Racing To The Top

Katie Turner, a young racing driver from the North West, is hoping to put the UK on the top of the podium in a global motorsport competition

Katie Turner, a motorsports engineering foundation degree student at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), is hoping to compete in the NXT Gen Cup, an all-electric junior touring car series – but needs a quick financial boost to get her on the starting grid.

The competition, which will serve as an undercard series for the rapidly growing Formula E World Championship during the 2024 season, will see drivers aged between 15 and 25 race electric MINI Cooper SEs up to 150 kilometres per hour on tracks in London, Italy, Germany and the world-famous street circuit of Monaco.

The 20-year-old, who last summer was the only UK driver to compete in Sweden and Germany in the first season of the competition, has her eyes firmly on making it to the start line but needs to raise between €80,000 to €100,000 in sponsorship in the next two months to do so.

Katie, from Bolton, said: “I absolutely love racing cars. I get such an indescribable feeling when I get behind the wheel. It’s thrilling, it’s a huge adrenaline rush and I’m very competitive so I love testing myself against my fellow drivers. To be chosen to drive in this year’s competition is fantastic. The championship is being broadcast to millions around the world and there will be hundreds of thousands of people trackside watching live at race weekends so it’s an incredible opportunity.”

As part of her place in the NXT Gen Cup, the Fernando Alonso fanatic will also get the opportunity to learn about all aspects of the motorsports industry.

Katie, who works as a part-time administrator at Spa Medica, said: “It’s not only about driving the race car but learning about the engine and the mechanics, the media and marketing sides of the industry and the finances that go into running teams.

“This will not only boost my racing career but will also give me hands-on engineering experience which is crucial to my degree. My degree will really help my racing as to be able to get the maximum out of the car you have to be able to understand how it works. But my racing also helps me with my degree as I spend a lot of time around engineers and mechanics which gives me valuable knowledge I need for my course.”

The former pupil of St Gabriel’s High School, in Bury and Bolton College was brought up watching Top Gear and Wheeler Dealers but only got into racing after passing her driving test: “Nobody in my family has the same racing passion. My dad is really into cars which I grew up around which is how I found my love for the sport. My everyday car is a 2007 MINI one and I would not change him for the world. My dream car in all honesty is not what people expect. I would have a MINI John Cooper Works,” she added.

Since then, she has thrown herself into driving full throttle by ice driving in Sweden, being coached on track days with the Formula Woman Academy.

She said: “It’s the best feeling to drive a car at speed, sliding into corners on some of the best racing circuits in the world. Last year I raced at the world-famous Nurburgring in Germany and was blown away when someone asked for my autograph.

“Despite having such bad luck with mechanical issues on the car, I loved it and want to get back out there and compete with the best young male and female drivers from across the world. Being able to represent women in motorsports is so important for me. Even with the huge push for change for women within the sport. My personal opinion is that I think there is still a huge bias and not a lot has changed for women within the sport. Ultimately with my career, I would love to be a full-time driver. My dream championships would be Formula E and BTCC.”

Katie, who also cites seven times F1 champion Michael Schumacher and former professional racing driver Susie Wolff MBE as idols, hopes to make a step into endurance racing with Citroen C1s.

“My uncle has been a huge help for sponsorships, however I handle all my sponsors and partners myself – mainly as I prefer the more personal approach as you get to build a relationship with them. Raising enough funds will mean everything to me. Being able to race and be in a car is all I think about. I spend all day every day around cars whether it is instructing, racing or through my degree. It is the one thing I am most passionate about. But also raising enough funds will also give me that platform to be able to make a real change for women within the sport.”

If you are interested in sponsoring Katie, contact her by email at:



Tedd Walmsley

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