GERALDINE READ’S ACTION PACKED WEEKEND AT THE FINAL ROUND OF THE MALAYSIA CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES 2016
Last weekend we were given the privilege to follow the development of Geraldine Read, a new and upcoming racer for Team Dream Chaser Malaysia. MCS Round 4 marked the final race of the year for Geraldine, completing her first full season of the Malaysia Championship Series.
Under the guidance of Team Principal CY Ong, Geraldine is part of the Dream Chaser Malaysia racing development program that acts as a platform to support and nurture aspiring racers in developing their talent in motorsports. The program provides subsidy and guidance for budding talents, lowering the barrier to entry and enabling them to compete with top Malaysian and international drivers in the sport.
Geraldine, who hails from Sarawak, has always been a sporty and competitive person, ever since she was a child. She took part in gymnastics in school and competed in local swim meets at her club before picking up squash at the age of 11. From representing her State of Sarawak to representing her country Malaysia, she left home at the age of 15 to move to KL to be part of the National Elite Squash Team as part of the Commonwealth 98′ program, and her dedication for sports has never left.
Geraldine began her racing career in 2014, when she beat 300 other aspiring racers for a spot in the all-female Red Bull Rookies team. Together with two other rookies, the team was put through a series of intensive race-driving training courses before competing at the Sepang 1000KM Endurance Race later that year. Geraldine and her team made a commendable 12th place finish in their debut race against factory teams and privateers alike.
Dream Chaser Malaysia offered the perfect solution, not only would she have the chance to go racing, she would be able to learn and grow under their mentorship program.
For the fourth and final round of the Malaysia Championship Series 2016, Geraldine teamed up with TCSA (Touring Car Series Asia) driver Hyemin Moon from Korea. Together they piloted the Black and Neon Pink Proton Satria Neo for the 300km endurance race, a new format introduced to the series this year.
Before the race began, we could sense the enthusiasm and spirit from Geraldine and her fellow teammate Hyemin as they both were itching to get out and start racing. Despite their excitement, they were both calm and collected and eager to entertain fans that came by the pits to snap a picture with them. We sense that there’s a future racing celebrity in the making with this one!
Geraldine shared with us that the one thing that drives her on the track is the constant challenge to shave off her timing. She focuses on one corner at a time, constantly pushing herself to beat her personal best while at the same time learning to trust the car and most importantly herself. “Any chance I get to have seat time is precious, so it’s important to me to make full use of my time when I’m out on the track”.
Starting the race from the back of the grid, Geraldine had a great rolling start, making good progress pushing herself and her Neo to the limit. By Lap #3 she had fought her way up four positions and was well on her way to chasing her next target in front. Unfortunately, her stint was short-lived when during Lap #4, she was taken out at Turn 1 when a fellow competitor made contact, leaving Geraldine stuck in the gravel with a burst tire.
Seeing her pull into the pits after the collision, she was not going to let this incident stop her from finishing the race. That’s the spirit that all racers should have; racing is not just about going fast and overtaking the pack, it’s about getting back on and trudging through when you’re down and beaten.
Geraldine managed to finish the two and half hour race with fellow driver Hyemin who did well in catching up to the pack despite the earlier accident.
Geraldine plans to continue into her second season of racing at the Malaysia Championship Series 2017. We hope to see more of her on the track as it is always good to see aspiring racers work their way up to the front of the pack. Geraldine serves as an icon and an inspiration for other girls to follow their passion, regardless of what the standards are.
Till then, all the best to Geraldine Read and Team Dream Chaser! Never stop chasing your dreams.