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Looking beyond the woman factor
Bridget Singh is the lone woman on the Caribbean Motor Racing Championship (CMRC) circuit. Throughout the competing islands, scores of men qualify each year to represent their countries, but for Singh, no other woman has been able to do that in recent history.
It’s something that empowers the 21-year-old Chaguanas circuit driver as opposed to intimidating her. For much of her racing life, it’s been like that. Singh’s entire family is involved in motor sport. Her father is also a circuit driver while her mother also karted. Her smaller brother was also a former karting champion.
Having started off in karting, Singh would be the only woman driver among scores of other men. Yet, prior to making a step up to T&T’s circuit team, she dominated local karting, often finishing in the top two. She told Guardian Media Sports: “Yes, I’m a female but I don’t put myself at a disadvantage. I don’t see myself as anything other than their equal.”
In her first CMRC event last year, Singh won the Group I category, celebrating with team T&T as it captured the championship for the first time in decades. She’ll be celebrating this year again in Guyana, but this time in Group II. Her father, Ravi, is at the top of her mechanical team and her inspiration. She admits he doesn’t put any pressure to achieve success.
Instead, she said, “I put more pressure on myself rather than anybody puts pressure on me, because I just want to do the best that I can do to make everybody proud.”
Her rise in racing has been step by step. She started karting at four-years-old in the 80cc Cadet class. Then, when she was nine, she won two titles. Later, after topping the 100cc Championship twice, she moved up to the Rotax International, finishing third in her first year before adding a fifth title to her portfolio.
That’s how she would like to keep progressing. She added, “Right now I’m competing in Group II, I would like to win that championship and move on into Group III, then move on into Group IV.” From there, when Singh hits the Caribbean ceiling, that’s where she would like to take her career abroad.
As she travels the Caribbean, she tries to inspire other women drivers to break down the barrier of fear. “It would be really nice to race against a female competitors from a different country,” she says.
For now, she’ll just have to keep beating the men.