Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Its finally starting to sink in....i am a racing driver!!

Hello all,

Just a quick update! I had a fantastic practice session at Stowe circuit, Silverstone on Saturday where as well as some intructor tuition we were actually allowed in the cars on our own and we even practiced racing starts off the grid! It was an exhausting day but I learnt a lot (such as heel and toe!) and hopefully I can get another session in the car before my first race at Pembrey on the 28th! (thats so soon)
I have to say as well as the excitement, the odd nerve is starting to creep in about the first hairpin at Pembrey - I can just see all 16 of us flying up to the first corner, all crashing and the race being red flagged!
Anyway, with regard to sponsorship I am just about sorted now - It has been tough however raising the £12,00 (plus VAT) to pay for my part in the Championship and it has dawned on me how difficult motorsport is to break into because of all the money involved. As well as Laverton Properties, InTechnology and Blacks Solicitors I have also approached a company called eyeonit who install on board cameras in race cars as well as for the police. I am therefore having a camera attached to my car for the races which should be brilliant and I will hopefully be able to watch the race back and see where I went wrong or right as the case may be!

Thank you again for reading and your support. Feel free to leave me a comment!

Jen x

Wednesday, 11 July 2007


I was up bright and early yesterday to drive down to Brands Hatch to take my National B Novice Racing Licence. This involved a written test, medical and a driving test in a Renault Megane which made for a fantastic day which resulted in me passing my racing licence! Its now onto Silverstone on Saturday for some more time in my Caterham and some race practice before my first "proper" race on Saturday 28th July @ Pembrey! I'm getting nervous already!

My sponsorship is hopefully well on the way now with BLACKS SOLICITORS, LAVERTON PROPERTIES LIMITED, INTECHNOLOGY AND EVERYMAN/EYEONIT all showing interest in partnering my team! Come on Sleathy!

Speak soon!

Jen x

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

The results are in.........YES! I got through to race in the Championship!

Hello all,

Well, I have just woken up from what seems like an incredible dream. Over the past two days I have been down in Llandow, South Wales for the Formula Woman elimination camp where I have been buffered and beaten by the wind, rain, and unfortunately a rather heavy and painful go-kart! The full story......

I travelled down on Monday night with my Mum (who was also competing in the competition!) to a lovely Hotel called Crossways House, just outside Cowbridge which is very close to Llandow circuit where the elimination camp was being held (I would highly recommend Crossways!) We arrived at the circuit for 7.30am where the 100 girls all registered and were split into 5 groups of 20. Each group then had to complete 5 activities during the day at varying times including car control, avoidance breaking, circuit driving, media testing and fitness. Car control consisted of various weaves in and out of cones where we had to try and get the car oversteering and understeering and controlling these variations accordingly. This was fantastic fun and we were assessed by instructors. Next I had avoidance breaking where after a gaining a lot of speed down a small stretch of the airfield we then had to apply a small amount of breaking before a weave in the cones and coming to a stop within a coned box. Again, great fun and assessed by instructors. Next came the best bit, my time on the circuit...........Having spent the whole morning in the Caterham already I was well adjusted to the handling and controls of the car and I went out with Richard, one of the Formula Woman instructors. I had 3 laps with Richard providing input and advice and then 2 assessed laps with no input followed. This was fantastic and I didn't want to go back into the pits after my final lap!

Fortunately the weather held and despite the biting wind some blue sky managed to find its way through! Following a spot of lunch it was time for media testing. This involved a one to one "interview" with an assessor who asked me questions about a race scenario! Then came the fitness test where we had to run round the circuit (approx a mile) and then see how long we could hold the "plank" position and how many press ups we could manage! I was exhausted by this point but managed to push through and get good scores!

So the end of the first day had arrived and 68 of us knew that we may have to face the sad, lonely drive home. The formula woman team managed to maintain the tension by making us wait what seemed like hours for the results, however their decision finally came. All our names were called out and we were each put into Group 1, 2 or 3. I was put into group 1. They then announced that groups 2 and 3 were going home and after a couple of minutes, the information finally registered and I realised I had got through to the final 32 and to the next day of testing! I was over the moon but also incredibly dissapointed that my Mum had not qualified with me.

So it was onto the second day, and following a restless and dream filled nights sleep we again arrived at the circuit for 7.30am. We again registered and were put into groups. My group first went across to the nearby karting circuit where we had two races. The first went fairly well, however the second race, having squeezed my way upto 3rd position from 6th on the grid turned into a bit of a nightmare! On the tight hairpin before the long straight the adrenalin was running like a torent through my veins and I overcooked the corner, ending up in a small slide spin. Before I knew it another kart had ploughed straight into the right side of my kart the impact of which sent my knee crashing into the central steering column on my kart! Ouch! The race was stopped and I received attention from a circuit paramedic. Fortunately my knee and thigh were just badly swollen and bruised - I have a purple whopper to show for it!

Despite my karting accident I managed to return to the main circuit and complete my final familiarisation session in the Caterham with an instructor. The Welsh weather had failed to hold any longer and had provided a slight down pour so my final practice session was a bit of a greasy one! I managed to spin twice (which I found fun although I don't think my instructor did!) however I was confident with my lines and my knowledge of the track. It was then onto the most important part of the day.....flying timed laps! We had 1 inlap, 3 timed and one outlap. I went out hell for leather and as the track had dried out quickly from the gusty wind I managed to put in some fast laps and achieve some good times.
Finally, after another long and exhausting day, the 32 were brought together for the announcement to be made and to my utter shock I was selected as one of the 16 drivers to race in the 2007 Championship!

