Pateley Bridge driver finds top gear to win National Ladies Autograss title

Emily Gill alongside her husband Ben

Emily Gill alongside her husband Ben

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A Pateley Bridge racing driver is looking to overtake her male counterparts after becoming a national ladies champion.

After several years of trying, Emily Gill captured the chequered flag for a first time at the 2015 National Autograss Championships earlier this year.

Emily Gill racing at the National Ladies Autograss Championships

Emily Gill racing at the National Ladies Autograss Championships

In a newly-built machine, maintained by her husband Ben, Gill stormed to victory in the Ladies Class Eight category, pipping 38 competitors to top spot at the Yorkshire Dales Autograss circuit near Masham.

Having been the second fastest qualifier heading into the final, the 28-year-old hit the front on the second lap and led to the finish to scoop her first national championship.

The race victory was the culmination of years of hard graft for Gill and her family, who travel to British Series and club night meetings across the country most weekends.

“I have always wanted to win the nationals,” the 28-year-old said.

“I was in tears for the whole of the last lap. It was an indescribable feeling.”

Gill also enjoyed a fruitful year on the five-race British Autograss Series, in which she finished second.

Fortunes had gone against her at the start of the series as “teething problems” hit her car’s new chassis. But she pulled results around to finish the year on a high.

She said: “In the championship, I just had some bad luck. The girl that won the series won every final. She got away, and I just couldn’t catch her.”

Now, Gill is preparing to take on the men during the 2016 race calendar and she will attempt to qualify for a place on the grid in the new year.

“I am going to give it my best go,” she added.

“I can definitely take confidence from winning the nationals and hopefully I will qualify.”