Female racecar driver shines in motor car racing
Ms Denise Yeung says that women can also be great racecar drivers
Ms Denise Yeung, one of the very few female racecar drivers in Hong Kong, has been participating in this traditionally male-dominated sport as an amateur racer for five years.
Born to be a car lover and influenced by her father, Ms Yeung has familiarised herself with cars since she was small. She already knew different parts of car and their functions by the age of eight. When she was 16, she went all the way to Canada just for a driving license.
As a speed and excitement enthusiast, Ms Yeung became an amateur racecar driver to complete her life. "I really enjoy the high speed, not just driving on a straight road but turning on circuits," she said. "Most girls are afraid of high speed or the centrifugal force. But I enjoy them instead."
In 2009, Ms Yeung joined a race for fun for the first time and did not expect to win anything. Yet, she came home as a champion.
But she did not devote herself to racing at that time. She chose to focus more on her business.
"Racing costs a lot. The car is quite expensive, let alone the expenses for gas and tuning up the car," she said. One match costs about $100,000, she added.
It wasn't until Ms Yeung has made progress in her career in a real estate agency and was given a car by her god-brother in 2012 that she started actively racing.
As the minority in the sport, Ms Yeung experienced stereotypes and discrimination. A male driver crashed into her car in order to stop her taking the lead. Both of them were disqualified.
"They (male racers) think you are weak and cannot tolerate it if you overtake them," Ms Yeung said. "It is embarrassing for them to lose in something that is supposed to be dominated by them."
Similar accidents have happened to Ms Yeung twice. She learnt from the experience and promised to herself not to let it happen again.
"I am playing as tough as they do now. Just to let them know that I am not a pushover!" she said.
But She has overcome physical and emotional challenges and won several big races, including the 2013 Touring Car Series in Asia and The Chinese Cup, in which Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau send representatives to compete.
Ms Yeung's family did not support her racing at first. Yet, after she has explained the safety precautions for drivers to them, they started fully backing her up.
Besides support from family and friends, her fans also motivate her. "Now I have got a bunch of fans who follow every status I post on Facebook,"Ms Yeung said.
Now, Ms Yeung is strict to herself and keeps fighting for better. "I will keep racing as long as I can afford it," she said.
By Kyle Sun
Edited by Alice Wan
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