Ashleigh on track for motorsport glory
REAY'S Ashleigh Morris is in pole position to win the ladies' Celtic Speed Scottish Mini Cooper Championship after a stunning performance at Knockhill.
Despite the soaring heat, a troublesome car bonnet and being knocked off the track and into the gravel, Morris showed tremendous grit and determination to remain top of the championship by seven points.
In the combined female/male overall rankings, Ashleigh moves up to 11th place following her display.
She said: "On the testing day, the tarmac temperature in the paddock measured 45 degrees and the air one was over 20.
"Qualifying didn't go to plan as my car's bonnet flew up on my opening lap. After we got things sorted, I recorded a number of fast laps to end up 13th on the grid – seven tenths of a second behind pole position.
"The first race saw a close tussle between myself, Simon Holderness, Douglas Simpson and John Duncan.
"I chased down Holderness in front. I was able to get a good run through the next few corners and was right on the tail of Simpson. I squeezed through, passing him at the hairpin.
"After my first failed attempt to pass Holderness, I managed to overtake him on my second. Duncan was hot on my heels as he got the cut back when we headed up the start/finish straight.
"He had the inside marked as we went three abreast into Duffus corner. Simpson was able to follow him down, to line up the pass on me at the bend at McIntyre's. I chased hard but wasn't able to make up the two lost positions by the chequered flag.
"With race two, I had an infuriatingly poor start. Holderness went out in front very quickly and Craig Blake then passed me on the first lap.
"I fought back to get myself in front of them. With one lap to go, all three of us pushed too hard and ended up in the gravel.
"I was able to return to the track but Fiona Kindness took advantage of the incident.
"I chased after her and managed to pass her on the final straight to salvage ninth place.
"The final race was a closely fought battle with so much going on. Myself and Blake got into a duel which I managed to win as I crossed in eighth place overall, nine one-hundredths of a second ahead of him.
"On my return to the paddock I was met by some of team who said, 'We've never seen you drive like that before. That was brilliant. From now on that's how you drive'."