With the dawn of the new season upon us, plans are being finalised, budgets are being scraped together and dreams are being realised.
All of these things are relevant to many teams and drivers this time of year at every level of motorsport, from top line international race series to club level racing and everything in between. Often learning curves are huge and none more so than at Finsport, who are entering the Renault Clio Juniors for the first time this season.
Under the leadership of Team Manager Jay Finlay, the team embark on a new adventure this coming season, with the main aim of nurturing young talent to help them realise their dreams of becoming a racing driver and forging a career in the discipline they love.
Family run, Finsport was created by Jay and his wife Kim, who is also a long-term motorsport enthusiast. Jays 20 year motorsport and 25 year motoring experience gave him the desire to make a difference. Together with Dawn Boyd, who is also a racer, the Finsport team have become well-known in the tuning business and on the race track.
Finsport have run in various club championships for the past 10 years, including BTCC, Renault Clio Cup, VTEC Challenge, CTCRC, Pickup racing and many more. With 9 Championship wins, well over 100 trophies, new mechanics and drivers coming onboard, the growth and pedigree is quite remarkable. When using social media it’s hard to find a post without the team motto #wedontbuychampionshipsweearnthem (We don’t buy championships, we earn them).
This season sees a jump back into the very competitive world of one make series racing. The team have given test drives to various young men and ladies with the opportunity being offered and accepted by 15 year old, Jamie-Lea Hawley, from Widnes. “I was given the opportunity to be able to have a test day in the Finsport Clio Cup car at Blyton Park. After driving the car I loved everything about it. Compared to the Fiesta it was quicker and the handling through the corners was great. I knew from there that Clio’s was the car I wanted to be in this year. I was extremely lucky to be given the chance to race this year with the help of my sponsors Brian, Finsport and Ads Car Care Products.”
Jamie Lea continues to talk about her goals for the 2018 Renault Clio Juniors season and beyond “This season my goal is to be a consistent podium finisher. I am looking to take the Championship win on my debut. I know this is completely possible with the help and support of all my team Finsport and my family. In 5 years time I hope to see myself as British Touring Car Champion. I think that this is completely achievable with hard work continuing and dedication. Although anything can happen in 5 years!”
Team Manager Jay Finlay had this to say regarding the signing of Jamie-Lea “We welcome Jamie-lea and her family to our team which we class everyone in it as part of our family not just our driver’s. With her limited budget for testing etc she’s a little on the back foot with this being only her second season in racing and very limited testing in the Clio.”
Conditions on the test day were less than ideal as Jay explains: “We asked to do a test day for two drivers in our Clio Cup car with the conditions on the day not being on our side with ice across the track. It would be a slow start to getting some good laps in with the sun beaming down it cleared by mid morning giving us a small window to push for some hot laps I was very impressed with how smooth and calm Jamie-Lea was behind the wheel and I knew if she was given the right equipment and team behind her she had more to come. What made her stand out was the passion in the way she listened and you could feel she wanted it and hungry for the hint of a podium.”
Be sure to follow the progress of this fast developing team throughout the season.