As part of Essaar’s promotion of women in motorsport we spoke with Bryony King. After a successful karting career Bryony has moved up to the very quick and cost effective single-seater series of Formula Jedi.
How did you first get involved in Motorsport?
My brother used to race Motocross which I tried when I was very young, however I didn’t enjoy the mud! He carried on racing for around 8 years so I found myself spending every weekend watching racing.
At one of the tracks he raced at there was a small karting circuit which I used to practice on a in a hire kart until my dad bought me my own. At this point we were unaware of professional kart racing until someone from the local track recommended I get a race license and compete. I went to the UK’s most challenging (in terms of competition) and well known series to start my karting career, PF International. I then continued to race in karts for the next 7 years of my life. I had many ups and downs, but overall the best experiences of my life have been from karting and the success I achieved is something I will always look back on fondly.
What made you decide on Formula Jedi for you first seasons in car racing?
I had done a few test days in British Formula 4 prior to Formula Jedi, though the costs of F4 were very expensive and I didn’t feel comfortable in my parents spending so much money on my racing. We then looked for more cost-effective championships and found out about Formula Jedi. I tested the car and found it extremely fun. After that we quickly decided to race it for the 2016 season.
Having also tested a Ginetta are you open to moving to tintops or are you set on staying in single seaters?
I really enjoyed the experience of testing the Ginetta, and I was interested in the Clio Cup series for a while. However, as I am now 18 I had to have a long think about what I wanted to do as a career. I decided that I wanted to go to University and get a degree in Sports Multimedia Journalism. Media and writing have always been my favourite topics so I applied for the course and received an unconditional offer at Northampton University. I will always enjoy racing and will probably continue to race in karts and Formula Jedi, though my main focus will now be on university. Once I have completed my course I aim to be a professional motorsport journalist.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced so far in your Motorsport career?
I would say the British Kartmasters Grand Prix. It’s the biggest event of the year and I was racing in two classes over the four day meeting which was a challenge in itself. I went into Sunday after the qualification heats classified in third overall in Minimax and on pole for X30 Junior. In the pre-final I won the X30 Junior race, however I was then excluded for a minor technical infringement meaning I had to start at the back of the grid. It was a really hard hit as I had worked so hard all weekend and felt so confident I could have won the main final. I started last but worked my way up to tenth place which I was pleased with. Though to this day, it still brings back horrible memories that I had the win taken away from me.
Can you tell us more about the MSA Academy you are involved with?
I received a letter whilst I was in Year 11 asking me to apply for the MSA AASE course at Loughborough College. I got the required grades and my place on the course confirmed. I currently spend two weeks a month in Loughborough. The course includes Business, Sport and Motor Vehicle as well as complete NVQ’s in Elite Athlete Lifestyle focusing on our nutrition, mind-set as well as one to ones with MSA driver coaches to improve our techniques. Porsche Human Performance centre also assess us regularly and give us fitness programmes.
As you are still relatively new in car racing, do you use simulators to learn new circuits?
Yes, I regularly go to iZone to use their simulator and gym facilities. A lot of the circuits I have little experience at so going to iZone really helps me gain confidence with the tracks before the race meetings. It also allows me to have a coach talk me through every corner as I am driving – something that you can’t get on actual test days.
Which Motorsport personality would you most like to meet?
In terms of drivers I would love to meet Max Verstappen as he made it to Formula 1 so young and has already won a Grand Prix. He is very inspirational to many young drivers from his determination and hard work to make it to the top of motorsport and be one of the best already.