Track star Christie Doran has been put out to grass – literally.
The Falkirk racer usually spends her time at 130mph on the country’s top race circuits in the VAG Trophy. But instead of retiring, she had accepted an invite from the Central Scotland Autograss Club in Avonbridge.
Christie, from Carron, laughed: “The only grass driving I had ever done was ‘mowing the lawn’ when it went wrong and I went off at one of the circuits. I had been to Avonbridge to watch and it is a different skill set.
“These guys are very fast and very talented. Sideways is best for them whereas I am aiming to keep things in a straight line but a fast car is a fast car. They all have pedals and a steering wheel. It is just about learning the technique as quickly as possible.”
Christie – who is part of the Macdonald Inchyra Hotel and Spa programme for supporting young local talent – first saw her car on Saturday morning as she went straight into the Ladies Stock Hatch battle.
She was delighted to get three second places in the heats before returning on Sunday and finding out she was moving into the men’s Class One action.
Christie – who is backed by Stirling-based Magnate Property and Fly High Pole Fitness - said: “The aim was always to try different cars. Tommy Walls gave us a great car but I had no real expectation. I was just winging it. I expected to spin. I expected it to be tough. The ladies were fast but I got in a groove and used a lot of my track knowledge to carry speed onto the straights and it seemed to work.
“We had Stuart McPhaden’s car on Sunday. He has been flying in the juniors so that brought a little pressure. I was up against the guys and I knew I had to fight. I was happy with another three second places in the heats and took second place in the final. That is a real result for me and I am delighted.
“The sport is amazing. If you want to get involved in motorsport, this is a great place to start. It won’t break the bank and it is good, clean, tough racing. Your whole family can use the car if they want. It is not surprising that numbers are growing so quickly at the club.”
Club chairman Scott Pryde was impressed with Christie’s debut. He said: “She did very well. You could see she was a racer straight away, and she adapted very quickly. She was racing against some experienced drivers and she was brilliant. She is a very clean racer but she obviously wasn’t getting pushed around.”
The club members were competing for the inaugural Jock Rankin Trophy. Stuart McPhaden took the junior honours to add to his Scottish Open title and Josh Reid won the Champion of Champions race-off to add to his Scottish Open Men’s title.