The Bike Insurer British Women’s Motorcycle Racers Championship

Charley Oakland garage

The Bike Insurer has continued its involvement with Thundersport GB by sponsoring the 2015 female championship within the series.

The series runs alongside the other championships within Thundersport and riders are given a point for racing and a point for every competitor they finish ahead of in their race.

And that means a ton of points for Charley Oakland after the opening round of Thundersport at Brands Hatch this weekend.

Charley, one of the leading female riders in Thundersport, managed to secure three podiums in the Minitwin races and top tens in the 500 championship, meaning she’s sitting comfortably at the top of the women’s championship.

We spoke to Charley ahead of the season curtain raiser to get her thoughts and expectations for the 2015 season.

You won the Thundersport female championship in 2013 and came second last year, what are your ambitions for 2015?

“I want to win the women’s championship again and get on the podium in both the Minitwin and Thundersport 500 classes consistently. I’ve won the women’s before in 2013 and came second last year but I want to get back to the top of the pile this year.”

What do you place more emphasis on: your standing in the series you’re participating in or the female championship that runs parallel?

“I treat each championship differently because each comes with its own set of challenges and goals. My proudest moment on track was when I crossed the line in 2013 to win the women’s championship but winning a series overall would obviously come close to that because the field is bigger.”

As a female, have you found it difficult to get into racing?

“My dad started racing in 2001 when I was still young and I’ve always been around bikes and paddocks. That made the jump into racing fairly easy and straightforward for me.

“But I can see why there are few female riders and that’s because there aren’t enough positive role models and they’re not in the media spotlight enough.

“I think if girls saw females being competitive in racing at a young age they’d be more likely to take an interest in racing, rather than waiting until they’ve achieved a road licence before they even think about getting on the track.”

What advice would you give to young women who are interested in racing?

“I’d advise them to get out on track for a few days on a few different circuits to test the water, rather than ploughing straight into a race licence and entry into a championship – there’s nothing to lose if you don’t like it then.”

What are the biggest difficulties in amateur racing?

“The biggest difficulty in amateur racing is financial support. Sponsorship is hard to find as business’ aren’t guaranteed exposure in amateur racing. So unless you have a lot of money or have good contacts with sponsors, you can struggle to afford a full season.”

What are your long-term ambitions for racing?

“I want to become competitive at British Superbike (BSB) level and eventually become competitive on the road-racing scene. My ultimate goal is to compete at the Isle of Man TT.”

Charley’s next race takes place at Donington Park in a month’s time where the next Minitwin and Thundersport 500 series where, in the latter, she will be up against Lewis Osler.

Next page: Solid opening weekend for Lewis Osler