Female Car Racing in Antigua: Amey Lake
Amy Lake grew up with a keen interest in cars, even as a little girl her mother couldn't buy her a doll because she simply did not play with them. She is the youngest of three sisters but the one who developed some of her father's mechanical skills and her brothers' enthusiasm for fast cars; after all, they were into cars. She said her father always wanted one of his children to race but he never thought it would have been his youngest daughter.
Amy's attraction grew stronger as her brother's Starlet caught her attention one day. When she heard the sound of the blow valve it grabbed her attention; something about the sound grabbed her and resulted in her desire to have one put on her car. She stated, "Ever since that "sound" it was all over; I was hooked for good." The sound heralded her on her way to the racing circuit with the support and assistance of her brothers in her endeavors to race. They finally took her down to the tracks to race her car but she got scared, actually the term she used was "she punked out." But she eventually overcame her fear and one thing led to another and Lady "R" was born.
Putting the metal to the pedal became a charm after that initial panic attack; she has won at least 40% of her races. She actually prefers racing the guys, "It gives a better thrill," she said. Besides, there are not many female drivers here in Antigua. It is often thought that the world of motor sports was a man's sport but according to Amy, "This is the 21st Century and it is not a man's world anymore. Women can race if they want to; if it is your passion then do it." She emphasizes that women should follow their passion and don't become discouraged because men might say "women are not supposed to race." As a matter of fact, she has started to learn how to ride motor bikes but said she would not join the bike racing crowd as the absence of covering poses a deterrent.
Amy drives a black 1995 Toyota MR2 which bears the logo TRD on the front bumper, a car modified to suit her need for speed. She is no stranger to the mechanisms of her car as she does most of the work herself – oil change, changing the brakes and most of the modifications with the exception of the areas which might need "strengthening" her brothers then assist her, but in general she is expected to maintain her car. Finally, this young street car racer enjoys the sport as it gives her a chance to do what she really loves, working on and with her car. Hats off to Amy Lake "Lady R" for her courage in racing and following the passion of her heart!