Car Racing first began around the middle of the nineteenth Century. The first recorded automobile race in the United States was said to be from Chicago to Illinois and back in 1895. Today, automobile racing is one of the more popular sporting activities with lots of titles based on the automobile, race course and other requirements. Currently what is also trending in race car driving is more and more women entering the field.
As with any other sport, there are those who set the stage for spectators to come and one such pioneer female race car driver is Danica Sue Patrick. Patrick’s claim to fame came in 2008 when she made history in Indy Car Racing, becoming the first and only woman to win a race in the history of professional American open-wheel racing. She finished the 200-lap race 5.8594 seconds ahead of Helio Castroneves, a then two-time Indy 500 champ. Danica Sue Patrick is a retired American professional racing driver.
Yet, her impact and influence linger. Nowadays in the car racing spotlight is Jamaican-born Natasha Chang, fondly called “China Doll”, paying homage to both her Chinese heritage and beauty. In fact, Chang has been ranked number eight (8) in the Yeah! Motor website ranking of the twenty-five (25) Most Beautiful Race Car Drivers in the World.
This Car Racing Driver “‘China Doll” is much more than a beautiful driver. In an interview with Jamaicans.com when asked about Patrick’s achievements, Chang replied, “ I was happy that a female could accomplish such a great title, and to prove what all us girls stand for.” Chang went further to explain that “my favourite part of being a race car driver is that I am the most unlikely person you would think is the race car driver. Hahaha”
Where did this interest in car racing come from really? Surely it is not the norm for her background. Some even suggesting that her unusual background as an Asian-Jamaican female driver brought her to the attention of the racing scene early in her career. According to Chang, it was more her competitive spirit, coupled with a love of speed that likely drew her to car racing as a career.
Some are describing Natasha Chang as Jamaica’s Danica Patrick. While Natasha Chang applauds and appreciates Patrick’s contribution, notably Chang suggests to future female drivers, to move away from thinking of being a female in a male sport and instead think about being a competitor working to do their best. Even with integrating modelling and radio personality into her work activities, Chang walks her talk. Working to do her best in 2019 lands her in the Guinness World Book of Records as having made the fastest ascent up Doi Chang mountain, Thailand, by car.
Chang first made her mark in international car racing in 2006 participating at the Palisades International Speedway with the Jet Con Race Team. Two years later, she got her very own racing car, an RWD Corolla DX, and won several Dexterity racing events and a Dover racing event. Then some years later in 2013, the car racing driver “China Doll” became the first Jamaican female to compete in the Caribbean Motor Racing Championship (CMRC).
Her greatest driver inspiration comes from David Summerbell. Also, Chang says she is happiest witnessing the great support from her partner, team, and friends.
As this twenty-six-year-old continues her car racing career, she is mindful of the need to work at keeping fit. She is well aware that her physical fitness plays a vital role in her chosen career and stresses that she has to be extremely fit and be able to maintain a high level of endurance. Rally Jamaica is a two-day event, with an entire day of racing. Your body and mind have to be prepared for that ride, noted Natasha in a recent interview. Quite obviously this “China Doll” Chang, Jamaican race car driver is willing to continue to work her body and mind to climb the ascent of the pinnacle of her success.
By Kerriann Toby
Kerriann Toby is a dynamic therapist currently pursuing her Doctorate of Psychology (PsyD). She is a member of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) and has trained as a cyber counselor. Her areas of experience, expertise, and interest include child development, sexual and reproductive health, gender-related matters, marriage and family life and promoting the idea of positive psychology, using strengths to support mental health and wellbeing.
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