20 March, 2017, ANI
Have you ever imaged a woman driving a truck? Adding on, how will you react if you see her participating and competing in a male dominated sport like truck racing, that too in India?
Stephanie Halm from Germany has been breaking all odds and stereotypes since 2012 by not only participating in truck racing, but also competing with the best male truck racers around the globe.
Stephanie was recently in India to participate in T1 Prima Truck Racing Championship Season 4. The 32-year-old, who was only female professional truck racer to participate in the championship, finished at eighth position in the Pro Class Category held at the Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida.
In an exclusive conversation with ANI, Stephanie, also known as Steffi, revealed how she never felt she had any disadvantage in truck driving because of her gender.
“During the race, it’s just the truck that is in front of us and it doesn’t matter if it’s a boy or a girl sitting inside,” Stephanie said.
“During my entire racing career, I never had a race where I felt I had any disadvantage because I am a female. The girls should not shy away from chasing their dreams and if they feel comfortable with something, they should do it.”
“When you come to Europe, you will witness similar scenes because most of the times you are driving alone. You are the only woman on the field and thus, I am used to it. For me, we are all pilots, irrespective of us being men and women. For me, it makes no difference,” she maintained.
“I started motor sport at the age of 10. At the age of 15, I changed to single-seater car but only for only few years because we were not able to find the money for the single seaters,” Stephanie, who has been racing trucks across European nations since 2012, said.
“I have been driving the touring car since 2005. In 2011 I got a phone call from a team which is driving in the European championship. They stopped for a few years and in that year, they wanted to come back. They were in search of a driver.”
“They asked if I could do racing in six or seven races in the European Championship and I said yes. In 2011, I entered into truck racing and since then, it has been something which I cannot stop. It’s a special feeling driving a truck,” she added.
In 2011 and 2013, she drove in the truck racing European Championship. In 2012, she entered the French truck championship and won the championship with the MAN truck of the team Lion Truck Racing.
When asked as to why she chose to drive trucks, the 32 year-old said, “Everything has something special. The truck is bigger and heavier as compared to other cars. It has much more horsepower. It’s a different challenge to control the truck. Many-many things are different in truck racing as compared to touring cars.”
“For me, I am really happy to do both,” she asserted.
When asked about as to what keeps her inspiring, the 32-year-old said that the different challenges she faces while driving a truck keeps her motivated.
“I always try to be the best. For me, there’s always something or the other to learn as compared to other male truck racers who have been in the profession for so many years,” she said.
“I don’t want to be Michael Schumacher of T1 but I am happy as Stephanie Halm. If I continue in truck racing, my aim is to become a European champion once. Before I win the title, I will not stop,” she added. (ANI)