Chit Chat: Tasmin Pepper

2010-10-02 10:52

Was it taken for granted that you’d join the industry because you came from a racing family?

It was kind of a given since I am the first born. I have a ­younger sister who started racing but lost interest. Then there’s my brother, who is six years younger than me, who is currently racing go-karts.

What’s your most vivid racing memory?

My first time on an ­international track racing in the Formula BMW in the Malaysian GP in 2008.

Does the international racing scene intimidate you?

Not really. I’ve raced ­internationally before for go-karts, but there is more bigger pressure to perform because you feel the need to impress all those F1 big shots watching you.

Do you have to put on a tough persona to become “one of the boys”?

I have been racing for a long time and have grown up with most of the guys so, no. Although, I do have to be more ­aggressive on the track so that the guys don’t try to beat me or bully me around.

How did your mother react to you becoming a competitive ­racing driver?

She has always been supportive and, with my father being involved with racing for so long, it’s been a part of her life anyway. She still gets nervous when I’m driving ­bigger cars and always attends my races.

You’re an interior design student. Is that the “soft” side to the “hardcore” side of being a racer?

I guess you could put it like that. I’m studying introduction to ­interior design and multimedia graphics. It’s my back-up plan.

When do you plan to pursue a career in interior decor?

I want to take racing as far as I can and for as long as I can, so ­interior design is something I want to fall back on should racing no longer be an option.

What kind of car do you drive in everyday life?

I drive a white VW Polo 1.9 TDi. It doesn’t even have a name.

What are your hobbies outside the racetrack?

I play golf quite often and I love any kind of watersports at nearby dams.

Your boyfriend races bikes. Does racing dominate your ­conversations?

Not all the time, but it’s a big part of our lives. We do stuff any other couple would. He is from Cape Town so whenever I’m down there we love going to the beach.

Is your family competitive with each other?

Very. My brother and my dad are very competitive when we are racing. We’re constantly trying to be better than each other.

Which do you prefer: racing ­overalls or dressing up?

Overalls are really comfortable, but I prefer dressing up. Then again, I wouldn’t call jeans and ­T-shirts dressing up.

How can one get young girls ­interested in this sport?

It’s something that can’t be forced because girls still think it’s a guy’s world. Women can be just as competitive as men on the track.

Fathers and brothers should bring their sisters or daughters to race days so they can see there are women racing. 

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