Kinesio Taping revs up with racing driver Laura Tillett
By Kate Slater | 10 April 2013

Kinesio Taping is accelerating their sponsorship programme in 2013 and supporting many talented young UK athletes.

First off the starting grid is fearless and feisty 21 year old motor racing driver Laura Tillett from West Malling in Kent who lives and breathes racing cars and speed.

When she’s not racing all over the world, Laura works as Karting Project Coordinator for Caterham Motorsport.

Her key achievements so far include being the first ever British female to race in the premier class of the CIK-FIA World Karting Championship and being nominated for the British Women’s Racing Drivers’ Club Gold Star. 

Laura has been using precut Kinesio for her neck for the last year to treat neck spasms from a previous injury and find it really helps with the pain.  

Laura says: “My injury was creating a lot of pain and discomfort and it was also making it difficult for me to be on top form when racing as the G-force can really push on your neck. Kinesio tape is a product that I now rely on. It gives me the support and pain relief that I have been looking for.  It has allowed me to push myself that bit harder and I can now focus on my driving instead of the pain in my neck.”

Kinesio Taping managed to catch up with Laura and asked her a few questions about her career to date:

Interview

How did you get into motor racing?

“I grew up watching my dad race in the British Karting Championship. His hobby inspired him to set up his own business, Tillett Racing Seats, which supplies seats to many different forms of racing and we have many family friends in the sport so it was only natural that I would get into a kart at the age of 10. It was always my interest and passion to compete and race, with a dream to make it to Formula One.”

“I was so keen to get in the kart that my first attempt was at Buckmore Park in the snow!  The bad weather didn’t stop me and in fact only fuelled my addiction to the sport. Later that year I started competing locally in a cadet class.”

“I raced in the British Championships from the age of 12 and once I got started all I wanted to do was compete in tougher and more competitive races.”

How did you progress?

“Once I went to Europe and raced full time I was then the first British woman to qualify and compete in the World Championship, I competed against many previous World Champions who had raced the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso.

“Last year was my first year competing in cars. I competed in the British Automobile Racing Club (BARC) Formula Renault class. It was a big change and the car taught me a lot for the next step up.”

What are you hoping to achieve next?

“I am currently looking for the budget to compete in the NEC (Northern European Championship) in the 2.0 Formula Renault class for the next couple of years, as it is a very competitive class and would be a good learning curve.

“I would then look to compete in the Formula Renault World Series. Many drivers that compete in this class have progressed into Formula One, such as Jules Bianchi.”

What’s the fastest car you’ve ever driven?

“The Formula Renault car that I drove last year. With the aerodynamics,  the car is extremely fast and fun to drive and really challenges your confidence because the faster the corner speed, the more grip you create. This car can reach 140mph.”

Most terrifying moment?

“The scariest moment I have experienced was last year at the Thruxton race track which is the fastest track in the country.”

“I was out for qualifying and pushing hard when I drove into the fastest corner of the track. Unknown to me, another driver ahead had dropped antifreeze on the corner and I drove through this at a fast speed, which spun my car 120mph into a barrier.”

“The impact took all four corners off the car and also ripped off the back part of the car, including the engine. Once the car had come to a stop the mangled engine was next to me on the track.  I managed to get out of what was left of the car and was taken to hospital.”

“I managed to escape without a scratch but my only thought was getting back out for the race. It didn’t stop my enthusiasm for the sport and made me more determined than ever.”

Best moment in racing?

“My most memorable moment was the WSK Karting race at Lonato in 2010. It was my first year in the top SKF Karting class and after many people telling me I wouldn’t be good enough I proved them wrong, I was extremely fast and was up there amongst the big named drivers.”

“It was an amazing feeling as it was the first time I really felt like a top level competitor against a full gird of men. It was not only my own feelings that made this race what it was, I had also managed to make my biggest critic (my dad) well up with tears. It was the race that influenced the next two years as I was noticed by major manufacturers.”

“Unfortunately in the final my engine broke on the rolling lap and I was unable to finish. It was such a terrible low from the biggest high. If it hadn’t been for the engine failure, I knew I would have made the podium for one of the biggest races of my life.”

What’s your overall ambition?

“My goal is to make it to Formula One and be the first competitive girl to regularly race on the grid of drivers that I have looked up to, like Sebastian Vettel, or worked with in the past, like Max Chilton and Charles Pic.”

“I believe that there is a space in racing for a girl driver who is fast and talented. It would change Formula One forever and I want to be that girl.”

“Racing is such a big part of my life, I can’t stand to be out of the car for too long and I will push so hard to race at that high level.”

What’s it like working in a predominately man’s world?

“It has its advantages and disadvantages competing in a male dominated sport. Girl drivers aren’t respected and it means we have to work twice as hard to gain the respect that’s deserved. Girl drivers have to work harder, race harder and want to succeed more than the boys in order to be better, and it isn’t easy.”

“It is also tricky as girls aren’t given an easy time in the sport, even if they are faster. I have had to toughen up as a driver and give as good as I get. I have been hit, pushed and smashed around on the track and I think it has made me a better driver.”

“Although I try to use the fact that I’m female  to my advantage, I really like to be known as just another driver on the track because I don’t believe that there is any physical disadvantage for women in this sport if they work just as hard for it.”

“The advantage of being a minority driver on a grid of 30 men does draw interest. However this can make things difficult as some people (often men!) aren’t so keen to see a woman succeed!”

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