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One of the fastest drivers in the new, women-only Formula series is Marta Garcia. The Spaniard, who lives in Valencia, first sat in a kart at the age of nine and never wanted to get out again. “Right from the word go, I loved the speed and competing with the other drivers out on the track. My parents ultimately bought me my own kart. From then on, I spent every day at the racetrack,” says the 18-year-old.

Over the following years, the young driver entered various international championships. Her greatest success was winning the Trofeo delle Industrie – a renowned outdoor karting series in Italy. Garcia: “I had never driven in front of so many people cheering on all the drivers. And the feeling when I won was impossible to describe. From then on, it was clear to me that I wanted to race all my life.”

After this success, she switched to Spanish Formula 4, applied for the W Series in 2018, and came through the tough selection process. “We had to do drift and skid tests in wind and all kinds of weather, including in the snow on one occasion. On top of that there was a lot of theory and media training. I was very fortunate to pass the tests and make it into the main field in the W Series. You don’t need to invest any money, can get plenty of kilometres and a lot of experience under your belt, and can show people what we women are capable of,” says Garcia, listing the benefits of the new Formula series for women.

Over the course of her career, she has had to earn the respect of her male counterparts. “As a girl, they did not take me serious at first. As I improved, some of the boys used to deliberately force me off the track, because they could not take a girl being faster than them. In the meantime, I am fully accepted and treated as just another opponent out on the track. Men have the advantage of being physically stronger than women, which is an important factor in strenuous races. However, you also have to do a lot of thinking, and we women are good at that.”

Garcia has had a very successful debut season in the W Series. She is one of the top three drivers and claimed her maiden race win at the Norisring in Nuremberg a fortnight ago. She knows and values the race tyre supplied by premium tyre maker Hankook from her time in Spanish Formula 4. “It feels like you can drive 100 laps on the Hankook tyre and it still won’t wear, but will remain consistently quick. That consistency gives me confidence and I can focus on the race and my rivals,” says the Spaniard, describing the Ventus Race supplied by exclusive tyre partner Hankook.

The young driver’s goal is to earn a living as a racing driver. As such, she is looking to gain more experience in the W Series in 2020, after which she wants to continue her progress in other racing series. However, Garcia also has a plan B up her sleeve. From September, she will study Public Relations and Marketing in Barcelona. However, she will continue to pursue her dream. “I want to be a professional racing driver and make my passion my profession. My dream would be to race in Formula 1.”