How do you develop as a racer- Mikaela Ahlin- Kottulinsky shares her thoughts on opportunity to race Extreme E 2021

How do you develop as a racer- Mikaela Ahlin- Kottulinsky shares her thoughts on opportunity to race Extreme E 2021

Question: how do you develop as a racer? Learn, experience, improve? Where and when do these opportunities arise, and for whom? Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky moves these questions forward by making most of the opportunity to race Extreme E Series with Jenson Button’s JBXE Team.

Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Jenson Button JBXE Team

For Mikaela, racing has been about putting passion of Motorsport into action, reaching and achieving goals both on and off the track. Simple when put into a sentence, practically more challenging to make happen, no matter what the odds. Courage to push outside comfort zone has been a must, so to has been realizing that ‘you are only as good as last result’ with focus switching to what lies ahead.

With successful results racing Rallycross, GT’s and only female to win races in 2018 Scandinavian Touring Car Championship, Mikaela gained crucial break through as test driver with Extreme E and founding partner Continental. Scrutinizing her analytical driving skills testing the new Cross Contact tyres manufactured by Continental, Mikaela gained in-house experience on the roll-out of Extreme E Series.

Mikaela: ‘When I started co-operation with Continental and Extreme E as test driver for the cars and tyres, everything was new and no actual Teams were confirmed. To be part of the journey from the very start was amazing. I was one of the first people to drive the cars in 2019 in France, and to see how this Championship has evolved to actual racing in Saudi Arabia is so exciting’.

Mikaela’s grand-father competing and winning Paris-to-Dakar Rally in 1980.

Gaining selection to race with Jenson Button’s JBXE Team was more than just an amazing opportunity to race along-side 2009 Formula One Champion- factors such as being able to learn and develop racing skills within a Series promoting sustainability meant ‘racing for change’. Not one to rely on the status-quo to maintain her career, Mikaela embraces family traits of making change count- as her grand-father did, making history competing and winning Paris-to-Dakar Rally in 1980.

Mikaela: ‘There were challenges over the 2 days at Extreme E first Round- Desert X Prix. The extreme track in the desert is something I haven’t raced on before, though it was alot like ice driving. Handling of the car, and technique was quite similar, but of course you don’t have drops or jumps on an ice track’.

‘I’ve raced Rallycross but this was really challenging and new. The most satisfying part was after Q2 session which was my first lap that I felt in control. I feel we have taken alot of positives, especially speed-wise that we can take to the next Round’.

Mikaela competing Extreme E with JBXE Team- Desert X Prix.

Competing on level playing field, not only within Teams, but also against highly experienced drivers of both genders, provides perfect platform for driver development. With limited time on the track, Mikaela places the whole experience as one big learning curve, utilizing the array of skill and expertise within JBXE Team to complete each Round a better driver.

Mikaela: ‘I always say it is about co-operation as there is such limited time for driving. Jenson is really open with his feedback on his driving and helping me to develop my driving out on the track. I’m really grateful, for all his experience from Formula One world, and I do think we should be open as this challenge is new to both of us’.

We learnt alot in the first Round and I don’t think any of the tracks are going to be like any of the others because of the different locations we race in. I’m definitely excited about the next Round’.

Extreme E Ocean X Prix, Senegal, May 29-30.

Words: Sharon Cox.

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