Leaving Cert student Kayleigh Cole shines at Silverstone

Dripsey youngster picked up a top prize after completing 12 races in the UK
Leaving Cert student Kayleigh Cole shines at Silverstone

Dripsey’s Kayls Cole with her award at the 750 Motor Club prizeging ceremony near Silverstone last weekend. Also included is Giles Groombridge, 750 Motor Club.

DRIPSEY driver Kayleigh Cole was presented with an award for the highest-scoring novice in the 2021 F1000 Swallow Hill Homes Championship at last weekend’s prizegiving ceremony in Silverstone organised by the 750 Motor Club. 

The F1000 series is the UK's premier motorcycle-engined single-seater series. During the season, she competed in nine race weekends in circuits at Silverstone (National), Donington Park, Brands Hatch, Silverstone (International), Oulton Park and Snetterton that involved a total of 12 races. 

In the opening race weekend of the year at Silverstone national track, she participated in three races and ended up with the Newcomer award and the 100mph lap decal award. Kayls, as she prefers to be known, began karting in 2017 after her dad Mike gave her a go-kart as her Christmas (2016) present.

“For the first race weekend my dad Mike was mechanic, just like he’s is when I’m karting. We were finding it tough going moving to cars, then dad met up with the lads from JFK Racing as they are based in Richmond in north Yorkshire, which is where he is from.” 

From thereon, Kayls raced with the team and Mike took a back seat. 

“It was a bit different at the start, I had two mechanics working on my car and I also had Sarah Moore as my driver coach, Sarah races in the W-Series. Dad stood back because he wanted me to work with my mechanics and to relay the information to them. 

"It was strange to be giving my feedback to strangers (initially) rather than to my dad.” 

 While she was racing in the F1000 series, she also managed to race karts in some UK circuits. 

I did the Kartmasters GP at the PFI circuit, the UK's largest outdoor karting circuit based in Grantham, Lincolnshire. I won one of the heats but had issues in the final.” 

When she returned home, her free weekends were taken up with karting in both the Motorsport Ireland Kart Championship and the Tullyallen series.

Her best overall F1000 result was 13th, from a grid of some 30 drivers, mostly male, at the Silverstone International track during late August. In what can be an expensive sport, she is appreciative of her Cork sponsors. 

“Yes, they have been great, CBToolhire.com, Café Lulu, O’Driscoll Transport and Direct Motors.ie supported me during the season and it would not have been possible without them.”

The awards ceremony concluded the 2021 season and Kayls, who is sitting her Leaving Certificate examinations in a few months, is already focused on the new season ahead. 

“I hope to make an announcement about my 2022 plans in a few weeks. I will also race karts here and plan to compete in as many rounds of the Rotax series as possible.”

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