Natasha aims to zoom ahead of male rivals

NATASHA Seatter, who is making her debut in the Malaysian Super Series as the sole lady driver on the grid at the Sepang F1 race weekend, has set a firm target for glory over her male rivals in the national series.

“Yes, I’m challenging for the MSS Championship and competing for the whole season,” declared the 19-year-old beauty, who is currently among the top contenders for the 2012-2013 FG1000 Formula Gulf Championship in the Middle East.

A top graduate of the prestigious Petronas Formula Xperience programme, Natasha hopes to fully utilise her single-seater experience in a different kind of machine as she puts to the test her Radical GT machine in the GT class where she is lined up against some of the top racers in the region – like Frank Yu, Samson Chan, Jeffrey Lee, Sigit Winarta, Dedy Widiyanto, Tunku Hammam and Mok Weng Sun.

“I’m driving a Radical GT car. It has a 2.7-litre engine that packs 420HP and delivers drive to the back wheels via a six-speed sequential gearbox. The mid-engine layout gives the 680kg car very good handling and can accelerate from 0 to 100kph in 2.6 seconds,” said Natasha.

“I estimate the top speed will be 270kph down the main straight. It has more power, more weight and less downforce. This changes my braking points and speed I can carry into and through the corners.

“The biggest change that I notice is the amount of effort it takes to drive the car, it’s much heavier than my Formula car,” said Natasha, who added that she was more excited than nervous in making her MSS debut on the biggest stage in Malaysia’s motor racing scene.

Apart from the GT class, the MSS, held over five rounds this year, will also feature the Sports Production class which would run together this weekend in a combined race under Series A.

Two other categories – the Touring Production and the Malaysian Touring Car category will run in a separate race under Series B this weekend.

“It’s always great fun to be in a support race for the F1 event as the excitement in the pits is exhilarating. Out on the track, the grip levels get interesting with all that F1 rubber on track and having big crowd watching makes it a lot more fun.

“The plan this year is to move to GT racing. I will be taking part in another International GT series that kicks off at the Chinese Formula 1 Grand Prix in Shanghai,” said Natasha.

Aspiring to be an F1 driver one day, Natasha made her freshman debut in go-karting in 2005 and immediately made a name for herself as she upstaged her male rivals as she competed across Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Macau, India, Japan and UAE in various go-karting competitions.

Her racing career was elevated to the next level when she was awarded the Petronas Formula Xperience (PFX) scholarship where Natasha, who was the only lady driver in the series, became the first racer in the series history to obtain first place four times in a row in the Formula BMW racing car.