Meet the woman from Workington who could be the next female motor racing champion

A woman from Workington is into the final stages of a contest to find the next female motor racing champion.

Abbie Carruthers has seen off more than 800 people to progress in the Formula Woman competition. Her love of racing started at an early age.

She said: "As the youngest daughter of two, I'm the son my father never really had. I've grown up on a farm so I've been driving quads, desert buggies, anything with four wheels or more from the age of about three."

Not long after, she was racing at Cumbria Kart Racing Club, making an instant impression.

Abbie's dedication to do lap after lap at Rowrah explains how she got so good - and you have to be good to make the final stages of Formula Woman.

Abbie Carruthers is into the final stages of the Formula Woman contest

The contest is open to all females over the age of 17 with a driving licence. Part of the idea is to get more women involved in motorsports, which Abbie is also passionate about.

She said: "In all the races I've done, I've only been one or two girls out of a grid of around 30 guys. But on the track they don't treat you any differently."

Abbie has won many accolades at Cumbria Kart Racing Club over the years

Malcolm Fell is one of the directors of Cumbria Kart Racing Club. He remembers when Abbie first came to the club aged 8, and says he has seen motor racing change markedly since then.

He said: "It was male dominated but it's now probably 80/20 (male/female ratio), there's a lot more young ladies coming in."

The prize for the four winners of Formula Woman is the opportunity to race a season in a top of the range, fully sponsored race car.

However, the competition isn't just about racing. Abbie and her fellow competitors also face written exams, fitness tests and media assessments.

She said: "It's going to be a televised series so we need to prove that we can talk in front of a camera, hopefully I'm doing alright today."

Abbie says she isn't just there to make up the numbers and has her eyes set on winning.

Her confidence, combined with her obvious driving ability, might just be the right formula to steer the 26-year-old to victory.

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