Over the next few months Ignition Human Performance will be following the progress of Raj Kular, who is applying to compete in the new Formula Woman series, which if she wins, will be awarded a drive in a two car Formula Woman entered McLaren GT4 race cars in the 2022 GT Cup championship.
Before Raj even turns a wheel on the race track she already looks like a World Champion, as she races in a replica of Nigel Mansell's famous Union Jack helmet from his 1992 championship year with Williams.
So it's over to Raj to tell you her story, with how she got into motorsport, how she juggles it with work and why she decided to compete in Formula Woman.
I fell in love with karting…Covid-19 happened…and now I’ve entered Formula Woman! What a whirlwind! But if I had to sum up my motorsport journey so far, in a sentence, that would be it. However, it does no justice to the huge learning curve I’ve been on across the past 20+ months.
Since childhood I’ve always had a love for cars, or fast cars to be more specific. But my exposure was limited to my PlayStation console and games which involved garish cars and a whole lot of NOS. Meanwhile, I knew nothing of the real outside world of motorsport and the concept that one could actually pursue a lifelong career as a racing driver.
I grew up fast, got a good education and have now established myself as a successful Senior Account Manager in a great London-based B2B organisation (Procurement Leaders).
My passion for cars made an abrupt return when, in late February 2020, I fell head first into the world of go-karting, having booked a weekend open race at Daytona Sandown Park (Surrey). Across the next 20 months, despite many of those spent frustratingly doing no racing due to C-19 restrictions, I caught the racing bug. What’s more significant, this included many signs of promising talent behind the wheel. 20+ podium trophies, multiple tracks visited across the country, all whilst wearing a replica Nigel Mansell World Champion helmet and I was starting to feel the urge to take my racing to the next level!
Then along came Formula Woman. 17 years since the original competition took place in 2004 and virtually no advertising beyond promotions on social media, I was lucky when my partner came across the opportunity and recommended I enter. A competition designed for women with little racing experience, in the attempt to find the next female motor racing champion, it’s a phenomenal opportunity. A series of assessments will determine the winners of a prize drive in two Formula Woman McLaren GT4 race cars, in the 2022 GT Cup championship.
I applied in early August and ever since then have been on a journey to grow my capabilities - both physically and mentally, with the latter being a real eye-opener. In virtually all of my spare time outside of work, when not karting, I’ve taken the opportunity to learn what truly makes a successful elite racing driver and how to grow my cognitive driving ability and mindset.
Thanks to Daytona Sandown Park, I happened to have a chance meeting (and race!) with Nick Butcher, co-founder and director of Ignition Human Performance. It's companies like Ignition Human Performance and opportunities like Formula Woman, which have enabled me to push the boundaries of what I deem possible. Learning about how successful world championship racing drivers have prepared pre-race and the mindset they have going into and during a race has been amazing.
Perhaps it’s a coincidence that I’ve had my strongest quarter performance at work whilst learning all I can since August, but I truly believe motorsport has lessons that can be learnt and applied in all spheres of life, including the workplace and this has had a positive impact on my own work-place performance. Self-belief, concentration, fine tuning natural capability and the knowledge to recognise areas of weakness and how to address them are just some examples of what I’ve been able to build upon in my own journey.
I'm grateful to all who have supported me with my development and steep learning curve so far: Nick, Formula Woman, including their fantastic training partners such as “the Naked Warrior” (Claire Johnson) and iZone Driver Performance, as well as of course family and friends. I cannot wait to see what I can achieve at my all-important FW assessment next week!
To find out more about Formula Woman visit www.formulawoman.co.uk