Last year a lot of “firsts” for me. First year driving my own car (previously had co-driven with other people); first year developing a race car; first year running in open class as a woman. I took a 2005 Mazda RX8 that I had purchased for $2,000 as a winter beater, decided I loved it too much to let it get rusty in New England, and I turned it into a full-bore race car. You can read about how I built the car here.
The car was more successful and fun to drive than I even could have imagined! Perhaps that’s where my being a woman comes in handy – a complete lack of shyness to ask for help and advice. Most people are more than willing to help in any way they can, and I soaked up as much knowledge as I could stuff into my brain and ran with it. While I’m not afraid to jump in and wrench on a car, I couldn’t have done it without my fiancé Andrew Kyrstinik who helped me build the car from the ground up, and our friend and co-driver Jeff Hurst, who was the mastermind of suspension tuning and taught me invaluable information. Also, huge thanks to Mazda Motorsports for their continuing support of racers.