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Girl Racer – Steff Walters

Celebrating the girls who are taking it to the boys

Age: 22
From: Hillingdon, Hayes
Started karting: aged 8

When was your first race: I started racing at the Aldershot kids club when I was 11/12

What series you currently race in: Im currently competing in the EKL, I am Captain of the Northampton Maidens and also put together and run two other women’s teams; The Vixens and The Valkyries.

Have you won any races: I have won a lot of different trophies in many different events. I came 2nd in the Club 100 Championship 2011 and have also picked up a few 1st, 2nd and 3rd Places in Club 100.

How did you get into it: My dad has always loved all forms of motorsport and he used to kart with his brothers and friends so naturally he wanted to get me to give it a go. A. er being the passenger of a twin seater with him driving round Surbiton aged 8-years old, I fell in love from there and was hooked.Straight a. er that me and my dad went off to do indoor karting where I eventually joined kids club at Aldershot and had mini races and learned a bit of race craft. After a few years of indoor karting we brought a Prokart and took it down to practice at Camberley. Once I got the hang of it we brought a TKM and I did my ARCS test and started competing and won a few trophies. We then went to Rotax but realised to compete at the top level it was going to take a lot of money and time, which we didn’t have. We then heard about Club100 and I went off to give it a go at age 16.

When I first started I struggled. It was hard being the ‘newbie’ let alone the only girl against about 200 guys. My first year was so hard I almost gave up but with the support of both my parents I picked myself up and carried on. Eventually the guys got used to me being there and being the only girl and I didn’t spend as much time being taken out. In 2011 I had a great year and picked up quite a few podiums which meant I managed to finish 2nd in the championship, I was the first ever women in Club100 to do this. The next year I was moved up to Clubman where I stayed for 2 years.I was then asked by Bob Pope who runs EKL to put in an all-women’s team and come down and compete; it was great because for the first time I was competing against many other women’s teams. It was a tough first year as the girls I was in a team with I had never raced with before and we were getting used to the championship.

For 2014 I managed to organise three women’s teams a. er doing a test days and getting all girls that were interested to come down and try it out. This year in my team, the Northampton Maidens there is me (Captain) Carly Latcham, Rhianna Purcocks and Kayleigh Vincent. We have so far had a great year and won best women’s team each round and fi nished top seven each race. I also run the Hoddesdon Vixens and Coventry Valkyries.I have also set up my own Society to help bring all women/girls interested in karting together and to help encourage more women to get involved. Its called the WKS: Women’s Karting Society and we have our first karting event on the 1st of November at Whilton Mill.I have always loved karting and even though it’s a constant of ups and downs I will always love it and I will always be a part of it.