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Digital Subscriptions > Vroom International > n. 202 April 2018 > Woman in motorsports

Woman in motorsports

Motorsport is often considered a purely male discipline. A dimension where women hold an almost minimal role and, as we know, the first approach to the world of four wheel racing is via karting. Why we’d like to take a closer look at the world of women in kart racing. In fact, there are many young girls who literally try their hand at karting from an early age and proceed through the ranks to the top series.

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Nowadays there are many racing women we can cite as examples, starting from the first and only woman to ever gain points in Formula 1, the legendary Lella Lombardi, sixth during the Spanish Grand Prix 1975. Lella, like many others after her, has raised motorsport’s so-called pink quotas with results and filled pages in various categories, and more ought to be done especially as the passion for engines is often described as feminine. It was Enzo Ferrari who said, after all, that “a car is like a daughter.” On this subject, we at Vroom Karting Magazine, decided to delve deeper with the help of two exceptional “godmothers”: Vittoria Piria and Beitske Visser, two racers and former kartistes, still in love with that world that gave them their start. In speaking to Beitske and Vittoria, it becomes even easier to understand how the passion for this sport is in all respects universal, and without distinction.

VITTORIA PIRIA

Born in Milan in 1993, the young driver long ventured into karting racing with dual licenses, Italian and British. Her career path later led her to single-seaters, touching Formula Renault, Formula Abarth, GP3 and Formula 3 Open and more.

Vicky, motorsport is often considered a sport for men only, but let’s debunk this belief. What allowed you to get close to motorsport?

My brother and my father got me closer to this sport. My brother motivated me and my father accompanied us in our first steps. Joey, my brother, after a few years stopped but he has never stopped cheering for me.

What’s your first karting memory?

My very first memory linked to karting was of a Comer 50 Baby on a trolley with its new slick tires. I have that image still strongly impressed in my mind and at first sight I realized that I liked new tires so much! I also have many memories of feelings related to my first experiences, practically 15 years ago with the Pacitto Racing Kart team during a hot summer where I’d go race at Atina, a track that’s no longer there!

What are the sensations inside your helmet before a race?

There’s never the same feeling. It often depends on where you start on the grid! Of sure, a sense of adrenaline but also strong concentration and attention.

In which kart categories did you run and what results did you obtain?

I embarked on a path that today I don’t think can be done easily. We would race, take it one year at a time, and every year we gave ourselves a slightly larger objective. Win the regional with the 60 WTP, move on to the 100 Junior and arriving second at the regional up to running the CIK cup and races of the Italian. As I grew, the objectives also grew and, from the regional competitions, I arrived at the Open Master in KF3 at 14. The year after I went to single-seater.

What advice would you like to give to all the girls who are starting out or would like to start racing?

When I started running I would read the advice of champions for those like me who had just started, and I was always disappointed to read: “first thing, have fun.” Today, the best advice I can give is: when you have fun, you work better and, above all, you drive faster, better. So, have fun first, give yourself goals and go step by step, try to learn as much as possible always.

Do you still follow karting?

Unfortunately I’m a bit out of touch and time is always so lacking! I would love to go back and see some good races and, above all, go back to race a kart soon!

Side, Vicky Piria (11) busy in the days of karting. Clear path for the Italian, later in single-seater (opening)

BEITSKE VISSER AT WORK DURING HER JOURNEY IN FORMULA RENAULT 3.5

Exclusive to Vroom, we talked to a few of the emerging talents in karting, women varying in age, nationality, category and championships, but all passionate about one thing: racing.

BEITSKE VISSER

Born in 1995, the Dutch woman from Droten, achieved good results in karting, especially in the KZ season of 2010. Also for her, a quick transition into Formula, from ADAC, Formula Renault 3.5, GP, up to GT4 European Series Southern Cup with the BMW Junior team. Beitske, what did karting teach you?

I learned everything there, right from the beginning, especially close combat. In karting you learn how to deal with it very well.

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About Vroom International

In this issue: FWT SPECTACULAR FINISH! US Rok Cup rocks in third and final race in Orlando, Florida LEGEND 1994 FSA World Championship I Love kart WOMAN IN MOTORSPORTS VITTORIA PIRIA, BEITSKE VISSER, NATALIA BALBO, REBECCA GUARGUAGLINI, TAYLAH AGIUS, MARTA GARCIA, CHIARA ZORZI, GAIA CARDINALI, ASIA MONDINO, HANNAH LANG, MAYA WEUG, TANJA MÜLLER, KETHERYNE RODRIGUES, VICKI BRIAN, JILLIAN FICHTER, NEREA MARTÍ MAN OF THE MONTH JARNO TRULLI INTERVIEW TERRY FULLERTON / JARNO ZAFFELLI TRACK TEST WIDE VS NARROW RADIATOR CLOSE UP ACADEMY TROPHY HISTORIC KART KOMET K12 / FOX GO-BOY