Megan Gilkes: 'I've never tasted champagne before today'

Megan Gilkes claimed her first ever W Series victory on Sunday and although it might not come with any points, thanks to the fact it was an experimental race in which the grid was formed in reverse championship order, she did at least get to taste champagne for the first time ever.

The 18-year-old racer has yet to score a point in the all-female category and therefore got to start from pole for Sunday's race, where she held off far more experienced drivers to claim her first win, something series founder and CEO Catherine Bond Muir said she should be very proud of.

"It was an absolutely fantastic spectacle. After half an hour of wheel-to-wheel racing all the way down the field, just three-thousandths of a second separated first from second, and just seven-tenths of a second covered the first five.

"We all know why Megan was on the pole – the grid was formed in reverse order of the current championship positions – but she kept her head while all about her were losing theirs, and she was the only driver on the front three rows of the grid not to slip back into the clutches of the quicker drivers coming through from the grid slots behind.

"As the youngest driver in W Series, at just 18, she deserves enormous credit for that, especially as she came under tremendous pressure from first Jess and then Alice in the final laps."

Gilkes is now looking ahead to the series finale in Brands Hatch with her confidence boosted by the win.

"I kept my head down and battled on. As we crossed the finish line, initially I didn’t think I’d won because it really couldn’t have been closer. I hear the gap was just 0.003sec – about half a metre. I’ll never forget today – I had an absolute blast out there – and of course I’m absolutely thrilled to have won.

"This win has boosted my confidence no end. After yesterday’s race I felt I hadn’t driven as well as I could have done, but after today’s race I’m now really looking forward to Brands Hatch."

Gilkes, who is too young to drink in her native Canada, did at least get her first taste of champagne...

"I’ve never tasted champagne before – I’m not legal in Canada but I’m in Holland so it’s OK. I only had a tiny sip, and it wasn’t what I’d expected, but when you win you have to taste it, don’t you?!"