AIM Autosport will introduce a new face to the Star Mazda Championship this weekend. The Canadian team has signed Natacha Gachnang of St-Gingolph, Switzerland, to drive the No. 35 Pro Formula Mazda in the next seven series races, starting with...
AIM Autosport will introduce a new face to the Star Mazda Championship this weekend. The Canadian team has signed Natacha Gachnang of St-Gingolph, Switzerland, to drive the No. 35 Pro Formula Mazda in the next seven series races, starting with this week's race at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah.
Gachnang's talent was evident in her first auto-racing competition, when she finished fourth of 64 drivers in a test for the 2002 German Formula BMW Championship. She contested the series for three years, moving up to sixth in series standings, before graduating to Formula 3 in 2006. She planned to return to Formula BMW this year, but her entry was denied because of her experience. Research led her to AIM and the Star Mazda series.
"Formula 3 was too expensive to continue. We thought it was better that we go one step back and pay to go in the best team and race for the best sponsor, but it was not possible to drive BMW," she explained. "So we chose another option and now we are here in Mazda."
Gachnang is a third-generation driver, following in the footsteps of her grandfather Georges, an endurance racer who competed in 24-hour races at Le Mans and the Nurburgring.
"I heard a lot about Natacha and that she was coming to North America. I'm very pleased that she's come to AIM Autosport to run in the Formula Mazda series. I'm looking forward to having a front-running woman driver," AIM co-owner Keith Willis said. "With running in the Formula 3 series, she should have the skill level to jump in the car and go quick right away. She's very keen and eager; she's here wanting to prove a point that she's fast."
Gachnang's first challenge will be mastering the 4.486-mile, 24-turn Miller Motorsports Park road course before the 45-minute Star Mazda race on Saturday, but she's ready for it.
"It's really amazing because I don't know the track and the track is very big. I don't know the car and there are a lot of new things, but I'm enjoying it," she said. "I have six [practice] sessions of 30 minutes, so it's not bad. To learn a new track, you just drive and drive the track. You have to be concentrated, then you stop and look at the data and try to correct it to be better."
-credit: -- aimautosport.com --