The New Paper
Her hands were shaking on Saturday morning before practice. Gabriella Teo, 12, the first and only female competitor at the final round of the Singapore Karting Championship (SKC) over the weekend, was understandly nervous about her race debut.
“I was scared about joining the race at first because I’m worried that I will do badly and come in last,” said the Junior karter. “But my family, close friends and coach were encouraging me to give it a try and gain some experience. It doesn’t bother me much about being the only girl in the competition. I just aimed to do my best and enjoy myself.”
Her father, Allan, is a director of Kartright Speedway – the official venue of the SKC – and he introduced her to karting last November, first putting her in a fun kart. A former kart racer himself, he saw the potential in his daughter and decided to buy her a race kart in March this year.
Since then, Gabriella has been training under Kartright Academy’s senior instructor Kenny Yip – the newly-crowned SKC Veteran champion. A bag of nerves on Saturday, Gabriella initially struggled to find the pace, finishing last in qualifying and in the heats.
However, after some changes to her kart set-up and a boost of confidence, she was back up to pace yesterday and finished fourth in the pre-final behind overall Junior champion Amin Noorzilan. Post-lunch showers provided for a wet and slippery final, where Gabriella spun out. With the valuable experience gained, she intends to continue training and participate in the full season of SKC next year.