A teenage stock car racing driver is putting the brakes on a successful five year career.
Abigail Stansfield first started racing National Ministox when she was just 12 and now, at the grand old age of 16, she is stepping down to concentrate on her school work.
The sport promotes stock car racing for boys and girls aged between 11 and 15 and is based on Forumula One and Two stock car racing and is a contact sport.
Abigail’s triumphs include winning this year’s Reach for the Stars Championship at the Onchan Stadium in the Isle of Man. She has also clinched victory in the whites and yellows championships, a race which pits competitors against each other depending on their experience as a driver.
A pupil at Bowland High School in Clitheroe, Abigail also competed this year at the European Championships in Holland but was forced to pull out due to engine failure.
Supprting her along the way have been proud parents, Brent and Pam Stansfield who became interested in the sport through family friend Keith Clements of Chatburn whose son Will races Forumula One and Two.
To continue the Clements; tradition Abigail took Will’s number of 158.
Pam said: “The aim is to race around an oval track which can be either mud or shale and as it is a contact sport the driver uses their vehicle’s bumpers to get past the car in front.
“Abigail has loved doing it and has to stop now as the age limit is 16. She is going to concentrate on her exams and decide if she wants to continue with the sport in a year’s time.’’
Racing in strengthened, modified Mini type cars with steel chassis, heavy armour and a 1,0000cc engine, Abigail has followed in the footsteps of her older sister Hazel (18) who competed. And now their little brother, Roger (12) has taken the steering wheel.
He has taken on the number 58 from eight times world champion stock car driver James Lund, another famnily friend.Pam added: “They have to gain a special driving licence which they re-take every year.
“It is an exciting sport but is also teaches them excellent driving skills and how to cope with a skid or a drift.’’