Jamaican Formula Woman driver, Sara Misir, was named the female Motorsport Athlete of the Year at the RJR/Gleaner Sportsman and Sportswoman awards ceremony for the third straight time. Misir had already dominated the MP3 class in 2022 before taking on the challenge of competing in the MP4 class in the local 2023 season.
Misir overcomes 2023 setback
Misir faced a setback early in 2023 due to a mechanical failure, but still managed to finish the season with an exceptional record, taking first and second place finishes at St Ann’s Dover Raceway during its “Heroes of Speed” even in October. She also clocked the fastest lap of the day with 1.25.84 seconds. In September 2023, she competed in the GT Cup Championships at England’s Donnington Race Track, and with teammate Alana Carter, attained a respectable seventh-place finish in the GT Cup finale at Snetterton in October.
Grateful for the recognition
In accepting her award, Misir said it was” always an honor to represent women in motorsports” in Jamaica and globally. She emphasized that motorsport is a team effort and attributed her success to the work of her team and coach, her father, Rugie Misir. She also stated that despite some of the mechanical challenges she faced she is committed to inspiring the next generation of women to participate in motorsport. “I know that I represent so many women and girls who compete in male-dominated spaces, so that fuels me to keep going,” she added.
Early life challenges
Sara Misir was born at Nuttall Hospital in St. Andrew, Jamaica, in 1998. Initially, Misir wanted to be an equestrian, starting at age four. She dreamed of going to the Olympics and at 16, she was a competitive junior equestrian in training. Then in a tragic accident, she was kicked in the face by a horse, broke her skull, and dislocated her jaw while she was preparing for the Pan American Games. She returned to equestrian sports after a months-long recovery period only to break her shoulder the same year when a horse threw her.
A door opened in motorsport
Misir’s father introduced her to motorsport racing, hoping to give her some relief from the equestrian environment. He had a long history in motorsports and introduced her go-karting. He said it was “competitive and high adrenaline – you will love it.” He was right, she said, adding that she fell in love with the sport right away. She had a lot to catch up with as her motorsport competitors were years ahead of her in training, but she said she had a good support network that encouraged her during the times she wanted to quit. She credits “that village around me” with her status as a star race driver today.
Photo – Sara Misir