January 8, 2020
Since joining YRDA at the start of 2019 Jem has been given the opportunity to travel all around the UK and drive on some of the biggest circuits in the country. This included a 5th place at the Citroen C1 24-hour race where fastest laps from Jem helped the team to an impressive result. Being an all-female driver line up it also sent out a statement and from there Jem was receiving invites to race in a variety of different cars.
This included a Radical SR1 Cup, BMW M3 and Ginetta G40 with Jem getting the chance to race in the BRSCC Fiesta Championship at Silverstone later in the year where she finished 9th. The variety of front and rear wheel drive cars has seen Jem make huge progress in such a short space of time with Jem jumping a car for the first time earlier this year.
Jem also added to her 24-hour racing experience in the summer competing in the Le Mans 24 Hour Kart race with fellow Motorsport Woman members. It would not be Jem’s only visit to Le Mans as she was also selected to take part in the FIA Girls on Track Karting Challenge having been selected by Motorsport UK and Dare to be Different.
Jem’s efforts in 2019 were recognised last month when she was awarded the Dunlop Trophy by Mansell Kart Racing Club. She was also nominated for the John Bateman Club Racer of the Year Award by Downforce Radio.
Now Jem looks ahead to what is set to be an exciting season racing in a works Praga with VR Motorsport. The car runs in class 1, the fastest in the championship, where the team are the reigning champions having finished 4th overall. With qualifying and two races at each of the six rounds there will be plenty of track time for Jem who will be looking to impress in front of the cameras with each round being televised.
As for the car itself the Praga R1T weighs just 625kg and can produce up to 340bhp making it on par with an LMP3 or GT3 car! It will give Jem experience that she will no doubt be able to carry with her into the next stage of her career and beyond.
With both Jem and Danny being 19 years old they will certainly be the youngest driver line up on the grid and perhaps one of the youngest the series has ever seen! But what they lack in experience they will make up for in determination with Danny crossing over from the Ginetta GT5 Challenge where he finished 7th in his rookie year.
For many the championship, has been the perfect stepping stone into the British GT Championship or similar European series and for Jem she will hope this is the start of an exciting journey.
Jem Hepworth: “I’m thrilled to get this opportunity. It’s the perfect step up for me to showcase my skills I’ve learnt testing on track. The Praga is a dream to drive, I love it. Danny and team have shown me such great support. Motorsport Woman and some new partners helped this happen for me together with my valuable skills learnt through YRDA sim sessions. I can’t wait to start the season! “
The season kicks off on the 10th April at Donington Park, you can follow Jem’s progress here on our website and on all our social media channels. You can also find updates on Facebook at Jem Hepworth Racing.