Not afraid to race the boys, Gabriella Teo will be the first and only female competitor in the 2010 Singapore Karting Championship (SKC) when she makes her debut at the final round this weekend. Initially hesitant about signing up for the race, Gabby was worried that she will do badly in the race. But after encouragement from her parents, friends and her coach Kenny Yip, she decided to take part and compete in a sport that she so loves.
I've been watching her kart since she started and I think she's really lucky to have parents who support her in the sport. My parents are not into motorsports and so I never knew what karting was until I was much older. By the way, Gabby's father is Allan Teo, one of the directors at Kartright Speedway.
ďIt doesnít bother me much about being the only girl in the competition. I just want to do my best and enjoy myself. I love karting, I love the speed, and it will be a valuable experience for me Iím sure. It is my first ever competition so itíll be good to find out how competitive I am. I just hope I donít come I last!Ē said Gabby.
Having just turned 12 on 1 November 2010, Gabby should be in the Cadet category [According to race regulations, Junior drivers must already be 12 years of age as of 1 January 2010.] but the tall and lanky the SJI International Elementary School student is too tall to fit into a Cadet kart! Special permission was then sought from the Singapore Motor Sport Association to allow her into the Junior category.
How it all started
ďI first tried a fun kart (rental kart) in November last year and I found it really fun and exciting. My dad saw I had potential, so he bought me a race kart in March this year. Iíve been practising since then, under the tutelage of Kartright Academyís senior instructor Kenny. I train at least twice a week and I swim to improve her fitness too,Ē Gabby shares.
After her race debut at SKC this weekend, Gabby will start preparing to race in the entire SKC season next year and progressively race overseas as well. Other than competitive karting or occasionally having fun with her friends in rental karts, Gabby is also active in fencing.