Claire Jedrek: Life in the fast lane
Take a step back about what you know of the motorsport and automotive industry in Singapore. It's 10 per cent glamour and 90 per cent business deals. Much to everyone's surprise, I believe it is a lucrative industry in many aspects if you know how to tap on it.
When I joined the industry two and a half years ago, there were plenty of naysayers bemoaning the state of things. While it's true that this industry has slaved away to boundaries and standards that were set far too long ago, rules are meant to be broken and the industry needs to step up its game before we lose sight of the other countries around us that continue to grow with knowledge and experience.
Yes, cars are expensive and taxes are high, but the trade hasn't halted against all odds, has it? Growing marketing budgets continue to lure the consumer, but how does one suss out the best deals in town? Sadly, motorsport plays no part in driving sales here as few follow the vast and varied tiers of racing apart from the Formula One. Regionally, we have the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, Audi R8 LMS Cup, GT Asia Series, Asian Le Mans, and more. On a national level, we see circuits such as the Malaysia Championship Series which feature half-a-million dollar cars flying down the straights alongside 1.6L and 2L Touring Production cars from Honda and Proton.
It's tough to match up to, say, Malaysia, who can bank in on motorsport via the local grassroots communities. It is unlikely Singapore will ever have its own circuit, let alone drag strip, which would probably get all the hoons off our roads. Racing culture in Singapore is very much illegal — most drivers are just trying not to get caught by cameras while barrelling down a long strip.
Being a female in a supposed 'man's world' is perhaps more of an anti-climax in reality. Here's the truth: there is room for more women to take the lead and make motoring their career. It's personality driven, but you need to put in the time and be assured of your worth.
In the months ahead, I'm ready to give you, the Buro reader, a glimpse of a world which has had a positive effect on all involved. It's not a world ruled by rockstar drivers spraying champagne, but of dedicated athletes and the teams that put their driver on the podiums. I look forward to sharing more about the lesser-known lives of local motoring personalities and how various industries unrelated to motoring have forged a connection with it.
It's a fascinating world with more than meets the eye, so strap in and ready yourself for the ride.
Claire Jedrek is a sports and motorsport presenter currently racing in the Malaysia Championship Series.