Belén García Espinar: exclusive interview with the pilot

Belen Garcia Espinar

The world of motorsport is a world dominated by men, too much testosterone on the track as we have told in some news from Actualidad Motor. But today, we have the pleasure of interviewing the Spanish pilot Belén García Espinar , who has kindly agreed to be our "victim" and answer these questions that we will share with all of you.

If you still do not know her, I invite you to follow her on her social networks and track, since everything will not be Lewis Hamiltons and Sebastians Vettels ... We also want to give voice and visibility to all women who are competing in any sport category and that sometimes they have to fight more for their gender or they are not valued as they deserve. So for all of them , here is this interview that I hope you like ...

Belén García Espinar pilot

Current Engine: How do you define yourself? Who would you say is Belén García Espinar?

Belén García Espinar: I am above all a passionate about sports. I compete in two sports that may seem very different but that complement each other. They are motorsport and athletics, specifically the pole vault.

In addition to the sporting aspect, I am a telematic engineering student at La Salle URL, a career that is increasingly related to the motoring, due to the increased use of communication technologies in cars and racing equipment.

AM: You study Telematics Engineering, as you have said , it is good that more and more women are in the STEM world and this dominance of man is broken in this type of disciplines. When did your interest in technology start?

BGE: Since I was very young I have been interested in the world of technology, in fact I do not remember when it started. I've always been very curious and I've tried to understand how things work.

AM: I understand you perfectly, since I was a child I've always had an interest in how things, because my father opened the hood of the car to see what was inside or disassemble the toys that gave me because I enjoyed it, seeing what was inside and made them work ... Having said that, we move on to the next question. How do you combine this with your sports career?

BGE: Unfortunately, it is unfortunately very difficult in this country to combine sport with studies. The concept of the studies here is that the dedication has to be 100%, that's why there is no space for sport. And less if you practice two. That's why one of my goals is to go to study in the USA, to give an example, where they allow and promote the practice of sports as well as studies.

That said, in a point of my life I decided that whatever it cost I would combine and continue training and competing at the highest level possible, no matter how much they tell me that you can not.

AM: And now we go to motorsport ... Tell us about your beginnings ...

BGE: I have always been very connected to the motor sport world: my father I ran enduro and always had some engine artifact nearby, so I did too.

Anyway, my sports career in motorsport really started in 2015 with my first season in the Spanish Karting Championship.The beginning was difficult but little by little and based on races I have been learning so far, that I have managed to be among the top ten in the Spanish Karting Championship in a category like the KZ2, which is considered the queen category of karting.

AM: What is your goal? (WEC, Formula 1, Formula E, ...)

BGE: If something is clear to me, I want to keep running as long as possible, whatever it may be. I would love to be able to complete some season in formulas, and go forward and learn as much as possible as a pilot to reach the top.

I am aware that to compete in F1 is a very ambitious objective in which many factors besides the strictly sporting influence, but there are other ways such as WEC, DTM, Formula E, etc. for which you could get to dedicate professionally to this sport and that is what I dream of achieving.

AM: Any reference you have in this field ?

BGE: The truth is that I do not have any specific reference, I prefer to keep some aspects of many people. For example, I love the passion that Marc Márquez transmits, the way of working of Michael Schumacher, the way of understanding the careers of Daniel Ricciardo ... although I have always had a special admiration towards the Kaiser.

AM: What is your opinion of eSports as a means to compete with real cars? Every time there are more cases of gamers that come to pilot in categories of real cars ...

BGE: Well, it is one of the new ways that are opening to get to the professional competition with lower costs. The simulators are becoming more real and that allows the change to be easier, as demonstrated by Lucas Ordóñez, who has been able to participate in one of the most important races in the world such as the 24 hours of Le Mans.

Belen Garcia in a kart

AM: 've heard a lot of barbarities, from sexist comments to parents recriminating their children because a woman had overtaken them ... Have you found or are you finding it difficult to be a woman? Any that you can share that struck you especially?

