Written by Cameron Gale, Edited by Ishani Aziz
This year Wolftrax Racing joins the brand new Mini Challenge Clubsport Championship in the R53 Cooper S. With affiliation to the Quaife Mini Challenge, the 15-race 2023 calendar is supporting several high profile events including; Britcar, The British Truck Racing Championship and of course, The Mini Challenge Trophy. 2023 will also see them join various other race events such as ClubSport Trophy, Track Attack and the Birkett Relay. However, things weren’t always so easy.
Team owners Emma and Steven both developed a love for motorsport from a young age, in large part thanks to their grandfather's days in competitive hill climb racing. Emma always loved cars, even before she could drive. Steven first attended his first race with his grandfather at the Castle Combe race circuit in Chippenham. He instantly fell in love with the sights and sounds of the track and had fond memories of them watching F1 together and has followed it ever since.
In 2019, their passion brought them together. They did a track experience at Knockhill, then in 2020 they visited some of the best known tracks in Europe including the Nürburgring, where they both took their cars on track. In 2021, due to covid restrictions, they did a tour of the UK tracks instead and now, they well and truly have a passion for motorsport. They settled on a R50 Mini Cooper as the car of choice, did some subtle upgrades and made it to round 10 of the UK Tracks in 6 months.
In early 2022 Wolftrax Racing was formed. The team was originally started after some friendly competition the previous year against each other at many different tracks (they are very closely matched in time at each circuit, sometimes down to tenths of a second) in the R50 Cooper, (affectionately known as Baby Cooper). They wanted to try their hand at racing for real. Enter “Big Red” the R53. They affectionately named the cars as they both look the same, and to tell them apart.
Steven had always wanted to build a race car so now was his chance. They both passed their ARDs tests in January 2022 to get their race licences and they signed up to the 750 Motor Club Roadsports series so they could both race together, as it’s a 45 minute endurance race and they have to switch drivers at the one minute mandatory pitstop. They finally managed to get their pitstop down to the one minute mark too, which is not easy when you have to get in and out of the car with the full race kit on and the next driver strapped back in ready to go, but they achieved this after their third race.
What happened last season?
In an interview team owner Emma looked back on the previous season:
“Last season was our rookie season which was a steep learning curve, being on a packed grid with much faster TCR cars flying past was a whole new experience, but we improved and as the season progressed, realised the car as it was, had its limitations. We had a couple of DNFs where the clutch blew up at Croft and we lost the power steering at Brands but we fixed those and were back out for the next race. The most limiting factor was the need for a LSD as we were constantly spinning up, especially after a slow corner or in the wet. We have just installed one however and tested it at Croft on Friday, it’s like a completely different car, we love it, it handles so much better now!”
What are the plans for the 2023 season?
She reflected on the upcoming season: “This season we wanted to try out a single make series to see how competitive the car is after some upgrades from last year. Emma is driving this series as only one driver can enter. Steven is doing some other races with Clubsport Trophy and Track attack. We’re ending the season both driving together again in the Birkett Relay endurance race with two other drivers/cars, forming the Club Racing UK team.. I’d like to see some good competitive battles on the track in the Mini Challenge. I’d love to get a podium place so we’ll see what I and the car can do”