“I was completely shocked by the fact that they wanted me…it made me realise I’d done better than I’d originally thought.”
Emily Linscott is a 15-year-old racing driver from the Basildon district in Essex, and is due to compete in her first full season of the Ginetta Junior Championship for Richardson Racing in 2018, having debuted as a wildcard entry last year for Elite Motorsport.
Away from the track, Emily stays active playing sports for her school, as well as listening to music and spending time with her family.
“I like playing rounders and badminton and I play them both for the school team too. I also love listening to music, anywhere and everywhere.
“My favourite artist has to be Ed Sheeran, but don’t have a particular genre as I listen to all types of music.
“I enjoy going out with my friends too, but that doesn’t happen too often as I’m always training or doing something that doesn’t allow me enough time.
“I love it when I do get the chance to see them.”
Emily also values the time she gets to spend with her family.
“I love to be with my family and see my brother and sister, who don’t live at home anymore, so that is very special.
“We tend to do almost everything together as a family too, like holidays (before I started racing) and breaks away; in addition to Christmas and birthdays.”
Emily’s racing career started two years ago when her father Mark took her go karting for the first time, subsequently joining the Brentwood Karting Academy soon after and realising this was something she wanted to do on a full-time basis.
“Karting with my Dad gave me the opportunity to try something new, and in all honesty, something I wouldn’t ever have thought of doing myself.
“I moved into the Brentwood Karting Academy after two weeks in their development club and I was hooked as I’ve wanted to race anything and everything since then, but I knew I wanted to get into cars as soon as I could.”
Since then, Emily has gathered a lot of attention, winning numerous awards including the Downforce UK Henry Surtees Teen Racer Award, in addition to being shortlisted for the Young Sports Personality of the Year at the Active Essex Sports Awards.
Not long after this, Emily joined Arden International’s Young Racing Driver Academy (YRDA), a British racing team created by Red Bull team principal Christian Horner to develop upcoming drivers.
Arden has gone on to win a handful of drivers’ championships in the junior categories with Vitantonio Liuzzi in the now defunct International Formula 3000 Championship, and the likes of Mitch Evans and Daniil Kvyat in the GP3 Series.
At first, Emily wasn’t aware of how much of a big step this was in furthering her racing career.
“I don’t think I really understood what it meant until I got to their facility in Banbury.
“They took their time talking to me and explaining why they’d got me there, showed me around and then got me in their simulator before discussing what they wanted to offer.
“I was completely shocked by the fact that they wanted me as part of their YRDA but I still didn’t realise just what it meant until the first training day.
“I think it made me realise I’d done a lot better than I’d originally thought and to have this amount of attention so early on wasn’t the norm.
“I do believe it’s really helped me grow my confidence and my skills as a driver.”
Before making her debut in the Ginetta Juniors, Emily went to Donington Park to test the car, and although she’d driven the car prior to the test, this experience was better than anything Emily had experienced before.
“I had driven the car before the test last year, but the drive at Donington was simply awesome. That track is definitely one of the best I’ve driven so far”
“It’s quite unlike anywhere I’ve driven since too, it’s so fast and flowing and I can’t wait to see what it’s like in a race situation. That’s going to be so good.”
As the new season approaches, Emily is deeply focused in ensuring she is ready for the first race at Brands Hatch Indy in early April.
As a 15-year-old, it is reasonable for Emily to maintain balance between her development as a racing driver and her education at school. But how does she manage to balance them both?
“I train roughly 3-4 times a week depending on homework and I’m also in simulator twice a week when possible.
“Then there’s social media, which takes up a huge amount of time as well”
“I have to juggle lots of things, but I don’t go out with my friends very much as I just don’t have the time.
“If I want to do this then I’ve got to show my commitment, as my parents put everything on the line for me to do it.
“It can be very demanding at times, but my school work always comes first.”
In the upcoming season, Emily stated that podium finishes are a strong possibility, partly due to her increased confidence levels, as well as the help she has received from her coaches.
Despite this though, Emily has learnt some valuable lessons for the future.
“I’ve realised that not everything people say is for the right reasons.
“It’s a tough environment out there and a lot of people are just after the money belonging to the drivers’ parent’s and will say anything to get a hold of it.
“That’s certainly not everyone, but I have seen it myself now and my parents have helped in dealing with it.
“The best piece of advice I’ve been given was ‘surround myself with the right people’ and to ‘be yourself’.
“It’s already proved to be correct as I’m learning much more now as I’m not scared to make mistakes and I’m enjoying everything.”
Emily has made a lot of progress in such a short space of time – something that doesn’t seem like anything will change anytime soon – and discussed which racing drivers she likes in addition to which racing series she’d like to compete in later in her career.
“I do like the way Max Verstappen drives; he’s aggressive and has an ‘I don’t care about reputations’ type of attitude. He drives so freely too and isn’t guarded like most drivers.
“Lewis Hamilton too, he has a determination and doesn’t worry about others out there.
“His race in the final race of 2016 (at Abu Dhabi) when he tried backing everyone up to get team-mate Nico (Rosberg) overtaken was just stunning.
“It took a lot of skill to even think about what he could do, let alone drive that slowly and not lose a position was amazing!
“I think Formula 1 is a bit of a dream for anyone as it’s all about how much money you’ve got, or at least that’s the way it seems.
“I’d love to race in the World Endurance Championship and drive an LMP car. Le Mans is definitely on my list of things to achieve.
“I don’t know much about IndyCar or the other American-based series, but I’m learning!”
Alongside the British Formula 4 Championship and the Porsche Carrera Cup GB, the Ginetta Junior Championship will be a support series for the 60th anniversary of the British Touring Car Championship.
You can follow Emily’s progress live on ITV4, when the first round of the championship kicks off at Brands Hatch Indy on Saturday the 7th & Sunday the 8th of April.