“You’re a girl, you won’t make it”. I’m 14 and so is he.


CLARA DUPRÉ The first time I was confronted with in the automobile was when I…

“You’re a girl, you won’t make it”.  I’m 14 and so is he.

“You’re a girl, you won’t make it”. I’m 14 and so is he.


The first time I was confronted with in the automobile was when I started racing karting. The boys I raced with would reflect on me on and off the track. It was very hard at the beginning. One day, a competitor approaches me just before the start and swings at me: “You’re a girl, you won’t make it. We boys are bound to beat you. I was 14 and so were they.

My family was never really interested in the automobile industry until I set foot there. It all started the day my parents took me on a karting trip with friends, in Crolles (Isère), near my home. I was around 13 years old. We did a ten minute session. I immediately liked it. I redid a session. I came back to it again and again. Then one thing leading to another, I wanted to compete.

My first models, I discovered them while watching the Formula 1 (F1) Grand Prix on television. This is the queen category of motorsport, and the best known. Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen… By doing some research, I discovered that single-seater racing is a mixed discipline. There are no women in F1 or F2, but young girls manage to compete in other championships. Most of us are the same age. I say to myself: I can do it too.

“Behind the wheel, I feel in my place”

Becoming a pilot is my new goal. Around me, the boys are very numerous. And particularly immature. Mockery, insults… The first few times, it’s very hurtful. I give it my all, I’m pionate: we’re not ready to take that in the face. There are even parents who say to their son: “Do you realize? You came after the girl! As if it were really serious, when I’m a pilot like the others! Some coaches also allow themselves to make comments to me. But I’m not letting go.

Behind the wheel, I feel in my place. I like the speed, the mechanics, the fight that the pilots fight to set the best time. Being a pilot is not just about sitting down and driving. The runners follow an intense and daily physical preparation. Bodybuilding, cardio, cycling, indoor running sessions. We also do a lot of mental exercises, on simulators, to test our concentration and our reflexes.

At 18, I was selected to take part in the French Formula 4 championship. Out of sixteen drivers, I was the only woman. When I arrive on the circuit, some of my competitors do not even know that I am one of the pilots. One of them is particularly bad with me. I hear him say to the others: “That one, she’s just here to piss us off.” » On the track, he gives me the middle fingers. Others keep me out of discussions or simply ignore me. I then felt very isolated.

You have 60.24% of this article left to read. The following is for subscribers only.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *