In a male dominated sport, Claire Jedrek is a sight for sore eyes.
As Singapore’s first female race car driver, the multitalented sportsperson has never been too far from the tarmac, working as a sports presenter before getting behind the wheel herself.
“Presenting is something I’ve done for the last ten years. I shifted my focus from sports to automotive, and that’s what I’m known for. I’ve hosted for Red Bull since 2009, and I’ve also done presenting for the F1 and the national Go Kart series in Singapore.”
“I grew up in the UK. My dad is English, and mum is Singaporean. My parents never stopped me from doing anything. They never told me that I couldn’t do anything.”
“I was always a hyper child, and I haven’t grown out of that. I think I was born to want to go and try different things – whether I could do it or not, I still did it.”
With such a determined outlook, it’s no wonder Jedrek is trailblazer in her field and doing things on her own terms.
“I’ve had amazing opportunities in Singapore. In terms of work opportunities, it’s easier here compared to back in the U.K. Over here, it’s one degree of separation. You can meet anybody here from any level.”
“It’s all about getting involved, the interaction, the networking. And everyone’s been welcoming in the industry. If you put yourself out there, everyone’s pretty good. I think they see me as a driver first and female second.”
Jedrek certainly isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty, either. And while she may be used to the glamour of her media job, racing is a very different story.
“It’s not glamorous at all! You’re in a sweaty garage for hours on end. It very rarely is glamorous.”
Her job also requires a great amount of physical and mental preparation.
“We do a lot of simulator work for the track, just to get our minds back into the circuit. Fitness-wise, there’s a lot of training. It gets quite hot in the car, so a lot of the time we train in the sun. For endurance races, there’s a lot of cardio workouts involved.”
And if anyone understands the effort involved, it’s her husband Yuey Tan, who’s also a professional race car driver in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia.
“I’m in a racing family right now. My husband’s been doing that for nine years. Our whole life is about racing.”
“I would like to have a family at some point, but with the racing it does get quite difficult. I started quite late in life – I started when I was 30-years-old.”
Jedrek is proof that no matter the obstacles, it pays to go full throttle when it comes to chasing your dreams.
What’s ultimately set her apart, has put her in a league of her own, and that means coming out on top.
“I definitely think it’s a different twist, as a female. When it comes to finding sponsorships, my husband goes for the luxury lifestyle products. There’s a lot more money in that.”
“Having said that, in my first year, it was easier for me to find sponsorships compared to another guy I knew. A lot of the time, you’re not pitching to a sports company. And it’s about what value they see in you so for women, they can really spin a different side of the story compared to the guys.”
You can follow Claire on her Instagram.