Mae Van Wijk Loves Life Behind the Wheel HOUSTON, Texas (May 17, 2005) -- Less than three years ago, Houston's Mae Van Wijk was your average teen-age girl -- and then she was bitten by the racing bug. Starting off in go-karts, she began...
Mae Van Wijk Loves Life Behind the Wheel
HOUSTON, Texas (May 17, 2005) -- Less than three years ago, Houston's Mae Van Wijk was your average teen-age girl -- and then she was bitten by the racing bug. Starting off in go-karts, she began attending driving schools and participating in amateur racing events. Today, she is a fulltime competitor in the Rolex Sports Car Series and cannot get enough of the sport.
In addition to racing her Synergy Racing No. 81 Porsche GT3 Cup, sponsored by autobysite.com and pipeservicestt.com, in the Rolex Series, Van Wijk has began filling her free time with other forms of racing.
"I just started doing go-karts again," Van Wijk said. "And, I've also signed up with the SCCA. I'm going to be racing a Mazda Miata at some small club events. Anything to get more time behind the wheel."
But, her ambition does not stop there. Van Wijk also hopes to participate in a Skip Barber two-day school so she can compete in some Skip Barber National Championship events. "I think its great to try to get in as many different types of cars as possible right now and just keep trying to develop my talent," she explained.
Her strong desire to race is starting to pay off. Last week, Rolex Series officials announced the latest standings for the Bob Akin Award with Van Wijk, the youngest female racer in the series, fourth in the points. The award is designed to honor the accomplishments of sportsman drivers who do not race as their primary form of income, and Van Wijk hopes the series' first-ever sportsman award will go to a sportswoman.
Van Wijk, a native of The Netherlands, does not limit her work to only behind the wheel. Understanding the importance of endurance, she began working with a personal trainer. "I'm strength training three time a week with a personal trainer," said Van Wijk. "She has me pumping iron, and I'm already seeing results in the car. I'm also doing cardiovascular work, and I'm able to stay in the car a lot longer without getting tired."
In addition to her work with a trainer, Van Wijk also visits her local gym five times a week for cardio workouts.
Adding to her development as a top driver are her Synergy Racing teammates. Partnering with Van Wijk in the No. 81 Porsche is championship driver David Murry, of Atlanta, Ga., and teaming up in the team's No. 80 Porsche is current points leader Craig Stanton, of Long Beach, Calif.
"I'm making a lot of progress with their help," Van Wijk said. "It is fantastic working with them. Any questions that I ever have I can go ask either one of them. They both have a little different approach, but in the end they come to the exact same conclusion. And that's kind of cool. Everybody, as they race, has their own style, and its nice to have two different people so you can get their input of what their style is and develop your own."
Van Wijk's coaches are beaming about her success so far this season, as well. "If she had done what she did at Fontana (round three of 14) at the end of the season, I would have been happy," Murry said.
This weekend, Van Wijk competes at Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant in Quebec, Canada, the site of a monumental feat for the young driver last season when she finished a career-best of fifth in class. But the joy from that success was bested the next weekend at Watkins Glen International when she picked up a fourth-place finish.
For this weekend's 6 Heures du Circuit Mont-Tremblant, she will join Murry and Stanton in Synergy's No. 80 Porsche for a three-man effort in the grueling six-hour event.
For additional information on this weekend's races, including live timing & scoring throughout the event weekend and streaming audio coverage of the races, visit www.grandamerican.com.
About Synergy Racing Team owners Cole Scrogham and Danny and Steve Marshall introduced Synergy Racing in December 2004. Based at Virginia International Raceway, Synergy Racing is an evolution of G&W Motorsports, which had catered to Porsche racing since 1996 and became the most successful team in the Rolex Sports Car Series with four championships, 15 class wins and more than 50 podium finishes. The team underwent a major transformation that included a name and logo change, as well as a complete restructuring into a customer-based championship racing business, which concentrates on the needs of the customer rather than the desires of the team. For more information on Synergy Racing, visit www.synergyracing.com.