Photo: Vicky Piria Official Facebook
Ferrari and Maserati have long been in the fast lane of Italian motor racing scene. Meet the new head-turning sensation from the land of Monza, Mille Miglia and Targa Florio.
Signorina Vittoria “Vicky” Piria.
“Vicky” was welcomed into this world on November 11, 1993 by an English mother and an Italian father. Her interest in racing was sparked by her younger brother Joey at a young age. In 2010 season she raced in the Formula Abarth Championship.
F1weekly would like to thank “Vicky” for taking the time during the busy Holiday season to respond to our request for an interview.
Q: What was the main attraction and thrill the first time you experienced “the countless spinouts” and off-track excursions in a kart?
A: “I started go-karting at 8-years old, my dad used to bring me and my brother to a track near home. The first time I tried it was freezing cold weather and I had new tires on, my dad forgot to tell me to be careful because the tires wouldn’t have grip the first lap, so at the first corner I spun and hit a tree!!! It wasn’t the greatest experience but from then I started loving anything that had four wheels!”
Q: What are the most important things a driver learns in karting?
A: “Karting is the main school for any racing driver, you learn how to handle the pressure of the competition, how to get strong and confident when you are in “bagarre” with other drivers and deal qualifying and races. It is easier to learn how to drive a racing car when you’ve got go-karting experience.”
Q: How did the competition – mostly boys – feel when you won five races and the 2004 Regional Umbria Championship?
A: “A boy can’t really stand that a girl is going faster than him. In certain ways the competition grows between different sex drivers. Once though you gained their respect they consider you a driver like another but obviously people were surprised to see a girl winning, it’s a rare thing!”
Q: You celebrated your 15th birthday in the cockpit of a Formula Ford 1600 at Adria Raceway, how did it feel having your cake and eat it, too?
A: “It was my birthday present! It was a great experience and the first time I drove a single seater car, I guess the perfect gift!”
Q: Who is managing and guiding your career at this stage?
A: “Up to now my dad is guiding my career and dealing with management business.”
Q: Which car is more fun to race, Formula Renault or Abarth, and why?
A: “They’re both great cars as first step in racing career. I’ve raced one year with Formula Abarth so I know the limits of the car and especially of the tires. So I love driving it! I’ve also tried the new Formula Renault Caparo which seems easier to drive thanks to the Michelin tires and the paddle shift.”
Q: You raced in Formula Abarth past season, how would you compare your first season in motor racing to first season in karting?
A: “This year I think has been the most formative season of my career. Although the results did come as we wanted there have been good performances and I’ve learned a lot.”
Q: What were the highs and lows of the season for you?
A: “It hasn’t been an easy year because I was racing against 30-40 drivers every race and the level of competition was extremely high. It was easy to crash in the races with other cars but I’ve always been fast on the lap times and had good performances in the races.”
Q: What was the biggest challenge for this season, depth of competition or learning the Tatuus car?
A: “As it was the first season everything was new for me and I raced with drivers that had a lot more experience than me. Even for the team it wasn’t easy developing a new car during the championship. We had highs and lows as it wasn’t an easy year but I’m very glad for it.”
Q: On a scale of 1-10 (ten being best) how would you rate the season?
A: “6 to 7. I committed many mistakes as it was the first year but I’ve always been fast and distinguished myself.”
Q: Formula ‘Uno’ is your goal; have you set yourself a career path and when can we expect the next Lombardi and Amati in GP racing?
A: “F1 for a girl is a very difficult goal, there are more difficulties on the physical side and harder to find people believing in girl power that actually help you out. But soon I think there will be a girl in F1.”
Q: Your mom is from England and dad from Sicily, where you want to live is New York City, what do you like about the Big Apple?
A: “I’d like to live in NYC, I’ve been there only once and really loved it! I like a dynamic life style and hate not having anything to do. I guess so that in NYC it is impossible to get board!”
Q: Fish and chips or Pizza?
A: “Pizza! Italian food is the best!”
Q: Do you follow American racing scene like Indy cars and NASCAR?
A: “I like following all kinds of racing so I often watch Indy Car races and enjoy them a lot!”
Q: Please tell us about Vicky Piria; the young lady, not the race car driver. Your interest in music, hobbies and other sports you enjoy watching?
A: “Racing is the first thing for me, but when I’m not at the track I study in a language school and train in the gym. I love horse-back riding, skiing and all kinds of sports. Going out with my friends and doing always different things!”
– Nasir Hameed
Greetings and La Dolce Vita regards.