York City Ladies Racing Team Croft preview

Sunday (July 14) marks the one and only home fixture for York City Ladies Racing Team's Jo Kraemer. The 21-year-old will be racing in front of friends and family at North Yorkshire's only major motor racing circuit Croft, near Darlington, in round...

Sunday (July 14) marks the one and only home fixture for York City Ladies Racing Team's Jo Kraemer. The 21-year-old will be racing in front of friends and family at North Yorkshire's only major motor racing circuit Croft, near Darlington, in round nine of the Elf Clio Renaultsport UK Cup.

With the added support of members of York City Ladies FC who will be attending the race, as well as the full first team squad of York City Soccer Club, the York-based driver hopes to put in a dazzling performance and score a good result.

Kraemer, of Clifton, says: "This is a big race meeting for me as it's my local track. There will be a lot of people coming to Croft just to support me so I don't want to let them down. Obviously every time I go out in the car I'm learning so I hope no-one expects me to get pole position and win the race. My main aim is to get the car to the finish and hopefully improve on my last race, where I got my best ever result."

The one advantage Kraemer does have at Croft, over other circuits she has visited this season, is that this won't be her first time on the track. She has taken part in corporate days on the 2.1-mile circuit and tested there in the early part of the year.

"Knowing what the circuit is like makes a huge difference," she says. "When I raced at Silverstone, the first time I went round the circuit was during qualifying and you can't set a really quick time if you are still learning the track. I've been round Croft a lot though so I'm confident I can do well.

"It's a great circuit with some very fast sweeping curves and also the slowest hairpin in the country, so it throws up a bit of everything. It will be a very close race and hopefully I'll be celebrating a positive result at the end of it."

Croft is also the home venue for Bintcliffe Sport Racing, the Boroughbridge-based firm, run by former British Touring Car Championship works driver John Bintcliffe, that prepares Kraemer's car. Bintcliffe's local knowledge of the circuit and, more importantly, expert knowledge on how to set-up a racing car to get the best out of it at Croft is another boost for Kraemer.

She says: "John used to be supported by Croft so he's probably done more laps round there than anyone. Hopefully he can use that knowledge to help me."

York City Soccer Club chairman John Batchelor, whose BTCC outfit Team B&Q Jet York City is also competing at Croft on Sunday in rounds 11 and 12 of Britain's premier racing series, will be one of Kraemer's biggest fans in the grandstand.

He says: "Jo's going to be the best supported Clio driver there. We're taking the first team squad to Croft and some of York City Ladies as well and we'll be cheering for her on every lap. You never know, that might give her a boost and help her get past a few of the guys in front."

The Clio race is due to get underway at 2.55pm on Sunday. The first BTCC race starts at Noon and the second at 3.50pm.

-tb&qjycr-

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