Alessandra Neri, desire and charm on her Trofeo debut

Alessandra Neri

Alessandra Neri, desire and charm on her Trofeo debut

Alessandra Neri, the 23 year-old from Forli, adds to the female presence in the 2011 Trofeo Maserati.

The number of women drivers will be highest at Budapest with Anita Toth and Andrina Gugger competing and Agnes Banki and Adrienn Bende turning up for free practice.

How have you found the Trofeo Maserati atmosphere?

"This is my first time in this championship and I am making my debut in a Maserati. The atmosphere is fantastic and relaxed but you can still sense the tension of the race. We are all in the same marquee and have the chance to weigh each other up. The level here is one of the highest I have ever seen".

What are your impressions of the other drivers?
"There are a few new faces around apart from me, including lots of foreign drivers I don't know. Still, I know most of them and they are good drivers".

When did you start racing?
"I made my first appearance in 1997, in karts. Then, in 2006, moved into Formula series and then covered wheel racing in 2008".

Last year you just missed out on the GT Sprint title...

"Exactly. In 2010 I took part in the GT Sprint and only just failed to win the series. It was a shame. I am taking part again this year but luck is not on my side: each time I sort out one problem, another comes up. I hope that things improve over the rest of the season".

Why did you opt for the Trofeo Maserati?
"I was offered the chance to race at Budapest and I accepted as it seemed like a good chance to compete in a new series and, above all, a new car. I didn't want to miss out on the opportunity".

Was your choice influenced by the presence of other women drivers?
"Well, it is good to see so many women drivers as I am usually the only girl out on the track. However, this wasn't why I made my decision". 

What is it like racing against men?
"I have been racing in series like this for years and so we all know each other. It was hard to begin with but then they got used to me and accepted the fact that a girl can be quicker than a lot of guys. Let's say they have 'almost accepted' me (she said laughing, Ed)".
What advice would you give to a girl starting out in the world of racing?
"Never give up! Motorsport is very satisfying but is a tough environment. It is not like running a marathon where you are all alone. Here you have a team and a squad of mechanics and not everyone wants to see a woman on the track. So, my advice would be to stick at it as girls can be just as fasts as guys

What are you impressions after a day behind the wheel of a Maserati GranTurismo MC Trofeo?

"The car is different to the ones I am used to driving. You can't make modifications here. I am used to finding solutions to problems but the Trofeo regulations call for the cars to be identical and changes cannot be made. The secret to winning depends on the driver's capacity to adapt as well as, obviously, being quick
What do you get up to away from the track?
"I graduated in Industrial Design in January and when I get back on Wednesday I will sign my first contract as an intern



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