NGM Motorsport’s lady Natalia Balbo leads the female squad in KZ2 after a year in the Italian ACI Karting championship in the KZ2 class, first year in CIK-FIA categories after some years in Rotax series.
We’re getting used to see more and more girls in the paddock, tell us where does your passion for racing comes from?
“It's strange because in my family no one pushed me to try a go-kart.. I asked it! My passion comes from myself, I can't explain where does it come from! My cousin has a huge passion for motorsport, maybe he influenced me, but since I drove a kart for the first time, I felt in love with it!”
Let’s recap your career...
“I started racing when I was 11 years old. Since 2009 I raced in the Rotax MAX Challenge Italy in all the categories - Junior, Senior and DD2 - and I also took part to some races of the Rotax MAX European Challenge. 2015 was the best year because I won the Rotax MAX Challenge Italy in DD2 and that allowed me to take part to the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals in Portimao. That was my first "world Championship" and my first race out of Italian borders too....it was amazing!! 2017 is the year of the change, from DD2 to KZ2.”
How is this first season in KZ2? Is it so different from the Rotax DD2?
“This is my first season in KZ2 and in the beginning it wasn’t easy! Different drivers, different tyres, different starting procedures, but I’m proud to be where I’m now: in this year I’ve done so many steps forward and I'm super happy about it, but I know that it’s not enough. KZ2 is really different from DD2 but I'm learning a lot in this category, particularly in international races.”
We know that you also drive an electric formula: tell us something more about your F. Sae team, the Race UP Team Electric.
“Formula SAE is a project that allows universities from all around the world to build a proper racecar (electric or endothermic) and to take part to dedicated racing events. I'm studying mechanical engineering at the University of Padova and our team is the Race Up Team, in particular I'm part of the electric division. It is not only about building a fast car, but the goal is to create a prototype of company that has to sell this revolutionary idea to an investor. Formula Sae events have 3 static events (design, cost report and business plan) and 4 dinamic events (acceleration, skid pad, autocross and endurance). Being part of this project helps you to understand how the engineering world works, infact I'm not only the driver of the electric car, but I’m also a member of the chassis department and I have the chance to turn into practice what I'm studying.”
How are you getting ready for this event? Are you scared or only excited?
“I'm working a lot on myself for this event, physically and mentally. I’m following a hard training program in the gym and at the track and at the same time I’m trying to improve my concentration skills to be ready to stay focused during all the weekend.”
What do you expect from this International Super Cup?
“My target is to race the final on Sunday, but we are 118 drivers so I know that’s not easy for a rookie! I’ll do my best with no regrets!”
Plans for the next year? Are you wondering to race also the CIK-FIA European championship?
“Not at the moment. I’m 100% focused on the International Super Cup, after it I’ll plan my next season. I would like to race more international races....we will see!”