Britain’s leading female sports car racer, Warwickshire’s Sarah Reader, is celebrating her best result of the season so far - a second-place finish at her home circuit of Silverstone. Sarah and her driving partner Darren Burke were taking part in Saturday’s (10 September) latest round of the SPEED EuroSeries, the massively competitive championship for junior Le Mans-type cars.
Burke and Reader, 28 and from Stratford-upon-Avon, qualified their TFL Racing-prepared Juno in second place on the grid and battled throughout the 90-minute epic with eventual winner Ivan Bellarosa, from Italy. The TFL car led the way for a dozen laps before Bellarosa’s Wolf took over in front and went on to win by just 12 seconds; Reader pulled 50s clear from her closest pursuers, Jody Firth and Warren Hughes in a WFR, to secure second.
It was the third podium of the season for the TFL Racing duo following their third-place finishes at Donington Park and Imola in Italy. “The whole team is absolutely delighted,” said Sarah. “We’ve had a lot of ups and downs this year and finally to get a second is a great result; the top step of the podium is within our sight now.”
One of the ‘downs’ to which Reader refers was the bad luck the team endured in the first Silverstone race. Again Burke and Reader started from second on the grid, and they were heading for second place in the race when fuel starvation struck two laps from home. “The Juno started to splutter and I switched to the reserve fuel pump,” said Sarah. “My radio was broken and I was unsure how many laps were left. The car stopped at the final corner; it was heartbreaking.”
Buoyed by their second-place finish in Silverstone race two, the TFL Racing team are back in action again over the weekend of 24/25 September at the Portuguese circuit of Estoril, where they will tackle the final SPEED EuroSeries races of the season. They are bidding to improve on fifth place overall in the drivers championship and maintain second spot in the teams division.
“We have some aerodynamic improvements on the way for the Juno for Estoril,” adds Sarah, “so we are hoping that we will be able to end the SPEED season on a high note.”