Carrie Paine is about to make her mark in racing as the first female driver in the Ferrari Challenge UK series, the 40 year old and mum of 3 can’t wait for the season to get underway following the delay due to the Covid-19 pandamic, we caught up with her to find out a little bit more…
Carrie, you’re going to be the first female drive in the Ferrari Challenge UK series – how did this happen?
‘Sometimes I ask myself the same question..I’ve always been competitive and have played competitive sport, Hockey being my chosen sport growing up and managed to represent my county and country for nearly 10 years! So I’ve always had a thirst for excitement and competitiveness.’
How does that lead to entering the UK Challenge Series
‘Well I have to thank my husband for that! He said to me one day, “do you know you can actually drive?!?” – not sure why he was so shocked?!? maybe there’s still that cliche of Women not being great drivers?! He followed that with mentioning about the UK Ferrari Challenge Series and how would I fancy entering? I didn’t even hesitate and said yes, ok I’ll give it a go! Not for one minute thinking about the fact I’ve NEVER been on track in a car, EVER!!’
What previous racing experience have you got?
‘The only time I’ve raced something with four wheels, is taking our children to the go-kart track on the occasional weekend! But none of that fazed me. So we made a few calls and the next thing, I was in the Ferrari dealership at GreyPaul Nottingham, chatting to Mario Vignalli about racing and representing their dealership. I left that day with the application form to fill out. The very next day the application form was filled at and emailed back!!!’
How has your preparation been going?
‘I now have a driver coach and I’ve been on track a few times, In various cars. My Audi R8 was the first car I took on track which, I’ll admit I was petrified at first but I spent the day going round and round Silverstone and became more confident with every lap. I’ve passed my race licence with Ferrari and have been on track a few times in my GT3RS’
The Covid-19 pandemic put Motorsport on hold so far in 2020, has this affected things?
‘Yes, lock down hit so I actually haven’t managed any time in my 488 Challenge car yet! But I’m due on track in the Challenge car on the 18th at Donington with my driver coach, getting some much needed lap time and learning the capabilities of the Challenge before the Series starts.’
You must be excited to start the season now it has been officially announced
‘The first race is at Brands 24th – 26th July and I’m pleased because, Brands is my favourite track so I’m excited to race here. My car is having its livery done in a week so that’ll be great seeing it all ready with my race number on! Am I apprehensive, of course! Am I nervous, I’d be silly not to be. But am I excited to put my flag in the sand for women in the Ferrari UK Challenge Series, too right!!’
Driving a Ferrari itself is pretty special, racing one even more so. We will be following Carrie’s progress throughout the season and wish her the best of luck!