Interview with Jamaican Race Car Driver Natasha Chang

This month we interview Jamaican rally race car driver, model and radio personality, Natasha Chang. She has made quite an impression on the Jamaican rally car racing circuit and is described by some as Jamaica’s Danica Patrick. She is currently working on a Rally Jamaica television program which will be featured on Hype TV and sportmax.

When did you realize you wanted to be a race car driver?  Do you have any other family members who race cars?
Well, I never “realized” I wanted to be a racer, was just a craving for speed and adrenaline.
I have no family members that raced, the closest thing I had to cars is my grandfather’s love for classic jaguars.

How competitive are you?
I would say extremely competitive, there is only no go or going all the way

What do you want to accomplish for the 2008 Race season?
Well I would say that I’ve accomplished my dream. To attain and race a turbo 4wd fully prepared race car.

What Are Your Goals For The Future?
Well I wish to compete with the big boys in what is considered a big boys toy.
And of course do well, and represent for the ladies showing that we can do it to.

How did you feel when Danica Patrick became the first female winner in Indy Car by winning the Indy Japan 300?
I was happy that a female could accomplish such a great title, and to prove what all us girls stand for.

What does it take to physically prepare to be a race car driver?
Well alot of persons have the misconception that fitness isn’t much of an issue.
But you have to be extremely fit, and have a high level of endurance.
Rally Jamaica is a 2 day event, with an entire day of racing. Your body and mind has to be prepared for that ride.

Recently you started working on a TV show. How is that going?
Well I am endorsed by both hype TV and sportmax, we will be doing a short series leading up the debut event of the car “rally Jamaica” which will be December 5-7 2008.
o watch out for that!

Has all the attention you have been receiving from the show gotten you any backlash or jealousy from any of the other drivers?
Well the previous show I had done, jamspeed adrenaline rush, I’ve gotten mixed reviews; unfortunately I was portrayed in a different light. What I appreciated is that persons watched it with an open mind. But over time I have learnt to take the good with the bad, and no matter what never let anything or anyone stop you from getting what you want.

What has been the hardest part of racing? What has been the best part?
Well there really hasn’t been a truly difficult part, I’ve just always paced myself and keep moving forward.
The part was when I got the opportunity to run David Summerbells evolution at a Vernamfeild sprint. Everyone was shocked on how well I handled the car.

When Are You The Happiest?
I am actually happiest both before a race meet when I see the great support I get from my boyfriend, my team and my friends, and of course after I get out of the race car after a race, but emotions are thrown out the window once I am in the moment of driving.

What other activities do you enjoy besides race car driving?
Well other than racing, I pass my time playing video games; I play counter strike, alot of racing simulators and my favourite, warcraft.
I also love to hang out at the beach.

You are an attractive and articulate woman.  Are these assets an advantage or a disadvantage for the Jamaican competitive racing driver?
Well, I would say both. At times you have to work alot harder to prove yourself to people.
But that helps you become a stronger more determined person.

 What is your favorite part of being a race car driver?
 My favourite part of being a race car driver is that I am the most unlikely person you would think is the race car driver. Hahaha

Who is your biggest inspiration?
My biggest inspiration as a drive would be David Summerbell.
He is a fantastic driver, but what sets him apart is his attitude and kindness towards everyone.

What advice would you give to other girls who want to be race car drivers?
I would have to say not to look at yourself as a female in a male sport, look at yourself as a competitor trying to be the best. And no matter what always keep your head high and go for what you love.