Eyes on the Future: a chat with Ine Vanderplasschen
Discover more about Belgian karting lady Ine Vanderplasschen, a winning-mentality young driver with a potentially shining future ahead.
I an moment when the current state of the entire motorsport industry is still very much uncertain and nobody is really able to imagine what the near future will be like, we want to stay positive and keep thinking about the return on racetracks; we want to keep thinking that women will lead the way in a motorsport recovery, thanks to a new and even more shining generation of talents around the world. We had the chance to discover a little bit more about one of the most promising female talents in the European karting scene, Belgian Ine Vanderplasschen. What immediately strikes the most about Ine, a 2000-born lady from Ternat - a close municipality to the capital Brussels - is her immense determination to pursue her goals. An essential skill for a young talent to make her way in a difficult and competitive environment like motorsport, just as to accomplish big goals in life. "My vision is very clear, I want to reach the best I can in Motorsport, while having the most fun possible. I am someone determined and I surely will never stop doing what i love". This mentality, mixed with her brilliant talent showed on racetracks, proved that Ine Vanderplasschen may have in her DNA what it takes to succeed in motor racing. In the past years, Ine raced in some of the most important Belgian karting competitions and conquered the Brussels Kart Summer Cup Trophy in 2013. Despite her young age, she has already gathered some relevant experiences: she competed on the prestigious Le Mans Karting International track as a member of The Girls On Track project, a young female development program organized by the FIA Women In Motorsport. She also had the chance to get behind the wheel of a Ford Fiesta race car. She told us about the moment when her love for motor racing started, at the age of two, as well as her big career goals for the future; her past experiences, her relationship with one of the top-rated female names in the current motorsport scene; from the role of her family in her career path, to the meeting with one of her biggest inspirational figures, always with the same motto in her mind:
"Success is never by chance"
RACERS: Tell us something more about yourself: where does your passion for motorsport come from? INE: My passion for racing started when my father took me for the first time to Francorchamps, to watch the Belcar Series. I was only two years old, but already fascinated by the sound and the beauty of race cars. We went to big tracks regularly, and very soon the engine sounds and smelly brakes began to feel like home. These moments with my dad are definitely the foundation of my passion for racing!
R: Before choosing your path as a racing driver, you practiced several different sports. What was the push for you to decide to focus all of yourself in motorsport? I: Obviously all these previous hobbies didn’t give me the “kick” I was looking for. When I finally discovered the feeling of racing and, as I quickly started to make progresses, it was logical to start fully focusing on racing.
R: At the age of 10 you had the opportunity to jump into a kart for the first time. What do you remember of that day? I: I definitely remember the adrenalin it gave me and the focus I immediately developed. My first words after the ride were: “I want to do it again!!”. We decided to return to the track as soon as we could. So yeah, I was immediately caught by the racing microbe!
R: You took part in The Girl On Track event sponsored by the FIA Women In Motorsport, what experience has it been? I: Being able to drive with so many other girls on such a beautiful track with professional coaches was just fantastic. I also got to meet one of my great examples and inspirations in racing: Tatiana Calderon. She shared her racing story with us and gave us some advice for the future, which has taught me a lot! R: Apart from your karting experiences, you also had the opportunity to compete in a Ford Fiesta racecar. Did you find any particular difficulties in the switch from a kart to a car? I: Racing karts is of course very different from driving cars. The biggest difference for me was the braking technique.
R: Last year you teamed up with Beitske Visser in some karting races. Tell us a little more about your relationship with her and how was it to share the track with a driver like Beitske? I: I met Beitske a couple of years ago as she joined the racing team I drove in “TB Competition” for a training day at Genk. It went really well and so since then we have already teamed up twice for the BEKC endurance race, also at Genk. Beitske is such a fast, focused and professional racing driver. Training and racing with her is one of the most instructive experiences I’ve had so far!
R: You also supported her during last year's W Series Zolder round. What do you think about this brand new championship and did that weekend motivate you to one day be possibly part of something big like that? I: I think W Series is doing such a good job pushing aside the stereotypes in motorsports. Their first season was very successful and I think they definitely proved their potential. It is my dream and ambition to drive formula cars, so of course seeing W Series at Zolder gave me some extra motivation to work even harder on that dream.
R: Do you have a role model ? I: I have one big idol: Ayrton Senna. Stoffel Vandoorne, Beitske Visser and Tatiana Calderon are also a real inspirations to me.
R: What role does your family play in your sport? Have they always supported your dream? I: My parents have always supported me. My brother is also a racing driver so we train a lot together! R: In the past few years, more and more girls have reached the spotlight in motor racing, unlike in the past when it was much rarer to see girls competing in important championships worldwide. What do you think about it? I: It’s a great thing that women feel more and more attracted to motorsports. I believe there is absolutely no reason to think women would be less talented in racing than men!
R: In a potential future, would you rather pursue a career in formula racing or GT racing? I: It is my biggest dream to compete in formula cars, although I wouldn’t mind racing GT cars! R: Outside the racetrack, who is Ine? How would you describe yourself? I: I would describe myself as a very kind, curious and active person. I am full of ambition and by nature I constantly strive to improve myself and to search for my own limits. This is a good thing, but sometimes it doesn’t allow me to be satisfied with my results even though I could be. Furthermore, I love adventures, sports, challenges, music, nature and travelling.
R: What does your racing program look like when this difficult time will come to an end and it will finally be possible to return to do what you love on track? I: When we will finally be able to return to racing tracks, I will continue working on my career in motorsports. Trackdays, sim sessions, testing and maybe some races. R: "Success is never by chance" - This is your main motto. How would you describe the key to success?
I: Success is always the result of hard work. Racing is all about resilience and perseverance. There’ll always be difficult moments where you feel like giving up. In those moments I think it’s important to keep going, to learn from your mistakes and to work even harder to reach your goals. R: What are your main goals for the future? I: My goal is to keep racing and to have a successful career in motorsports.
"Success is always the result of hard work. Racing is all about resilience and perseverance."