Courtesy of Sharon Cox
‘P2 this afternoon here in Assen – love this track, crazy fast! Things looking good for tomorrow, we’ll see how it goes ’
Vicky Piria shows excitement, passion and strong sense of knowing where she belongs- even after taking 5 year break from actual racing. Such displays of fervant spirit to mix it up with WSeries hand selected 18 Women drivers was no more evident than in the first-ever Women F3 Series Race 5 at Assen at the weekend.
Completing Free Practice sessions posting P8 and P2 consecutively, the 25 year old Italian had fun, enjoying confidence boost gained over racing Series from Opening Race at Hockenheim on May 3rd through to reverse grid race at Assen on Sunday ( which was non-Championship points).
#11: ‘I really liked Assen, it’s a fun and fast track to drive. Free Practice 1 was great, finished P8 but just a tenth off the top 5 then FP2 was great as I nailed a lap and ended P2′.
‘Unfortunately I had an engine issue in qualifying that didn’t give me the chance to improve so ended 12th. Had a good race and then caught up to the 8th position on Saturday’s points finishing race. Sunday I started 11th and after losing a lot of positions to avoid a crash I finished 9th. My pace was great so I was very happy with that’.
Having tasted first race experience in Karting at 8 years of age, Vicky knows all too well how tough the sport is- not only climbing ranks to F3, but also to gain confirmation to race over one full calendar season.
The opportunity for selection of WSeries couldn’t have come at better time, as Vicky has talent, has drive to succeed given #11 has already notched debut racing GP3 Series in 2012 and European F3 Open in 2013 finishing 10th in points.
#11: ‘In a way I wish this opportunity for me came earlier, after my GP3 and F3 years. It has been difficult to get back into racing after 5 years but I feel I have improved so much in these races and I am a better driver’.
‘The first races were difficult, also mentally to accept the fact I needed a little more time… but I’m getting better and better and that’s the main thing’.
And the race car. WSeries 18 drivers race same car: Tatuus F3 T-318 meeting FIA F3 specifications. Definitely confirms level playing field amongst drivers on grid while at same time ramps up opportunity to gain advantage through driver ingenuity during racing.
#11: ‘Racing the same car – it’s quite different. We share data so we can see where we need to improve and how. We can’t play with the car too much, so we are pushed to always adapt our driving style. I believe it is very formative and as you can note the grid is very close!’
Over years of developing talent in Karting, then almighty passion kicks in to race- and race single seater- commitment levels get pushed higher and so does finding financial backing.
Vicky has taken alot on board, mentally and emotionally hammering out race contracts, waiting for the ‘yes- we have the money and you can race on Sunday’- even when told only 3 days before actual race weekend. Such a toll can affect drivers belief in themselves, where doubt creeps in real or imagined taking hold on mental focus to achieve racing goals.
Yet, all the while, Vicky has remained resolute, not wavering, celebrating oppotunity to learn, improve and yes- race!
#11: ‘I think the top drivers have mainly four qualities: talent, consistency, experience and self-confidence’.
‘You can learn but you need to have the talent while you can work on the consistency and self-confidence through experience. It is very easy to second-guess your ability if you haven’t got the experience but at the end of the day I am drawn to a race-track in some way or another… it’s just natural for me’.
With each WSeries Races clocking up valuable race-time #11 has made valuable head-way in Overall standings finishing Race 1 at Hockenheim in 15th place, Race 2 at Zolder 9th, and Race 3 at Misano a game changer climbing to 5th postion on race day.
#11: ‘I like Misano and it is the only track I know well in the Championship. As we don’t have too much track time, it did make a difference. I arrived at the race with the goal of a top 5, so I did just that. It was purely a mental result, mixed with the confidence of knowing the track very well’.
Knowing there are confirmed 6 races for drivers in WSeries is something else- freeing up drivers trains of thought, focus, mental tenacity to actually improving racing on track. Vicky is up-front in acknowledging fact, and one which is full credit to WSeries management.
#11: ‘I remember racing in Monza in the final race of F3 and only knowing about it just a few hours earlier. It does change for sure your mind-set and preparation but you can still be fast’.
Heading into WSeries Final Round at Brands Hatch UK in 3 weeks, Vicky takes pride in accomplishments so far, standing 10th Overall in Championship. #11 has certainly enjoyed whole experience and is more than enthusiastic on new frontiers being paved for Women drivers in WSeries and for the future.
#11: ‘I have improved in many things just as the other drivers, we are all on a higher level now. I’d say that the reverse grid race on Sunday at Assen was a great learning experience, fun too!’