The “Fast Lane” column joins Eileen Bildman at the Circuit of The Americas where the long-time Ferrari Challenge competitor is the leading lady in the Coppa Shell Am category. Always a stand-out on the track with her flaming red Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo, Eileen sat down with us to share some of her experience and perspective on the Ferrari Challenge series.
What made you decide to compete in the Ferrari Challenge?
“I have a love of racing, and I was having a lot of trouble with the shifting as a lot of race cars are manual transmissions. So I went to a paddle shift car to simplify that portion and really focus on the driving. I always loved Ferraris and just thought it was the right place to be.”
What is your favorite circuit?
“Well that’s pretty funny. My favorite is Road Atlanta and we were just there in March for Ferrari Racing Days. I absolutely love that circuit and I also love Laguna Seca which is coming up next on the schedule for us. One that I struggle with more is here at the Circuit of The Americas. The heat at COTA is something that I struggle with, particularly this weekend as the temperatures are so high. It’s a long track and there are just a lot of intricate parts that are very technical.”
The feature you most appreciate in the 488 Challenge EVO?
“The new steering wheel is mega, its easy to manipulate and the buttons are very friendly.”
Do you have any rituals before you get out on track?
“I always try to close my eyes and think and say: OK, Kevin you have to be with me – that’s my son – you’re in the car with me in spirit.”
Which race do you remember the most fondly?
“For sure it was Road Atlanta in 2016. As I mentioned Road Atlanta is one of my favorite tracks and that year I was battling for position, I was battling with everyone and I placed first for the Ladies’ Cup and top ten overall and on the lead lap. It was like all of a sudden the clouds parted and it all made sense. I’m waiting for that to happen this weekend.”
Stream all the Ferrari Challenge action from Laguna Seca on live.ferrari.com and on the @Ferrariraces Facebook page.