When the trucks hit the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida on Sunday at the fourth season of T1 Prima truck racing, Stephanie Halm would be the only female professional truck racer competing in the race.
A native of Germany, the 32-year-old also known as Steffi has been racing trucks across European nations since 2012. However, she started her racing journey way back, when she was 15.
“Trucking started in 2012, before that I used to do karting,” she said, standing alongside the muscular, green Tata Prima that she will be racing on Sunday.
However, racing trucks was never something she planned to do. “In 2012, a technical crew living near my house approached me with the idea of competing in a truck race. And I gave it a try,” she said.
“This is the first time that I’m participating in a truck racing event in India. I like the driving conditions here. It should be fine,” she said on Saturday.
When asked what made her enter the mostly male-dominated sport, she said, “If you are interested in something, you should go and explore. Being a woman should not be a limiting point for anything.”
While it is a rare sight to see a woman on the driver’s seat of a truck in India, Stephanie said the scenario is no different in other parts of the world. “Women truck racers are very few and sparsely distributed,” she said.
However, physical strength has no role in racing. It’s all about your skills, she added.
This is also the first time that she is working with an Indian crew and had never met them before. But she is confident of her team, and says trust in the crew is very crucial.
“I have been working with the crew for the race for the past 24 hours. I had understood the conditions and I trust my crew,” she said.