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Interview with Cyndie Allemann

Female drivers are taking over the world of motorsports. For sure, everybody that loves racing will know who Danica Patrick is. But, Danica Patrick is not the only female driver which is fast and good looking. There is also a Swiss race driver, named Cyndie Allemann, which is talented, good looking and very fast. After impressive results in Europe, she made her trip to the United States. But, what will 2010 and her further career bring to her? RacingInside.com spoke to Cyndie Allemann in an exclusive interview.

Cyndie AllemannHi Cyndie! You are one of the fastest ladies in racing and a lot of people will know that you are a very talented lady. Could you please give a short introduction about yourself to the visitors that do not know you?
Hi, my name is Cyndie Allemann. I am a female race driver from Switzerland and I am 23 years old.

How did you get involved in racing? Have you always wanted to become a racedriver yourself? Did your parents always support you?
First, I wanted to start riding a motorcycle when I was 6 years old. But, my dad was already involved in go-karting as a driver and as a mechanic for my brother, who is 2 years older than me. So my dad proposed me to try the go-kart first as he thought it was less dangerous than riding a motorcycle. Since I tried it when I was 7 years old, I have never stopped. All my family was involved, as my dad was the mechanic of my brother and my mother was my mechanic.

Since I left the go-kart, my family is still very involved in go-karting. But, they always support me for my car races. The passion of this sport has grown up along the years and when I was about 14 or 15 years old I knew I wanted to be a professional driver.

You have started your career in karting and became the first female European Champion back in 1999. Did you enjoy your period in karting and do you think karting will be an essential step in the career of a racedriver?
Karting is in my opinion the best school to get ready to car racing. It is not only a good school where you learn the technical part and also the racing part, but you also have some fun driving those little cars… A lot of contact, overtaking and much track time. For me, karting is one of the best souvenirs of my life.

You and your brother are both very successful in racing, and especially karting. Is there a big competition between the both of you when you are driving?
Lol. For sure there is a lot of competition but my brother has been my teacher for many years and sometimes the student overtakes the teacher…. That’s what happens sometimes. But we both know that we have the same level and on some tracks, he will be faster and on some other, I will be faster.

You have raced in different formula cars throughout the years. For example, you have raced with the Formula Renault, Formula 3 and Indy Lights. What are the main differences between all the cars you have driven throughout your career?
Formula Renault is a good start after karting, it is not too fast and this car teaches you to drive with low grip. After Formula Renault, when you jump to a F3 car, the feeling is so much better! A lot of downforce and very fast… I had a lot of fun driving the F3… Indy Lights is an older car than a F3 and is also made for oval, so for me the best car ever to drive on road courses is the F3 car for sure.

Cyndie Allemann driving Indy LightsYou have raced in Europe and the United States. Do you think there is a difference between the world of racing in America and the world of racing in Europe?
I think that there are some differences. The biggest one I have noticed is that the show in US is a lot more important that in Europe. In Europe the only thing that counts is to be the fastest and that’s what the European spectators are looking for, in opposite to the US, where spectators are waiting for the show at first place and after that there is the racing part for them.

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?
My best moment is when I won the karting European Championship when I was 13 years old. But I have a lot of good moments that I will never forget. I have had some bad moments like crashes, but there is nothing I want to forget because you learn from your mistakes.

Like mentioned before, you have driven in several championships and cars. What are your plans for the 2010 season and what are the goals in your further career?
2009 did not go the way I wanted with the Indy Lights as I had some financial issues in the beginning of 2009. So 2009 has been a year where I could check different series and see what would be the best for my career in 2010.

If you could change your life with another racedriver for just one day, who will be the one you are changing with?
There is only one answer: Danica Patrick.

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.?
I agree sometimes it is very hard. A female driver always needs to prove that she can drive and even when she has proved it, it is hard sometimes to get the respect but I have learnt through the years how it works and how to handle this problem.

Cyndie Allemann driving Formula 3Although the race driver is the one that really scores the results, there are always a lot of people on the background that also have a big influence on the results and career of a race driver (sponsors, mechanics etc.). Is there a special person in your career that you would like to thank, and why is that person special to you?
This is totally right and without good teams, sponsors, you don’t go anywhere. This is why I always say that even if racing looks like an individual sport, if the driver doesn’t have the spirit of working together with his team, he/she won’t win!

So yes, I want to thank my family, my sponsors and the different teams I have been racing with for their job. Because without them, I wouldn’t be a race car driver today.

Many people think that the life of a racedriver 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 racedriver?
The financial side is the hardest part for sure, and I think at the moment I am more of a business woman then a race car driver.

What would you like to say to everyone that is dreaming of a career in racing?
You have to be really passionate, focussed on doing it and working hard. You have to keep dreaming about it and never give up, because otherwise you will regret it.