Tell us how your career in racing started.
My dad raced motorcycles professionally, so speed has always been part of my life since I was very young, and my older brother and I shared a dirt bike and an off roading go-kart. He is five years older than me, so I was always learning to ride or drive something that was maybe a bit too big for me until I grew into them. I also took a keen interest in reading car magazines and remembering all the stats about the latest sports cars coming to market.
Once I was old enough to drive, my personal car became my biggest hobby, and I eventually discovered recreational track days that I could attend. At the time, it was more about satisfying my own desire to go fast and never something I imagined competing in.
Fast forward a few years and I was at a similar track event where someone noticed I had some poise for my limited formal experience. From there, I had an opportunity to attend a Lamborghini event where drivers learn how to operate a factory racecar, and if you prove your ability to manage the vehicle, you can test for your professional racing license.
What most motivates you to do what you do?
I'm still the little girl in the backyard laughing inside from taking a fast turn, but I now harness a lot of competitive energy with that fun spirit. I'm motivated by my mom, since she has always displayed grit and an ability to keep fighting. But I think more than any personal reason, it's neat to see how many females are finding passion in motorsports.
Although it's still a bit rare to encounter other female drivers, year after year, I am steadily watching female trackside participation grow through team owners, team managers, mechanics, engineers, track side officials, marshals, and even fans. I hope more people, and especially women, are able to experience how alive and empowered cars and racing can make you feel.
What is your training routine like?
Practice time in the racecar unfortunately doesn't happen very often, so it's important to find ways to supplement that. Ideally, I spend time in a racing go-kart since that best replicates the physical effort of my racing and keeps my hands and eyes sharp. Fighting the G-forces in the car requires a strong core, and the pedal effort of the brakes is akin to doing a heavy leg press hundreds of times in a session. Combine that with the need for precision focus and the biggest challenge of all—the 130-degree plus cabin temperature inside the car.
It's difficult to say anything prepares you for those conditions except repetition and time, but I trained with a jiu jitsu fighter who really improved my tolerance of the heat. I wear a sauna suit (think shower curtain made into pants and a long sleeve top) with sweats over it. The goal was always to exert myself as much as possible but then immediately test my mental focus at the most exhausting moment by doing math problems or catching playing cards.
It sounds bizarre but I learned so much about breathing techniques and setting mental checkpoints when it feels too difficult to keep going. Training is simpler now on my own, especially since COVID, but those same ideas apply when I'm riding a stationary bike or boxing at home.