BGE: Luckily I have not found myself in any of these situations on track, or at least I did not they have affected the least. I have always thought that on the track we are all the same, or that although there are differences, it does not have to mean anything bad. Each one is what it is and what matters is the desire with which you face the races. I sincerely believe that a woman can be as quick as a man, that it should not be a problem to be a man or a woman. I also think that it is largely a matter of statistics, we are more and more but in comparison to men we are still very few. If it is already very difficult to become a professional pilot, if we are few, we will arrive even less.

Off track, unfortunately I can not say the same. This 2018 I have made the leap to KZ2, a very demanding category in terms of physique. From the beginning, I have met many people who told me I could not run, that this was not a category for me, with my physique, and that I would never go fast. I have been able to demonstrate during the year what I am capable of and that I am also more fit than most drivers on the grid.

AM: ... it's extraordinary! As for sponsorship or support, do you have any support in your career? (Sponsorship, sponsor, driver academy, ...).Unfortunately, in motorsport, many resources are needed to be able to become professional.

Obviously, without my parents' help none of this would be possible.

AM: You've been in karting and you've also driven single-seaters. Many pilots have commented on the differences that exist between single-seaters of lower categories and Formula 1 when they test them. What feelings do you have when getting into a kart and an F4 car?

BGE: The truth is that I can not tell you anything about Formula 1 yet, I would be lying to you if I told you I noticed a lot or little difference.

But the differences between kart and Formula 4 are: one of the most different aspects is braking. In the formula you need to generate a very high pedal pressure to brake correctly. In the kart, on the other hand, it is not necessary to exert so much force. From the first day we were working to achieve this pressure and to have the optimal form in telemetry.

Another important difference is the downforce that is generated in the formula. From the start it is difficult to understand that sometimes, the faster you go more, instead of starting to slide, you start to have more grip. Especially considering that in kart the downforce can become negative. It's impressive.

On the other hand, weight is another aspect to consider. Due to the great difference in weight, the inertias are much smaller in the kart and it is something to understand when you get into the formula.

AM: Very interesting, now we are going to another aspect, that of security. Everybody's heart stopped when we saw the accident of Sophia Floersch in Macao (an example of the most recent). Have you suffered a strong accident?

BGE: No, the truth is that fortunately I have not had any serious accidents. Only usual in a karting driver.

AM: Of course I think you are made of another pasta, I admire you ... How do you think you can go back? to take a wheel after this type of accident? I guess passion helps, and when you're in the car you feel safe ...

BGE: Passion is everything. If you like it, the only thing you think about is going back to the car and being the fastest. If we were thinking about the dangers we are exposed to, we would not enjoy it and go very slowly.

AM: Anything else you want to add/claim/announce In our blog?

BGE: It's a shame that due to the economic crisis, the presence of sponsors has been reduced in such proportion and that programs that they have been so beneficial for Spanish motoring in the past, as for example the Racing for Spain or the Joves Pilots program of the Circuit de Barcelona - Catalunya, they have practically disappeared. I think more help is needed so that young pilots can have a real chance to fight for their dreams.

Also, more generally, I think we should promote the sport together with education, but really. It should be possible to study and compete at the same time. It seems very sad to me that almost everyone ends up leaving the sport they practice because they make it impossible to dedicate yourself to it while you study.In pre-campaign everything is wonderful, the future perspectives are extraordinary, ideas and phenomenal proposals, etc., a pity that they do not remember them again until 4 years have passed and they need the votes again. No comments!

Well, having said that, we have reached the end. Thank you very much, a pleasure, really. I wish you the best and hopefully you will fulfill your dreams. Remember me when you do it! Hahaha. A warm greeting from Actualidad Motor.

BGE: The pleasure is mine, thank you very much for the interest. See you in the circuits!

We take the word Bethlehem, we will follow you on the track ... And here ends our interview, I hope you like the interview, in the end you have left in the pipeline a question about the controversy of the W Series that have been announced recently and that has aroused so much criticism and praise. It will undoubtedly be an interesting topic to discuss when there is more information about this category that so far have leaked a little data ... Do not forget to leave your comments as always!

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