I am due to take my ARDS racing licence on Tuesday 10th and then I am attending a practice race session at Silverstone the following Saturday before our first race of the Championship at Pembrey Circuit in Wales on the 28th and 29th July! Then it is onto Snetterton 11th and 12th August, Silverstone on the 29th September and Brands Hatch on the 3rd and 4th November!

Wish me luck!

Many thanks for reading and you are all welcome to come and watch any of the races!

Jenny Sleath x

Friday, 29 June 2007

Nerves nerves nerves......

So, the Elimination Camp is only 3 full days away and I have the say I am getting rather nervous! After weeks of scouting for potential sponsors to fund the Championship if I qualify I have finally succeeded! Laverton Properties Ltd, a Yorkshire based property development company have pledged £12,000 to fund my race season - this is obviously highly dependent on beating the other 99 competitors for 1 of the 16 championship slots!

All I can say is I am going to give it my best shot! The Elimination Camp is being held at Llandow Circuit in the Vale of Glamorgan which is an old airfield and assessments will include media, fitness as well as circuit driving! Im going to try and enjoy myself but most of all focus and push push push all the way! Silverstone here I come!

Thanks for all your continued support, loads of love

Jen x

Friday, 1 June 2007

So its on to scouting for publicity and sponsorship!

Hello and thanks for taking the time to have a sneaky peak at my blog!

After reaching the 100 finalists I have now started my intrepid adventure of trying to gain as much publicity as possible and also trying to obtain some interest from local and national businesses regarding sponsoring and becoming a partner of myself as a racing driver and with Formula Woman.

The Birmingham Mail have been fantastic and are hopefully publishing another article about my recent success early next week (wk beginning 4th June) so fingers crossed that will be read by a multi millionaire with plenty of cash to spare!!!

Anyone who is reading this and feels that they might be able to provide me with advice or is willing to assist with publicity or sponsorship please feel free to email me at jennysleath@hotmail.com.

Thanks for reading and your support so far.

Jen Sleath

Sunday, 20 May 2007

Initial Assessment Results!

After much nail biting and over eager checking of emails I was finally told on Friday 18th that I have been selected as one of the 100 finalists to progress through to the two day elimination camp in June!
I am thoroughly excited and absolutely thrilled to be through to the next round.
All I need to do now is generate a huge amount of publicity and sponsorship money from local and national businesses and beat the other 83 competitors to get into the last 16 and race in the Championship! Bring it on!

Friday, 11 May 2007

Formula Woman Assessment Day Friday 11th May 2007

My stomach was certainly churning with butterflies as we set out from Birmingham on the 45 minute journey to Curborough Sprint Circuit, Fradley Park near Lichfield to take part in our initial assessment to try and progress into the final 100 in the formula woman motorsport competition. I say we and not I as my Mum Kate had joined me at a previous track day with Formula Woman at Brands Hatch and I had persuaded her to enter the competition as well! We both passed the paper shift stage of the assessment and were thus embarking on our morning assessment session at Curborough.

We arrived early and registered with Formula Woman team member Vicky Lloyd. I was put into Group 2 out of 4 with 7 to 8 people in each group.

First up was our presentation stage where we had to demonstrate our knowledge and dedication in a one to one interview with one of the team members. I had created a poster presentation consisting of photos from my previous track days in a Lotus Elise and a Caterham 7 as well as a copy of my article in the Birmingham Mail and a "recipe for success in motorsport" with key elements I feel essential for succeeding in the sport.

Second up was the best bit....the adrenalin rush of the Caterham track driving around the sprint circuit.

The track driving involved driving alongside an instructor/assessor for 5 laps around the circuit, the first 3 where the instructor was able to give feedback and advice and 2 final laps where I had to independently drive with no input from the assessor. These final 2 laps were assessed. These 5 laps were absolutely fantastic and went far too quickly! I just wanted to stay out there and keep improving! By the 5th lap my confidence had increased and I was clipping the apexes and accelerating down the straight like Michael Schumacher!

The 3rd part of the assessment involved a written test on motorsport which I had actually revised for and was able to answer or guess most of the questions.

Next was the fitness test which alot of the other girls had been dreading for most of the morning! Our fitness was tested using the bleep test and being used to this from my training for the police fitness test I felt quietly confident about it. Sure enough my previous experience was a bonus and I managed to reach level 9 (which was the highest level achieved during our morning assessments!)

The final assessment was at the Karting track just up the road from the circuit. We had a familiarisation/warm up before completing a 12 lap race. This again was fantastic, adrenalin and octane fuelled and brought out the competitive side in alot of the women! I started 3rd on the grid and after fighting my way into 1st place and maintaining the lead for what seemed like the majority of the race, my race was lost to a feisty girl who managed to squeeze past me on a tight corner. 2nd place was then lost when I was hit from behind and spun! However I managed to keep 3rd until the chequered flag was waved!

After an exhausting morning we were told that we would have to wait 5 days until we received the results!!! Fingers crossed..................