Driv­ing am­bi­tion

The first woman to win an F3 class race at Brands Hatch, Bath-born Jamie Chad­wick is on a new rac­ing mis­sion

Somerset Life - - JAMIE CHADWICK - WORDS: Mica Bale PHO­TOS: Gary Par­ra­vani

Jamie Chad­wick made his­tory when she be­came the first woman to win a F3 class race at Brands Hatch in Au­gust. Now, wth the che­quered flag un­der her belt, her sights are firmly set on fu­ture F1 goals.

She says: “It’s in­cred­i­ble. I think ul­ti­mately for me, it’s just about win­ning races and ob­vi­ously be­ing the first fe­male is just the ic­ing on the cake. For the whole year it’s been my goal to be on the top step and to be chas­ing those wins, so to fi­nally get the win and cel­e­brate it with the team, it’s a great feel­ing.”

The 20-year-old says her in­ter­est in F3 started with sib­ling ri­valry.

“I fol­lowed my brother into kart­ing; he doesn’t race any more so F3 is some­thing I did on my own. That was what ini­tially in­ter­ested me in the sport, it was the fact he had gone kart­ing and came home brag­ging about how good he was. I think sib­ling ri­valry kicked in and I wanted to go and com­pete against him; that was my first taste of mo­tor­sport.”

She con­tin­ues: “It was some­thing I did just for fun, it wasn’t un­til I pro­gressed into Geneta Juniors that I started to view it as a po­ten­tial ca­reer and ob­vi­ously now in F3 it’s def­i­nitely some­thing I’d lock my sights on do­ing pro­fes­sion­ally.”

She be­lieves that her en­vi­ron­ment grow­ing up has played a ma­jor part in her suc­cess.

“We have al­ways been a close

fam­ily and even though I have a ri­valry with my brother it is for fun. I don’t come from a wealthy fam­ily or a fam­ily of mo­tor rac­ing fans, it is some­thing that just de­vel­oped. As a fam­ily we spend a lot of time to­gether and I like noth­ing bet­ter than be­ing at home for one of my mother’s bril­liant In­dian meals.

“Grow­ing up and liv­ing in Bath has been a huge help. Bath is cool and just a nice place to be. It has such beau­ti­ful build­ings, great shops and lots to do. It is fan­tas­tic for a young per­son grow­ing up be­cause you have all the fa­cil­i­ties of a city but with­out the same pres­sures as other places.

“Som­er­set is like that as a whole. I don’t think there is any­where bet­ter be­cause it has a great coast line, great coun­try­side and some bril­liant towns. There is a feel-good fac­tor about Som­er­set and be­ing born here gives you a great start in life.”

As any F3 driver would tes­tify, the dream is to en­ter F1 and rub shoul­ders with those that have al­ready made the step.

Jamie says: “It’s the pin­na­cle of mo­tor­sport and I think any young driver’s dream is to get there. Ob­vi­ously it’s a long way away yet and there’s a lot of work to do be­fore I can look to com­pete in For­mula 1. There will be bar­ri­ers along the way, no doubt about it. It’s a phys­i­cal sport so I’ve got to work hard in the gym and on the men­tal side too. I will give it ev­ery­thing I’ve got and hope­fully one day it’s pos­si­ble.”

As a woman in a typ­i­cally male-dom­i­nated sport, Chad­wick is ea­ger to achieve her best on her own merit and is de­ter­mined to not let her gender be either a bar­rier or an ad­van­tage.

“If I’m scrap­ing the bar­rel in F3, strug­gling to fin­ish sixth or seventh next year, then I don’t de­serve to be in F1. It’s as black and white as that and any of my spon­sors should feel the same.

“Just be­cause I’m a fe­male doesn’t give me the right or a free pass to For­mula One. I’ve got to be do­ing well, I’ve got to be win­ning. If I’m win­ning and still strug­gling to make it any­where, then I’ve got a bit more of an ar­gu­ment.”

‘I don’t come from a wealthy fam­ily or a fam­ily of mo­tor rac­ing fans, it is some­thing that just de­vel­oped’

Jamie has al­ways en­joyed sport and out­door pur­suits. “I def­i­nitely would have had some sort of ca­reer in sport whether it was pro­fes­sional or not, sport has been my pas­sion ever since I was very young. I loved all sport, par­tic­u­larly ski­ing and hockey, which were def­i­nitely two I re­ally wanted to see if I could pur­sue pro­fes­sion­ally, but now I’m in mo­tor­sport that’s my main fo­cus.”

She says she en­joys be­ing out on her moun­tain bike or go­ing to the gym and adds: I like see­ing my friends - eat­ing out is a big one. I’m big into my food so when I get the op­por­tu­nity to branch out of my rac­ing diet I like to make the most of it.”

Mo­tor­sports is both phys­i­cally and men­tally de­mand­ing and re­quires a stren­u­ous fit­ness pro­gramme. Jamie says: “I do quite a lot of work with strength and con­di­tion­ing in the gym to make sure when I’m in the car I don’t have any is­sues with fa­tigue. It’s quite a phys­i­cal sport, there’s a lot of g-force go­ing through your body and with no power steer­ing in F3, the weight is quite heavy. It’s a very phys­i­cal sport and with the heat some­times you have to deal with, car­dio can be very im­por­tant, so I have a fairly strict fit­ness regime that I have to stick to over the sea­son, and then off sea­son we use the time to try and push as hard as we can.”

Set to be an am­bas­sador for young and emerg­ing driv­ers of the fu­ture, she re­marks: “If I could give ad­vice to any young as­pir­ing rac­ing driv­ers, I’d just say give it a go, go to your lo­cal kart track and try it out and see how you get on, be­cause I fell into it by accident. Also, don’t think that this kind of thing hap­pens to other peo­ple. As I said, I was born in Bath which is a fab­u­lous place but not fa­mous for pro­duc­ing rac­ing driv­ers. Where you start is im­por­tant but where your jour­ney takes you is also very im­por­tant.”

Jamie Chad­wick cel­e­brates her win

ABOVE:Jamie Chad­wick

Jamie Chad­wick races ahead

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