INSPIRED by her father in several ways, youngster Lilia Scatchard is ready to be the figurehead of kart-racing for the next generation of females.

The 16-year-old from Clayton started her venture into the sport just 18 months ago after taking an interest in watching her dad, Richard compete at a competitive level for years.

Despite her age and inexperience in what is seen as a male-dominant sport, Lilia is making waves not just locally, but nationally in the karting scene.

This season she will take part in a full competitive calendar across multiple championships on the outdoor tracks - the main one being Club 100 – which is regarded as the elite competition in the UK.

In her category the Junior super lightweight of the Club 100, Lilia will be just one of two females competing at that level, but it’s something that won’t get in her way.

Her father, Richard told the Telegraph and Argus: “Since Lilia has started karting, we’ve had to come across these barriers that are still there in motorsport.

“Unfortunately for us, through her making friends at these tracks, we’ve been told by parents that they’ve overheard people talking about the fact that there is a female driver competing, and that there is no place for this in motorsport, which is not the case. We also see a lot of stuff on social media regarding female inclusion.

“Lilia thrives off this and it gives her the bit between her teeth because she wants to prove all these people wrong. Females do deserve a place in this sport, and it’s shown in Lilia’s performances.

“If she can prove that she’s competitive and that she can beat the boys, which she does, then why doesn’t she deserve a place amongst the elite in her age category?”

He added: “When we arrive at a race, you can see people staring and wondering why Lilia has earned her place, but they soon want to know who she is once the race is finished, that’s for sure.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Lilia in kart-racing actionLilia in kart-racing action (Image: Submitted)

Lilia already has several sponsorships to her name for her first full competitive calendar after impressing over the past 18 months, which, of course, will be accompanied by a prestigious spot in the Club 100.

After seeing her rapid rise within the sport, echoing the beliefs of his daughter, Richard has encouraged more females to ignore gender stereotypes and push forward with a passion for karting.

He said: “We need more females to do what Lilia has done.

“The more that females get on board with competing against the boys and eventually beating the boys, then the better it will be and the more normalised it will be.

“The bigger picture, ultimately, is for there to be a push to get a female racer at the highest level in the Formula 1, but we must get more female racers involved.

“Of course, a person’s skill level plays a massive part in that, but they must have the backing as well. We’ve been fortunate that Lilia has had that backing, but she’s proved her worth on the tracks and that’s why she’s got six sponsors to date.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Lilia has made a name for herself over the past 18 monthsLilia has made a name for herself over the past 18 months (Image: Submitted)

Of course, Lilia’s love for the sport is the main reason why she’s pursuing her dreams, but as well as that and her desire to push for more female inclusion, she’s also pushing out a strong message for mental health.

Richard admitted: “Lilia’s mental health message comes from me.

“Seven years ago, unfortunately, I had a serious workplace accident and on one Monday morning, I went out the door at 7:30 am and didn’t come home for months.

“In the same breath, I haven’t gone home the same person and I’ve had brain damage ever since. With that comes daily struggles with my mental health and Lilia, at the time, was old enough to understand exactly what was going on.

“She’s been extremely supportive to me and she helps me out when I’m feeling down. It’s nice that we can go on this journey together.

“On Lilia’s kart, she will be looking to promote anything she can related to mental health through stickers, and we will work towards getting a sponsor related to mental health. We want to push out this message as much as we can.”

If you would like to support Lilia in her karting journey, make sure to follow her karting page on Instagram, which can be found under the page: lilia.karting