Interview with first time winner Ashleigh Wareham (492)
When the number 492 popped up as a race winner at the last Skegness meeting, some would have been looking through the internet for who the winner was, and when you add the name Ashleigh Wareham to the number, there wasn’t a more popular winner all weekend.
The BSCDA caught up with Ashleigh during the week to find out a bit more about the newest BriSCA F1 winner from Yorkshire.
Ashleigh has been around racing for a number of years and her dad (Mark Wareham 401) used to race an F1 30 or so years ago. Ashleigh says “I’ve watched them (F1’s) race and love the noise and one day dreamed of having a go in one”. About 3 years ago Mark fancied another shot at it before getting to old, and one day whilst practicing at Birmingham Wheels he said “have a go”. Ashleigh added “I was a bit nervous at first but once I got out on track there was no stopping me, I loved every minute of it”. She then did the Under 25’s race at Birmingham to get the feel of what it could be like in a race, and that’s where it all started, and she now loves it.
Her biggest inspiration is her dad and he has helped, supported and encouraged her thorough her racing career and has taught her a lot and Ashleigh adds “I’m still learning all the time. My dad used to sponsor Gordon Moodie (F2 #7) and I admire his driving skills and also Chris Burgoyne (F2 #647). I also love watching Rob Speak and Mick Sworder (for his antics on track). Another major inspiration for me are the other girls racing F1’s, we all support each other and hope to encourage other ladies into the sport”.
One difference we noticed at Skegness is that she swapped and used Mark’s car on the Sunday, and duly won, so… is that your car now Ashleigh?
“Yes ….. Dad says it has given me the confidence and if it helps me to improve he will take a step back and continue to support and guide me.
Ashleigh races with the Black Sheep Racing Team, but how did that come about?
“Black Sheep Racing started when we raced outlaw F2’s. There was a group of us that started up the Black Sheep Racing as when we left ‘Outlaws’ and continued to race, we were the ‘Black Sheep’ and the name has just stuck . My Dad and Mal started up Black Sheep Racing to support and encourage racing from all formulas and have sponsored many drivers in different formulae and also supported a number of different charities. We also have a website that keeps people up to date with when and where different formulae are racing and their progress/results”.
Ashleigh mainly races at Skegness, but are we likely to see her appearing at any other tracks in the future?
“Yes you will, we’re currently working on a shale car and I hope to maybe race on shale next season and hopefully Hednesford later this season”.
Ashleigh has won races in other formulae (Stoxkarts and Heritage F2), but this was her first win in an F1, and what a drive it was to win the consolation.
And finally, talk us through the last lap of the consolation, that turned into your first ever win in a BriSCA F1.
“I knew I was leading and on the last lap and took good hit and went into the fence, so I just ‘kept it lit’ and hoped for the best and thought I had managed a 5th or 6th. Then when my name got mentioned over radio as the ‘winner’ and I was shocked. Fair play to Jordan (Falding #36) he did what he had to for the win, just something happened to his car. It was really nice of him to come over after the race and congratulate me”.
We are sure we’ll see bigger and better things from Ashleigh and the Black Sheep Racing team in the weeks and months to come, and she added “I would like to thank my team and BSR as this would not have been possible without each and every one of you doing your bit and most of all my Dad”.