Above everything else that Denmark's Christina Nielsen loves about racing, it is the sound of her car that she loves most, a sound that tells her that she is at home. It is an unusual thing to pick perhaps; not the speed, the feel of the wheel itself, maybe the petrol fumes, no. The sound.
"Every time I push that throttle it makes me smile," she says. "I mean all cars sound a bit different, you can hear the difference but that's what I love about it."
Nielsen will be racing in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East as it starts its UAE leg tomorrow with the third and fourth rounds at the Yas Marina Circuit. She is the first and only female in the series and in her debut season, she has already impressed.
She finished sixth and eighth in an 18-car field in the opening two rounds in Bahrain in November and stands seventh in the overall standings currently. All of it sounds good, but given the way she seems to be, she is not likely to be happy with that.
In hindsight the fact of Nielsen becoming a racer should be an obvious one, even though motorsport still sees so few female drivers. Of course she is a racer.
Her father, Lars Erik Nielsen, was a pretty serious racer until very a recently, of considerable pedigree in the Carrera Cup (18 podium finishes) as well as the Le Mans series.
But until she was 13, it had never occurred to Christina that racing might be her thing too (and admittedly, few 10-year-olds have an idea of what they want to do in life).
"A friend took me out for rental go karting once. I was 13 years old.
"The funny thing is that my dad is a race driver, he drove a lot but he never introduced me to racing. I had an instant thing when I did karting. I went home straight away and said to dad, can we please go racing? I loved everything about it."
Her progress is the familiar one of the racing world. She began her career officially in 2006 with four years of karting, driving for the renowned Zanardi factory-team, Chiese Corsa, with whom she qualified and competed in the world championship. She raced in Formula Ford in 2010 and the Formula ADAC Masters series in 2011.
Then she got into a Porsche, competing in the German Porsche Carrera Cup 2012 as, again, the only female.
"Yes, then I moved to Porsche and when I sat in the car and drove it for the first time I felt like I was back home. It was the place for me to be," she says.
"This is a totally different game [to single-seater motorsports] and you need to change your driving style completely. I guess from the beginning my driving style was suited to Porsche.
"There is for sure [a greater element of human skill in this] because you have no supportive elements in the car like ABS or traction control. Everything is up to the driver. If you make a mistake you get punished."
The matter of her being female, inevitably, is addressed. Motorsport is changing but female representation remains poor at its highest levels.
There are Danica Patrick in the IndyCar series and Katherine Legge, who has also recently entered the IndyCar series, but high-profile figures at the front are few (Formula One has plenty of behind-the-scenes female personnel).
When the series heads to Saudi Arabia, Nielsen will have to sit out because women are not allowed to drive there. But she does not shirk from the idea of being seen as something more than merely a racer.
"It's a bit harder because I think sometimes I have a bit more to prove to the boys, for them to accept me.
"I have no idea why there aren't more female drivers. Mostly I think it is a matter of interest, that there are just fewer women who are interested in cars. The funny thing is when you go for rental go-karting the women are as into it as the men, so I'm not sure why.
"I hope I am setting a trend. I love driving, I want to show women that if you want to go for it, then you should do it because I'm sure they'll love it."
Commitment to motorsport
The perfect driver, argues Nielsen, has to be cold and controlled.
"It sounds awful, but those are the attributes you need to have because those are the people who are handling the pressure best.
"When you have the pressure of qualifying, when you only have two laps to make good time, you need to stay calm. And if you have four or five cars right behind you and you need to hold them off and you have no one in front to follow, you need to stay calm. That is a controlled person and maybe a cold one."
She herself is not cold, not in person anyway, though it is easy to think she could be, like Kimi Raikkonen, the Finn, who she so admires, in a car. But there is something very raw in her relationship with racing, faintly obsessive even; in the way she describes in detail what constitutes the perfect lap, for example ("a late breaking point but not too late, perfect apex, good accelerating out of the corner so you can feel you are nailing every single corner ..."); or how mentally and physically draining racing can be, muscles "exploding" as the car accelerates.
And it is especially apparent in her inability to imagine a life without racing. She is 20 right now so there is plenty of racing ahead of her (and she is not that keen on getting back to single-seat racing) but she dismisses the question of how long she wants to be doing this out of hand.
"As long as possible. I'm studying at a university on the side, but this is my chance to do this now. I'd like to think I will be involved in motorsport even after I give up racing managing other drivers so maybe that could be a path for me. Hopefully that won't be too soon."
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