This month’s Ladies’ Night @Kartright was held on 21 April 2011, the day before the Good Friday long weekend. This time, 20 ladies joined me at Kartright Speedway for three hours of pure motorsports spunk.
Blessed with good weather again, the track was a lot grippier as many race karters were practising hard all week for Round 1 of the Singapore Karting Championship that Easter weekend.
Already in the last three Ladies’ Night @Kartright sessions, we witnessed some fine talent and promising potential. This trend continues into the fourth edition of Ladies’ Night @Kartright, with Michelle Kuek and Doris Suresh clocking sub-50s lap times.
Cousins Cheryl Yeo and Yeo Pek Wei are the only ones who have regularly attended every single Ladies’ Night @Kartright class since we started it three months ago. Back again this time, Pek Wei was eager to “defend her title” (she won the last Ladies’ Night race in March).
Christine Racle enjoyed herself so much the last time that she came back again for that after-work dosage of racing fun and Rochelle Chow wanted to make up for lost time previously (at the last Ladies’ Night she was late and missed precious track time).
Coached by Singaporean international racing driver Gerald Tan again, he improvised the orientation lap and was able to demonstrate the lines better to the participants.
Divided into two groups of 10, I joined the first group and found myself being overtaken left and right by Doris, Michelle, Pek Wei and Cheryl Yeo.
Born into a racing family, Doris’ father and brother are renowned racing drivers from Brunei and she was once a competitive karter, introduced to the sport at a very young age. Fastest in Practice Session One, Doris clocked 51.279s despite it being her first time at Kartright. Just 0.408s slower was Michelle, followed by Pek Wei who clocked 51.993s.
The second group had almost all first-timers who were new to karting, hence the pace was slower, with Jean Lau fastest at her best lap of 59.896s. Michelle Tan and Wai Meng clocked the next fastest laps respectively, with a lap time of slightly after a minute per lap.
Using practice as warm-up, some of the ladies were holding back and in the first qualifying group, Pek Wei was fastest with her best lap time of 49.660s! Cheryl Yeo qualified next at 50.195s, Michelle at 50.567s followed by Doris at 50.672s.
Group 2′s timings improved significantly during qualifying, with Jean Lau topping the timesheets again, this time with her best lap time of 55.064s. Michelle was second again at 56.303s, while Natalie Yeo came in third in the group at 56.378s.
Consolidating the best lap times of every driver from both groups, the top 10 fastest timings were determined for a 15-lap mini race. I made it to the Top 10 but chose to opt out of the race so I wouldn’t deprive someone else from a chance to race, although I was dying to race !
It is often said that your timings will naturally improve when you are under race pressure in the presence of faster drivers, with the mindset of racing and to keep going faster.
Michelle Kuek did well to cross the finish line first to take the chequered flag 4.174s ahead of Doris and Cheryl Yeo in that order.
Pole-sitter Pek Wei lost her advantage when everyone started attacking her from all ends and overtook her.
Michelle’s best time clocked during the race was 49.416s, which was her fastest time of that night and also the fastest lap time of the 20 drivers that night. Although Doris finished four seconds after Michelle, her best lap time during the race was 49.704s, just 0.29s slower than Michelle.
Here are the results of the final race:
During the debrief, the results were announced and the top three winners – Michelle, Doris and Cheryl Yeo – briefly introduced themselves as well as shared their feelings. Cheryl Yeo, who is a regular at Ladies’ Night @Kartright, said something very inspiring -
She said: “Although I wasn’t the first today, I was also not the last, and as long as I bettered my timing, that’s more important as it means I have improved myself.”
The next Ladies’ Night @Kartright will be in May, but before that we have the all-exciting audition this Thursday evening for my all-female kart racing team CTMC2! Racing Angels, which will be competing in the inaugural OCBC Corporate Karting Challenge later this year.
Only five ladies will be selected, but I hope the rest will continue to support my initiatives and I am planning to have a year-end Ladies’ Night @Kartright where all the winners from every round will be invited back to have a Grand Final challenge! How does that sound?