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Jackie Hardy, an apprentice mechanic at the Halfords Autocentre in Borehamwood, was named Halfords BTCC Apprentice 2020, fending off tough competition from eight of her colleagues.

The Level 3 apprentice has since been travelling with the touring car team to BTCC race weekends where she plays an integral part of the effort to win races.

To secure the victory, Jackie did a practical timed assessment on a Volkswagen van to find hidden faults and successfully convinced a panel that she has the right attitude and character to become part of the BTCC team.

After it was announced that she won in an otherwise all-male field, Jackie offered the following comment on the victory and her expectations of joining BTCC on the road:

“To be fair I didn’t expect it. I was nervous during the competition but I’m over the moon now, really happy. Now I’m looking forward to joining the BTCC team, which will definitely be different from working in a garage, but I’m excited to get in there and learn and embark on the next stage of my career. Women need to know that it is okay to take that initial step, and that there are other women working in the industry. Once you get your foot in the door it is okay!”