Alas! The moment had arrived for Astrid to begin the racing competition license process with the National Auto Sport Association (NASA). On Friday, October 18th, 2019 Astrid partook in NASA North East’s “Comp School” at New Jersey Motorsports Park. The day consisted of classroom sessions and on track racing exercises which students needed to complete and show competence in order to receive their provisional license and begin competing in NASA races. As the day progressed, Astrid performed passing exercises, rolling starts and mock races with other seasoned racers who where instructed to put the students to the test and simulate real racing conditions. After a written exam, the students would go out on track for their first race. Astrid did exceedingly well in all areas of the school. Finally, capping off the day with a Provisional Racing License in hand.
Saturday October 19th, 2019. A cool crisp autumn morning and the day Astrid would compete in her first real race. The schedule would be a practice session in the morning, followed by qualifying and then the race in the afternoon. Astrid would be competing in the “Lightning” race group. The Lightning race group is a multi class group which consists of multiple marques that have a limit to their horsepower to weight ratios. The Lightning group typically consists of Spec BMW E30s, Spec Mazda Miatas, Honda Challenge and of course Astrid’s GTS 1 classed BMW E36 318is.
Saturday, was a great race day. Astrid completed all of the sessions and the race with out a hitch. No incidents and race completion granted her the first stamp on her provisional license. Only 3 more races needed for a full competition license to be in Astrid’s possession.
Sunday October 20th, 2019. Racing in the rain! While most racers dread the rain, Astrid welcomed it. Not only did she have hours of experience of rain racing from her karting days, she knew this would be an advantage to her under powered 4 cylinder BMW. As the day progressed, with practice and qualifying, Astrid’s rain prowess proved beneficial as other racers struggled to keep their race cars on the track. Now to keep the pace for the race. Keeping her driving calm and smooth around Thunderbolt was no easy task for the young racer but, lap after lap she never missed a beat. Managing faster cars and slower cars in true Astrid fashion, perfect. This race was a true testament to Astrid’s abilities as a driver. With her reward being a mid pack finish and yet another stamp on her provisional license.
Smiles, Hugs and congratulations came from all around the paddock. Quite the accomplishment at just 15 years old.