the youngest-ever drivers to compete in the Le Mans 24hr race this summer. Former racer Simon Moore, the trio's father, runs the team. "Sarah's a thinker and she's as hard as nails," he says. "And she does listen: it's an awful thing to say, but a lot of the lads do not. She'll go and try something with the car, come back and tell us what she thinks. Her driving style is very smooth."

Like most drivers, Sarah started out karting, but says she did not do very well: "I did get a few good finishes, but no podiums." With some coaching from Nigel and a circuit in her backyard to practice on, her move to car racing has been a success. She competed at 14 last year, winning a race in the winter series, and is now the favourite for 2009 honours. "I want a career in motorsport," she says. "Hopefully I'll race at Le Mans, and possibly touring cars. I wanted to get to F1 but it does not look as exciting as touring cars – that looks like a great place to be. To be one of the girls going up against the boys would be great."

Fitting racing and testing in around her studies is not easy. She sometimes arrives home at 2am on a Monday but says her technology school, King James in Knaresborough, is supportive. She also has an interest in the technical side of the sport. "I'm doing work experience at Ginetta. I help the mechanics with my car, especially if there are any problems. But most of the time I keep out of the work and leave it up to them in case I make a mistake!"

Being a female – especially one who is winning – is not easy, but Moore takes it in her stride. "The boys make you feel a bit out of place but I'm not bothered anymore," she says. "When I was new I was scared they might bully me, but they've realised I've come on and got fast. They will not try taking me off the track or anything silly." She receives no special treatment as a female and was docked 10 points at Donington Park for robustly taking the lead from a fellow driver. Her comeback-drives are already gaining notice: at Oulton Park yesterday she dropped to 15th after an incident but worked her way back to third – the podium finish allowing her to maintain her title lead with 183 points.

When Moore stood on the podium after her first win at Thruxton, a woman in the crowd asked her husband: "Have they put her on the top step because she's so small?" He replied: "Don't be daft, it's because she's won!" Seeing a female in racing overalls is still a novelty – especially when she is spraying champagne. Yet there are two other girls on the Ginetta Juniors grid, and another female racing in Formula Renault on the same weekends. With those yet to win, Moore is the brightest hope in the current crop of females. "Girls come up to me now and ask how to get into motorsport. In the future there will be a lot more doing it. The other girls on the grid are not up to where I am, but I want them to beat the boys!"

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
News
news
New Articles
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam