Tilly is revving up for motorsport mechanic challenge

Tilly is revving up for motorsport mechanic challenge
Tilly Trafford

A Hospitality Foundation Apprentice is gearing up to swap ‘pots for the pits’ on a Race Mechanics course at the National College for Motorsport at Silverstone.

Balfron High School pupil Tilly Trafford (17) has been studying for her FA at the Stirling Campus learning about the Hospitality industry, but in September this year she will change gear from apron to overalls, as she takes up a place learning how to become a motorsport mechanic.

Already possessing four Highers in Maths, Physics, Biology and Geography, Formula 1 fan Tilly, accelerated into pole position for a place on the prestigious course. She did this by applying and coming through two rounds of forms and questions, to successfully claim a spot on the starting grid, along with 120 other hopefuls.

She, said: “I have been interested in F1 for quite a while and I love the drama, emotions and the action associated with it. My brother and dad are also fans, so it has become a family thing and my favourite drivers are Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel.

“I have always had a mild interest in cars and my brother likes to work on them, so maybe that is where becoming a mechanic has interested me.

“I am aware that it is a very male dominated industry and I am quite proud to have been selected, along with a few other girls who I understand have also secured a place, so I am very pleased it is becoming a more diverse industry. I would recommend other young women with an interest in F1 and mechanics to apply.

“We have all been told that it will be very hard work – not all F1 glamour – but at the end of it I hope to come out as a race mechanic. As we are based at Silverstone we will have great access to the pit lanes and the racing teams who are based there, so hopefully I will be able to secure some work experience and a placement with one of them. The plan would be that I could start at a Formula 4 team and work my way up as far as I can go. It will be a great experience and I am really looking forward to it. I can’t wait.

“I have to say that I have really enjoyed my time on the FA Hospitality course at Forth Valley College Stirling Campus. The lecturers and the facilities have been great and meeting new people from different schools has been really good. The course has been really interesting and useful to me and I would recommend it too. But I can’t wait to get cooking now on my Race Mechanics course.”

Carolyn Taylor, FVC Hospitality Lecturer, said: "Tilly is a fantastic student, who is excelling in her chosen FA Hospitality course and is on track to gaining her qualification. Tilly is a great team player in class always supporting her fellow students and has really embraced all aspects of this course, especially with her love of cooking. 

"I wish Tilly well with her chosen career path of motor sports, I know Tilly will love and embrace her time at motorsport mechanic college and I look forward to following her future career with great interest."