Karting Girls: Gemma Jayne Batstone

Gemma Batstone image

Celebrating the girls who are taking it to the boys

Age: 22

From: Oxford, Oxfordshire

Started Karting: Age 14

When was your first race? My first race was 2006 at Dunkeswell kart club, now known as Mansell raceways..

What series do you currently race in? Senior Rotax 125cc

Have you won any races? Yes quite a few over the last few seasons, in Junior Rotax and Senior Rotax and along the way clinching the 2011 senior Rotax championship.

How did you get into it? I began karting at an abandoned airdrome with my dad back in 2005/06, I had a 100cc Junior ICA on an old wright kart, red chassis and bright yellow pods (very attractive I will add). We decided to go karting for a bit of fun with some friends, as you can imagine we slowly started buying equipment, becoming more competitive and eventually my dad, with many years experience in racing himself, started racing karts at a club level.

We travelled all over the country, making lots of friends and I slowly got to know the junior grid, eventually my dad decided to let me have a go at a test day and that was the beginning. We then raced at many circuits slowly progressing, I started racing originally in Junior Blue where I managed to grab a seeded number 9 in my first year of karting and my first novice trophies, we then continued to race the next season, where I learnt the most, I became good friends with Stephen Andrews Senior Blue and Junior Blue number one plate. He taught me my race craft and where to gain that tenth or so we needed, well more seconds than tenths back then. A year or so later we then made a move to the very competitive Rotax classes, where I joined the ever growing junior grids of 30 or so competitors. it was at this stage in my racing career that I started to get on the podium more and more and I started to achieve. We raced at three tracks local to my parents who are based in Somerset, I eventually ended up in Senior Rotax which is where I am today.

We have had lots of success in Senior Rotax, this being where I have had some of my biggest achievements. In 2011 I won the the Senior Rotax championship at Dunkeswell, that year I also picked up overall senior champion and then this was followed by being nominated for the Elite Gold Star award with the British woman’s drivers club narrowly missing out in a very tough award, so to be even nominated was a tremendous achievement.

Even after the past seasons of ups and down like breaking my wrist in the 2nd round of the championship last season, I still have a great passion for karting and that has led to other opportunities such as competing in the ‘Ginetta Want 2 Race’ scholarship last September and competing in the last two years of the Daytona Milton Keynes 24hours with PPC Racing. I’ve had a superb start to this current season, lying 6th in a very closely fought championship hoping for a strong finish with the support from my dad and Mark Collings from CRG UK.

As for life outside of karting, well, I currently live and work in Oxfordshire following a career in radiotherapy studying at Birmingham University.