If you’ve never watched Red Bull Global RallyCross Racing then you are missing out; the epitome of action-packed, high-intensity racing. The tracks change for every race with tight turns, big dirt jumps, and fast straights. I had the opportunity to attend my first GRC race this year and it was spectacular! In fact, I wrote an article about why you should start following this adrenaline rushing race series. I loved my experience at the GRC race so much, I decided to reach out to a few racers themselves to learn more about this sport and how they got there.
I am excited to share with you our first Red Bull GRC interview with one of the GRC Lites racers, Sandra Hultgren.
Sandra Hultgren is a rising GRC racer. Born and raised in Sweden, Sandra started racing around age 15 in a series called folkrace. After advancing to the top of her division, Sandra was approached by Andrea Ericksson to race in the Red Bull GRC series. Even though it was a newer form of racing, Sandra knew that her passion for racing was only just beginning and making a career in the auto racing industry was a must have, so she accepted the offer and is improving with each race!
But who am I to tell you about Sandra’s goals and passions! Our interview below explains how Sandra got into racing as she shares her passion for motorsports and her racing goals from here on out. So let’s get to it! We welcome Sandra Hultgren of Red Bull GRC Lites race series.
Q & A With Red Bull GRC Lites Racer, Sandra Hultgren
CM: First off, how did you get into racing and was it always something you wanted to make a career in?
SH: My way in to racing wasn’t obvious from the start no. I started in motorsports at an age of 15 in something called folkrace, that is a cheap sport in racing with cars that we build our self for a price of $650. I noticed quickly that motorsport was something that suits me well. I advanced fast to the top and today I’m the girl that has succeeded all the way in this kind of sport. Won the biggest race we have in Scandinavia 3 years in a row. So at the age of 21 Andreas Eriksson gave me the amazingly awesome question to drive for him in SuperCar Lites after a test in Sweden. That’s how it all started in Rallycross.
CM: When you first started off in racing, what was the turning point for you where you knew you were “in”, as they say?
SH: When you get this amazing feeling behind the steering wheel that you could do whatever you’d like to do, and that the other drivers didn’t give me a good enough fight to develop as a driver.
CM: As a female driver, what are some of the biggest changes in the racing world that you’ve seen come around? How have these changes impacted your experience as a racer?
SH: I can’t say there have been too many changes yet, but I start to see the curiosity of more girls wanting to race which I love. I hope that one day it will be 50% girls in this sport since we all have the same preconditions. And for me as a driver, I’m really touched by the audience and how much they cheer for me and give me best of luck wishes.
CM: What was your proudest victory? And what did you gain from it?
SH: My proudest moment has been when I was the fastest of all in the lites class in Sweden and 2nd overall with Supercar included. I would say that gave me a calm, and believing in my self that I didn’t have before.
CM: The Red Bull GRC series is very different from other race series. What is your favorite thing about racing in the Red Bull GRC series and how did you choose this series to race in?
SH: For me this is what Rallycross is all about; tarmac, gravel, jumps, contact. If you could give a person the perfect feeling of adrenaline, this would be it. My Team Manager Andreas asked me if I would like to give it a try on the other side of the world together with his American team, racing in this series. How could you say anything else then yes!?
CM: What are your racing goals? Are there any other race series you would like to join?
SH: My racing goal is to race next year in World RX and maybe a race or two in GRC or Rally X Nordic, and my ambitions are to be in the final in every race fighting for the podium. That would be Supercar !
CM: What advice would you give women interested in starting their own careers in the racing world?
SH: I would say, don’t hesitate! We can do it, we will be a world champ one day and don’t let anything or anyone say something else. If you want it hard enough it will fall into place. It’s all about putting your heart into it, work hard and be patient!! Be patient, nothing comes for free.
CM: In your opinion, what is the hardest thing about racing in general, and what have you done to overcome these challenges?
SH: The hardest thing in racing is to have faith at all time, don’t hesitate! I’m not sure I’ve overcome this yet but I work hard with it!
CM: If you were talking to your younger self, what advice would you give yourself?
SH: I would tell myself you have to put a lot of time and sweat into this career and that you are the greatest because you are one of a kind. As a person who always gives 120% commitment, one day someone else will see this and help me to become the best possible racer version of me I possibly could be.
CM: Being a race car driver you have to know your car inside and out. ChicMoto was created with the idea of helping women learn more about the automotive industry to gain better confidence in what they were driving. In your opinion, what is the most important thing any person should know about their vehicle and why?
SH: I would say roadability, how the car responds to your movements even though it might be an ordinary road car. You should be aware of how the car acts in certain conditions. Like how the car would act in the case that it would get a puncture and so on. Also how the car works from engine too, gearbox to differential out to the driveshafts. That it’s not so complicated. You should ASK more, don’t walk away when someone helps you with the car, ask questions. Be willing to learn about how your car takes you from point A to B.
A great interview from an even greater athlete! And you heard what Sandra had to say about knowing your vehicle- “roadability, how the car responds to your movements even though it might be an ordinary road car.” We couldn’t agree more!
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