Yesterday we published part one of our Five Minutes With series, where we spoke to Hayley Capewell of Stokewell Racing. Today you can read part two with Sarah Stokoe, who passengers for Stokewell Racing!
Twenty five year old Sarah is from Walkington in Yorkshire. She’s always liked cars and bikes, and got into racing through a former partner who raced Lambretta scooters. “Between each race at a meeting I was getting bored with the race and I saw some sidecars and thought it looked like a good thing to do. Someone we knew had a scooter sidecar and said if I get my licence I can do it with them. So I did, and I did a full season the following year (2015) on the scooter sidecar which are only 180cc, finishing second in our BSSO championship.”
In 2016, Sarah went over to the Isle of Man, and says that she loved watching the sidecars. The sidecars truly are a spectacle, and watching the likes of Dave Molyneux race the TT is always a pleasure. This is exactly what inspired her to give sidecar racing a go. “I went over to the Isle of Man 2016 to watch the road racing and loved watching the sidecars. The following week I had my first go on the F2 600cc sidecar which was a massive step up from what I was used to. By the end of year one of my best friends and I decided to purchase our own sidecar and form an all-girls team for the season on 2017.” And that’s when Stokewell Racing was born.
When I asked Sarah about “being a woman in a mans world”, her response was similar to Hayley’s. “I don’t really find it any different to be honest. I think the motorsport world welcomes anyone into it and everyone is so friendly. A lot of people are always willing to help with things and give advice and tips which is a massive help. We have had a lot of positive comments from our first couple of meetings as an all-girls team which is a massive confidence boost I would say for the both of us.” Honestly, I have never read a truer statement. The motorcycle community is one of the strongest there is – I personally have never met someone who isn’t willing to give up a few moments of their time to offer advice and help in any way they can. That is why the motorsport community is one of the best group of people you will ever join.
When Sarah is not racing, she works for the prison service and HMP Hull and spends time with her friends. But she insists that she doesn’t seem to have a lot of spare time – and she doesn’t mind that! “I do always find though I never seem to have any spare time but I wouldn’t have it any other way. You only live once at the end of the day and I would say to anyone live it to the full as much as you can.”
Her main racing inspirations are her friends and her boyfriend. She says that both give her a lot of advice as they have been in the racing scene for years. “My boyfriend has a massive experience and is great to listen to. He has been a sidecar passenger for around 15 years and has experienced huge achievements, such as winning the Isle of Man TT three times and also winning the worlds championship.”
Sarah is keeping her racing goals simple for the near future. “I would like to finish the FSRA Pre-Injection championship which we are doing this year and depending where we place, move onto something different such as the FSRA F2 championship which would be more of a challenge for us as there is more competition. It would mean looking at changing engines to fit regulations and this wouldn’t be an easy job as a lot of things on the bike would have to be changed such as engine mounts, wiring loams and everything else that goes along with it.” She also tells me that she wants to collect more national signatures so she can upgrade her license and get in as much track time as possible as she’s still relatively new to the sport. Eventually, she would like to compete in the road races, with the main one being the TT. “This would be a massive achievement to have. I have an idea of what year I would like to do it in if we are up to the standards, I think it could definitely be a possibility if we are to continue and develop like we are but like I said let’s not run before we can walk.”
If there’s one thing I’ve learned through these two interviews it is this: both Hayley and Sarah are unbelievably committed to their craft and are always eager to improve. They are a lovely team and deserve all of the success that comes their way.
You can follow their journey on Facebook (Stokewell Racing) and Twitter (@stokewell44). If you want to support the girls in any way, you can contact them via Hayley at email@example.com.
I would like to use this opportunity to thank them for their interviews and to wish them the best of luck for their current season, and for all of the ones they compete in thereafter.