I'm seen as a driver first, and woman second'

I'm seen as a driver first, and woman second'
BOLDY GO: Miss Claire Jedrek got second place at the Malaysian Grand Prix in March.

Singapore's only professional female car racer got into karting and racing at 30.

And just two years on, Miss Claire Jedrek got second place at the Malaysian Grand Prix held in March this year.

As someone who is experienced in the regional racing scene, she tells The New Paper on Sunday what she has learnt over the years.

The 32-year-old says: "Anyone can be taught to race, but to become good at it requires the person to boldly go the extra mile."

Her advice to winning races is to learn to tackle corners properly as they can be the most decisive parts of the race.

It is not just about speed, but more about technique instead.

Miss Jedrek maintains: "At the corners, there is so much going on. You need to control your car to enter and exit the corner at precisely the right places."

Indeed, the corners are where the action is at with all the racers jostling for the best spot.

She advises drivers not to be rough as racing is a "gentle" sport.

She says: "For example, you can't jerk the steering wheel violently, you need to turn it gracefully in order to steer.

"And you will accelerate faster by smoothly pressing the pedal, rather than flooring it. There is a specific technique to everything."

As racing is as much about an athlete's mindset as his skill, Miss Jedrek advises drivers to develop a sense of focus.

This is because racing is an exact science, and there are many calculations going on in a racer's mind during a contest.

FOCUS

"You always have to be at full concentration when you are driving," she says.

The other thing that might throw drivers off is their emotions, and she tells racers to always keep their cool.

Miss Jedrek says: "If you are behind in the race, you can't think about that, you just have to keep going.

"And if you are in the lead, once you think about how you will pop the champagne and celebrate, you will be distracted."

"Racing is great because once your helmet is on, it is a level playing field. I am seen as a driver first, and woman second. I am not a 'female driver'.

"The only thing that matters is your skill."


This article was first published on May 31, 2015.
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