The new generation of female drivers is racing in the tracks of those women who came before. And they are hoping to change the motor-racing industry forever. Among the youngest of them is 15-year-old Astrid Lynn of New Jersey, who has the F-1 in her sights.
CGTN’s Liling Tan reports.
Coming in at five feet two inches tall and a hundred and five pounds, 15 -year -old Astrid Lynn packs a big punch in her souped-up BMW E36.
“I just get this complete adrenaline rush every single time I’m in a car and it’s really different than anything I’ve ever tried sports-wise. Soccer, softball, anything really, it’s just been my go-to.” Said Astrid Lynn.
Astrid began racing go-karts at eight-years-old. By 13, she made her transition from a go-kart to cars, receiving her permit to drive at speed on a race track.
“My ultimate dream is to become the first female Formula 1 driver,” Lynn said.
After years of training in karting and driving, Astrid has now begun the process of getting her competition license, which would put her on the right track for her career in professional racing. But the road here hasn’t been an easy one for a young girl in a man’s sporting world.
“They kind of look me up and down and they go ‘Really, you’re a girl, you’re so short, you’re so tiny, you’re driving a big car, how does that work,’ And I go, well it’s just like anything else. I’m in a seat, it’s something that I love to do and that’s what I do.
It’s a pretty big deal. I’m racing out there with a bunch of males, and I’m the only girl most of the time, and I do as good or better than they do,’ Lynn said.
Astrid has an advantage she comes from a racing family, with her parents Scott and Michele fully invested in the dream.
“The three of us are like the three musketeers at the track. We just live, eat and breathe this. At dinner time, our discussion is what do we need to do to win at the next race. We’re not talking about the typical teenage stuff that may be going on in other households. This is purely our focus,” Michele said.
“And I do hear from time to time, “You let your daughter do this ” No, I don’t let my daughter do this. My daughter does this because she wants to do this. The success of Astrid in the racing world is completely up to her. If she decides one day “I don’t want to do this anymore,” that’s fine. I don’t think that’s the case,” Astrid’s father, Scott Lynn said.
Support counts for a lot, especially in this very expensive sport.
“To get Astrid where she needs to be and where she wants to be will take millions of dollars. Will she get there Yeah, she will. She’ll have to learn also the business end of what it takes to secure sponsors. We’ve been the financiers so far through this racing, but there’s only a certain budget that’s available to do that,” Scott said.
As luck – and talent – would have it, Astrid has attracted the attention of Wurth USA, the American arm of the German tools company Wurth Group, which this month became Astrid’s partner and first official sponsor.
It’s another sign of shifting gender dynamics in racing, where opportunities for female drivers have been
“She’s at this great point that I wish existed when I was her age or even when I was twenty. You know finally there’s this opportunity to get out there and show yourself. Before it was so hard to find any teams that would even want a girl on their team, cos they thought you’d be like sitting in the paddock drying your hair and putting on make-up and stuff. So it’s just changed so dramatically as far as the way that people really perceive having a woman on your team is kind of a bonus now for a lot of people.” Said Kelsy Hill, racing driver and family friend.
And with a competition license in the works and a sponsor in the bag, that’s exactly what Astrid is gearing up to prove.