After touring UK racing Doran gets back to her grassroots

Racer Christie Doran warmed up for a Brands Hatch showdown by getting put out to GRASS.

The Carron 22-year-old Slidesports star has had a long summer break in her VAG Trophy campaign but gets back to action this weekend.

Christie, from Carron, has been working hard on simulator sessions to get her ready for the 140mph battle at the Kent track, but wanted to stay busy during the break.

She has been working with Honda dealers to show them how to drive the new Civic Type R and doing performance laps at Knockhill in a Lotus Elise S Supercharged for Edinburgh dealer Murray Lotus.

But she really put things on the line with a trip to the Central Scotland Autograss Club in Avonbridge. She had her first attempt at the sport last year, but was back in a more powerful Class Six VW Polo, courtesy of club chairman Blair Robertson.

She said: “I loved my first shot but this was a real step up. The weather was not the best. It was very slippery and it is a completely different skill set.

“At the end of the day, it is a car with a wheel and pedals but I drive in straight lines and autograss is all about getting the car sideways then putting on the power.”

Christie showed she could handle the change by grabbing two heat wins plus a second and a third, but a slight misjudgement in the slippery conditions meant she ran wide and hit another car, damaging her steering and ending her weekend early.

She added: “The drivers are seriously good because the conditions were very tough. I absolutely loved it but I am gutted that I made a slight mistake. I think I did well but you always think you can do better.

“Blair gave me a great car. It is so much fun to drive. If you want to try motorsport then give it a go. It is not expensive and it is great fun and everyone welcomes you in the paddock.”

Now she is fully focused on the legendary Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit and the chance to take home a mega haul of Class B points.

She said: “It has been a long break since the last VAG Trophy race at Snetterton so I wanted to keep busy. The simulator sessions are great but you want track time. Working with the dealers at Honda was great fun and the Type R is tremendous fun.

“I love getting out in the Lotus. We had a mix of wet and dry weather so we could really show what the car can do – and it is really good fun.

“But now everything is geared to Brands. We had a sim session with former touring car driver Micky Doyle and that went really well. Then I have a session at Base Performance, which is run by Le Mans 24-Hours winner Darren Turner. That will be a bit hardcore. I will have three hours in the simulator getting every corner, every gear change and even the pressure that I am putting on the throttle analysed. Then I will be ready for the weekend.”