FEATURED PETROLHEAD | SIMONE STEYN
Thank you for this opportunity to let our readers get to know you and congratulations on your success at this years Dezzi Drags! The fastest lady of the event, with 9,587s in your impressive R35 Alpha 9. For those who don’t know, tell us a little about yourself? As you can perhaps tell, I love pink. I love fast cars and enjoy racing. I am very soft hearted when it comes to animals. I enjoy watching Disney animation movies (yes, even at my age). I love to travel to new places and revisit some destinations. I hate the winter and cold weather. I believe in being polite and kind.
What’s your latest racing accomplishment thus far? My latest accomplishment is running a 305km over the 1km at ODI on the 9th of August 2015 hosted by Race SA.
What is the highlight of your racing career? The highlight of my racing career would have to be holding the title at Nitro Raceway for the fastest car on the Top 20 that they were hosting, for the longest duration.
At what age did you start racing and where does your passion for the sport come from? I started racing last year July. It happened just by chance but I haven’t looked back since. It was at the Golf GTI day at Tarlton and we had just gotten our GTR back with the Alpha 6 kit. I will never forget this day because I felt so embarrassed. Considering this was my first race I was not used to the Christmas tree. My hands were shaking and I was incredibly nervous but I pulled up to the line and messed it up 3 times before I eventually pulled off. From that day on, I was hooked. I thoroughly enjoy it and have so much fun on the track. My dad used to do rally car racing, and I have always been a lover of speed. I guess you could say it’s in my blood.
What are your main challenges as a female driver and going toe-to-toe with the guys? It’s not so much about being female but perhaps being new to the sport. The competitive spirit is very high in this sport because there can only be one number one. The one thing I have learned is to only compete with yourself. To better your own time when you go onto the track and run your own new personal best.
What are your views on the legal vs. illegal drag racing scene in SA? This is a difficult one, because at some stage in our lives, every one of us has “diced” the car next to us from robot to robot. I definitely think that the illegal drags in the city centers are extremely dangerous for spectator and driver because things can go very wrong, very quickly.
What advice do you have for aspiring drivers? Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. Do it for yourself and you make that decision based on your tries.
In your spare time what would we find Simone doing? I have many hobbies, which consist of; boating, sailing, drag racing and photography. I will be doing either one or more of these things on my weekends.
What has been your favorite car to drive on and of the track? I have only ever driven a GTR on the track and I feel very comfortable in it. I have owned many cars and liked each and every one of them. My everyday drive at the moment is a 2015 Polo GTI which I am enjoying as it is quite nippy in town… AND MUCH MORE FUEL EFFICIENT!
Who or what has been your inspiration & how has this guided you throughout your career? I would have to say my husband, Graeme Steyn, is my inspiration. He has definitely pushed me to achieve everything that I have in such a short time.
He motivates me when I doubt myself and gives me advice when I most need it. He definitely has tons of confidence in me even when I don’t even have confidence in myself. If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t have been able to do it.
What is left on your list of motoring goals? I would really like to run 311km over the 1km next. It doesn’t seem like much, but anyone that races will agree that 6km/h more on a top end is very difficult to achieve.