A TALENTED driver is predicting a busy close season as she attempts to ensure she once again reaches “the pinnacle” of Mini racing.

Hannah Chapman enjoyed a promising debut campaign in the Mini Challenge championship.

The competitive category supports the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) and enjoys national television coverage on ITV.

Chapman, originally of Dunbar, spoke to Courier Sport about how much she enjoyed the rollercoaster season and how she would do everything she could to make sure she was on the starting grid in 2022.

She said: “I’ve got a long winter, actually probably a quick winter, of hard work to do everything I can to make sure I am back on the grid to try again.

“I am working hard with sponsors and trying to put a package together to make sure it is successful and I get back in on the JCW grid.

“That is where my heart lies.

“I worked hard from the Scottish Mini Championship to the pinnacle of Mini racing.

“I would like to stay there and I am getting to grips with it.

“I would like to get another chance to race at circuits and show what I am capable of.

“There is a lot of work to do but I’m definitely not going to be hibernating.

“It is tempting to hit the Ben & Jerry’s, rest up and enjoy not having to do too much but that will definitely not be the case.

“I will get back in the gym to maintain a good level of fitness.

“It is harder in the winter because you get the dark nights, it is cold and not as fun to exercise as in the summer, when you can go out for a run in the sun, but I will try to maintain a level of fitness so I am ready to go.”

East Lothian Courier: Hannah Chapman enjoyed a rollercoaster debut seasonHannah Chapman enjoyed a rollercoaster debut season

The former Dunbar Grammar School pupil caught the racing bug after visiting Raceland, near Gladsmuir.

Since then, she has been burning rubber in a number of different categories and classes before finally reaching the national championships, which takes racers the length and breadth of the country, this season.

The final round took place at Brands Hatch at the end of last month, with Chapman securing a top-20 place overall behind overall winner Dan Zelos.

She said: “It has been amazing.

“It has been a great experience and a dream come true to even be on the grid.

“Obviously, you want to be further up the grid and we want to make continued progress and break into the top 10.

“There were a few moments but luck was not on our side.”

A top-10 finish was a possibility at Chapman’s home round at Knockhill in Fife in August.

Top-15 finishes in the first two races bode well for the final action of the weekend but she was clipped early on and had to settle for 20th.

Now living near Aberdeen, the 28-year-old was confident she was heading in the right direction.

She said: “It has been a massive learning curve for sure but it has helped me progress as a person, as a competitor and as a racer so much.

“Everything from my driving technique, fitness and the way I handle situations on the track and off the track situations – I definitely did a lot of growing this year.”