World Women’s Day: Tonia Attard, US Editor

 

Tonia Attard, US editor

I have always had a thing for speed. Even when I learned to walk, I didn’t—I ran. That can perhaps be traced back to my parents, both of whom worked in various types of racing during the 60s and 70s.

It could also just be the way I’m made: the way the sound of a engine shattering a still morning stirs my soul like nothing else can, the way rounded fenders and wide wheels make my heart skip a beat, that’s just me. I would rather be elbow deep in an engine at a dirt track than out shopping any day.

That’s not to say I don’t enjoy doing things that are typically considered to be feminine—I do—just not as much as working on cars and watching racing: and by racing, I mean real racing, as it was when legends thundered down the hallowed walls of epic tracks like Indy, Monza, Monte Carlo, and the little dirt tracks of North Carolina.

I’m an indiscriminate race fan. If it has wheels and rolls and can be raced, I’m pretty much game. Again, perhaps that is attributed to the people I grew up with, or perhaps it’s my own competitive nature. I will watch, on television and live, any racing I can: dirt cars, sprint cars, NASCAR, Indy Car, hill climbs, and of course my favorite—Formula 1. There is nothing like Formula 1, the sounds those car make are the stuff dreams are made of, and they have been in my dreams for more years than I can count.

There is something special about every series: something magical about the sideways slide of a dirt car, the high banks of Daytona, and the vastness of Indy. There is nothing, however, like the feeling that emanates from Monza when the Ferraris roll onto the track, nothing like the tight corners of Spa, or the complicated nature of Hockenheim. Formula 1 is something special, something intangible, something…dare I say, magical? It is, and for any fan you need not explain it further.

That all being said, without question Michelle Mouton is my favorite female driver. Yes, I realize she was a rally driver (did I mention I love rallying too?) but she was a damn good one. I knew the first time I saw her drive I was seeing something special. She could really drive, and she still can. There is no need for her to pose for PlayBoy or lay across a car for attention—she could drive one, and her driving spoke for itself. She was brilliant and bold and always behaved with class, while still remaining fun and exciting, both on and off the track. She hung the rear end of her Audi Quattro over the edge of Pikes Peak without fear and gave the men a run for their money every time she was in the car. As if that wasn’t enough, she could work on her own car too. She was a mechanic, a driver—and to this woman, a hero.

Speed is still my thing. I drive too fast (although carefully, of course) all the time. I live for those moments of open road when I turn my car loose and I can revel in the sound of the engine. I wait impatiently all winter for the next spring when the sweet sounds of engines roar to life and my soul smiles again.

World Women’s Day: Donna Marie, Deputy Editor

World Women’s Day

March 7, 2017

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Donna Marie, deputy editor

When I was asked to write about myself for World Women’s Day I thought, “That’s an easy one!”—after all, I can be summed up in one word: lunatic!

I love F1 and DTM. Anything silly makes me laugh, and I am obsessed with minions; those little yellow guys never fail to make me laugh! I work in a coffee shop with two lovely guys (I had better say that in case they read this!). I am so lucky to love my job, and get to chat to all our lovely customers every day. I totally love animals: we have two cats and I also have a (very spoiled) dog that lives with my mum. I have been lucky enough to live in many different places including Ireland, Spain, and the Netherlands. My Spanish is pretty good but I don’t miss living there! I love cars and always have done. If I had to pick my top three cars, I guess they would be the BMW Isetta, Mercedes C63 AMG Black series, and the Bentley Continental GT.

I first got into F1 due to my dad and brother watching it and have been a long time supporter of Williams, but these days I’m more of a driver fan than a team fan. My all-time favourite driver is Ralf Schumacher; for the last few years I’ve supported Nico Rosberg but as he has left the building I have had to find a new driver to support in 2017, and after much deliberation I decided on Nico Hulkenberg: I’ve always thought he was a very underrated driver and a future world champion!

Besides motorsport I enjoy playing games—Lego Batman is my favourite at the moment. I’m a fan of NFL and support the Tennessee Titans, I love music and am slightly obsessed with Chad Kroeger’s voice! Nickelback is one of my favourite bands, but to be honest I like most music. I have way too many shoes, clothes, bags, hats, and scarves, I love crazy hats and can often be seen wearing an angry bird on my head—not a real bird of course, even I’m not that loopy…I think!

Oh, and I once dressed up as a banana!

World Women’s Day: Julia Paradowska, PR and Social Media

 

Julia Paradowska

I am Julia and I live in Poland. Everybody says that I am a girl who loves laughing and I love making people happy, but I think maybe I talk too much. I love the town where I live but I dream about travelling (and I hope one day to write a book about my journeys). Last year, I learnt to drive. I bake a lot of cakes but don’t eat a lot of them: seeing people who like them and enjoy eating them makes me happy enough. I also like shoes, bags and painting my nails, and shopping is my biggest addiction.

My big passion is photography. With my camera or my phone, I take photos of everything I can. I think that photography shows who I am, through my feelings and my perspective of the world. I hope that one day I’ll take photos of really fast cars.

My second big passion is Formula One. It’s not a problem for me to wake up at 5:00 a.m. just to watch a Grand Prix. I started watching F1 in 2006 because of Robert Kubica, but even though I still follow him I didn’t stop watching F1 after his crash like many Polish fans did. Many people with whom I talk the most think that racing is boring, and they are surprised that I watch F1. It is hard for me to say what I like most about F1: it’s like asking a mother to explain why she loves her children.

I support many drivers. I don’t need to support only one driver or one team; I have my favourite ones but I try to be objective. If somebody asks me which Grand Prix I’d most want to watch live, I’d choose Belgium, Singapore or Italy (it’s impossible to properly feel the Monza atmosphere on TV).

Many people ask me why I don’t write about F1—the answer is that I’m not that good at writing. I prefer to talk about it, on Twitter with my followers. I enjoy having conversations on The Pit Crew Online account and getting to know your opinions. In my real life there aren’t a lot of people with whom I can talk about F1. I also like learning about the history of motorsport, and that’s why I started #OnThisDayInF1.

I admire Susie Wolff. She is my favourite female in motorsport because she wants to show that women are a big part of motorsports too. I like her D2BD initiative and I think that that kind of support will help a lot of girls who dream of being a professional racing driver. Of course they don’t just support young drivers but journalists and mechanics too. Susie showed everyone that it was worth following her dreams, and I think that is a big inspiration for the young female generation.