Interview with Karline Stala

Karline Stala, she is a phenomenom in the world of racing. This Latvian girl became the first girl ever to win a championship in singleseaters. Stala won the title in Formula Renault 1.6 and later on drove to some good results in Formula 3. Unfortunately, she runned out of budget and was not able to get at the start of the 2009 season. But, Stala is eager to come back! spoke to Karline Stala about her future.

Karline StalaKarline, you are a talented female driver. Unfortunately, a lot of our visitors will not know who you are.  Could you please give a short introduction about yourself to the visitors that do not know you?
My name is Karline Stala, I am from Latvia. I am a racing driver and this year I have finished B level studies and gained a degree in Business Administration.

How did you get involved in racing? Have you always wanted to become a race driver yourself? Did your parents always support you?
I started with go-karts at the age of 14. It was not that I always wanted to be a racing driver, but when I tried a go-kart just for fun I could not stop anymore. My parents are my main supporters all the time and they are my biggest fans.

You have started your career, like many other drivers, in karting. Did you enjoy your period in karting and do you think karting will be an essential step in the career of a race driver?
I enjoyed karting very much; it allowed me to develop all the necessary physical, mental and technical skills for racing. So I think it is very important first step for a racing career.

You have raced in different formula cars throughout the years. For example, you have raced Formula Renault 1.6 and Formula 3 and tested World Series by Renault Formula Renault 3.5. What are the main differences between all the cars you have driven throughout your career? Which car, do you think, is the most exciting to drive?
There is always a difference when you go from one car to another. The greatest difference and the most exciting was when I have had a chance to test a World Series by Renault car as a price for winning the Formula Renault 1.6 championship.

In 2008 you had some good races in Formula 3 in Germany and you did well. Why aren’t you driving in 2009?
This year came with a great changes in economics so it was hard to get funds for racing, but again this allowed me to successfully finish my studies.

Stala driving Formula 3Are you still eyeing a drive for the remainder of the 2009 season or are you already focussed on the 2010 season? What are your options for your further career?
I am eyeing a drive all the time, but the main focus now is to the season 2010. My option is to drive in Formula 3 class.

Every race driver has good and bad moments during his career. What is your best moment in racing, until now? What is the moment you would like to forget as soon as possible?
I have had many good moments, but the best one is winning the title in Formula Renault 1.6 in 2007.

I already forgot all the bad moments, so I cannot tell you about my worst moment.

If you could change your life with another race driver for just one day, who will be the one you are changing with?
I would change with Jenson Button.

Is it hard to keep standing as a female driver in a world which is mainly filled by male drivers? What reactions do you get from other drivers, supporters, teams etc.?
It was hard at the beginning, but now I am not feeling any pressure.  All the reactions are more positive than negative.

Stala testing World Series by Renault Formula Renault 3.5Many people think that the life of a race driver is all fun and just a dream. But if you take a look to the ‘inside’ of racing, what is the hardest part of being a race driver?
In order to achieve the best driver needs speed, support (sponsors or money) and luck. For me the hardest part is waiting for the next season (funding and choosing the right option). It is not easy to step from one car to another, if it is faster and more complicated.  For me it is very important to get used to a car, but almost always there is very short time given for that. This is also caused by the fact that I can not afford much testing. But the moment when you feel the best of the car and can just enjoy racing is the best one and all the difficulties are forgotten.

What would you like to say to everyone that is dreaming of a career in racing?
If you feel yourself as a racing driver and have all the necessary skills then work hard and believe in your dreams and yourself.  I am sure your dreams will come true!