PETALING JAYA: Two second-place finishes in the final round in United Arab Emirates on Friday were enough for Natasha Seatter to become overall winner of the Formula Gulf 1000 Championships, making history as the first Malaysian female to do so in motorsports.
Rahul Mayer won Race 1 and finished third in Race 2 to clinch second overall in the standings while UAE’s Nick Canal finished third.
Rahul could have won the championship if not for the ruling that each driver can deduct their lowest score. Natasha only had to deduct two points because she already had a race retirement (DNF) before while Rahul had to deduct 28 points as he never had one.
It proved to be an exciting affair with Natasha dominating the early season before engine problems nearly cost her the overall crown in the latter stages.
An ecstatic Natasha, who won seven out of the 14 races this season, was happy to succeed in her goal to win the championships.
It is not easy as Natasha, who is also a part-time model, certainly has to work harder to prove herself in motorsports, which is very much dominated by the men.
“I had engine problems in the last three races.
“I have proven that being female is not a deterrent to doing well in motorsports and I can beat the guys as well.
“I am preparing to go for testing in United Kingdom in preparation for my first GT3 race for the support race in the Shanghai Formula One Grand Prix in a couple of weeks’ time,” said Natasha, who was happy to share the podium with fellow Malaysians Rahul and Weiron Tan, who finished third.
The 20-year-old Natasha is hoping to get sponsors for her entrance into GT3 racing.
Natasha, who is of Scottish-Malaysian parentage, took part in the Malaysian Super Series race last weekend, which was a support event for the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix.
She was the first ever female to contest in the MSS GT Open class and impressed many after earning two second-place finishes in her class.
The Sarawak-born driver got her break in 2009 when she was chosen for the Petronas Formula Xperience (PFX) programme, which gave promising young drivers the chance to experience formula racing.
Although only 16 at that time, Natasha dominated the PFX and won all four races.