It’s just one month away to Round 3 of the OCBC Corporate Karting Challenge 2011 where my all-female kart racing team will be making our debut! Remember I posted photos of the interview MY PAPER did for us last week? Here it is in today’s copy of MY PAPER…
To read the article, READ MORE…
Tuesday, 5 July 2011
By Chia Han Keong
Is it possible to enjoy a sport which is dominated by the opposite sex?
For the six kart racers of the only all-women team taking part in the inaugural OCBC Corporate Karting Challenge, the answer is a resounding “yes”.
The team were formed by motorsports blogger Cheryl Tay, while the other five – Doris Suresh, Michelle Kuek, Nazilah Abdul Rahim, Lemna Parvani Sani and Goh May San – were chosen from over 50 potential female kart racers.
“I had this idea to form an all-women kart-racing team when I first heard of the OCBC Corporate Karting Challenge,” Tay said.
“I was then approached by the business-development director of MindChicClub.com, a sport Web portal, which sponsored both a men’s team and this all-female team.”
All six members had plenty of karting experience. For example, Suresh, the most senior of the bunch at age 42, has been karting since 1990. Although she stopped racing when she took on a job in the hotel industry, she is thrilled to be back behind the driving wheel again.
“Once you have that passion to race, it never goes away,” she said. “When the Kartright Speedway kart-racing track opened here in Upper Jurong Road, it gave me an opportunity to get back into racing.”
Other team members have also done extensive kart racing around the region.
And, yes, all had their own stories of being ridiculed by male racers. But rather than being discouraged, they simply rolled their eyes and soldiered on.
“Most of it was just good-natured teasing,” said Kuek, 31. “They would complain that we drive too slowly, and that we’re blocking their way.”
Nazilah, 29, added: “Rather than being discouraged, it just made me more determined to prove that I can race as well as the men.”
Forming an all-women team also helps too.
Said Tay, the youngest of the team at age 24: “Girls like to do things in groups, so that’s why I set up this team – so that we girls can have a comfortable environment to race in. And, indeed, we have been supportive of one another during our practices.”
The team will be racing on Aug 6 against an all-men field in the third round of qualifying for the OCBC Corporate Karting Challenge, a four-hour endurance race held at the technically challenging Kartright Speedway.
The top four teams will qualify for the Oct 15 final.
While the team would not say that they are dead-set on qualifying for the final, they feel that they have what it takes to give it a shot.
Even if they don’t make it, it’s the camaraderie among these like-minded friends that keeps them going strong in the sport.
Said Sani, 28: “It’s not so much winning, as aiming to go as fast as I can. If I can win along the way, then that would be awesome and I’d love that, but the journey itself is great fun.”
Added Goh, 25: “The thrill of sitting in a race kart, flying down the track, practically sitting on ground level, is positively exhilarating. The feeling of control over the kart and possibility of improving my times make me want more.
“Thus, winning becomes a form of recognition.”