Currently racing in the DS3 Cup Denmark, young Finnish racing driver Linda Vekka is living her racing dreams. We had a chat with the talented racer about her past, present and future in the sport - and discovered a rich personality full of dreams and ambitions.
Linda Vekka is a young racing driver from Finland, who is in her third season of competitions in the DS3 Cup Denmark - a championship that supports a variety of national series like TCR Denmark and GT Denmark. With her Citroen DS3 race car, she lives the fast life she has always dreamt about on the racetrack, enjoying the close racing on the tarmac that touring cars can offer.
We spoke with her about her first steps in motorsport and her aims for the future. And, needless to say, she has really great plans coming up!
Racers: How would you introduce yourself to our readers - who is Linda on and off the track?
Linda Vekka: "I started racing when I was 15 and, before that, I was a competitive swimmer.
I'm actually a third generation racer, as my grandpa was a co-driver and my mother as well. My father was a rally car driver and has delivered racing tires to Finnish circuits for 17 years."
"My parents weren't happy when, as I was 13, I started asking if I could do racing, because I liked motorsport and wanted to try it."
"They were afraid because it can be dangerous at some level. It took couple of years to convince them that I really want to do this. This is my thing and ever since we have been racing with my father, my mom hasn't been able to come to the races. She's so nervous about the whole event."
R: And you are currently racing in Denmark.
Linda: "Yes, we travelled for four years in Finland before we switched to Denmark - and it's been like living a dream."
"Racing in Denmark is kind of spectacular compared to Finnish racing, as here the circuit racing is not doing so well. Rally is a huge thing, but circuit racing is not that big here. We have more circuits in Finland but Denmark knows how to build events around racing."
R: Let's pretend you don't have limitations: where would you like to race?
Linda: "When we dream a bit, I would do TCR - but maybe the European series or in the United States. I always dreamed about racing in the US, because it's so different to what we have in Europe. I mean, the sports business industry is so huge there and they actually know what they are doing."
"That's why I'm studying sport business, because I want to be the person who is helping the young drivers to find the support, the sponsors - so that they don't need to be worried about the financial side."
"I'm always worried about finding the budget for the next season and it's frustrating. Then I hear that 13 year-old boys and girls are spending a lot more money than I do, and I don't know how they are finding it. So I would like to be the one helping the young talents who don't have the support from their parents - or their parents don't know how to find that money - so they can be able to focus on the races and not think about the budget."
"I would love to have my own academy for drivers - that would be really great."
R: As we are talking about the financial side - how did Covid affect your plans in the last couple of years?
Linda: "Well I'm in a happy position where I have the support from my parents. My dad is excellent at this and we're planning events and everything to fund my hobby. Of course I'm worried about it."
"I was already worried in 2020, because we didn't know how companies were going to recover from the financial repercussions they were going to have. Of course we want our partners to succeed on their area."
"I'm of course worried about companies who have been with me since day one. We have become good friends with most of these entrepreneurs so this is something that I was worried about - but I think we have always found a way to fund my motorsport."
R: In general terms, what would your dream life be?
Linda: "I don't know - I have everything. Racing is my dream, it's always been my dream. And I love my snowmobile, I love my dog, I love my life. I don't know what more I could ask for than living my dream."
R: That's so great. I think many people dream about just being happy.
Linda: "Yeah, it is kind of sad that people in Finland seem not to like when you are living your dream. It's like you should be like milk: colourless, tasteless."
"When you are doing well, you are not supposed to show it to anyone and keep it inside. This is quite hard because I really love to show that it is possible to chase your dreams."
"Motorsport is my passion - there is fire inside of me and I can turn it into that power to do anything. Everything is possible when you find your passion. And it is quite sad when some people are afraid to taste their passion because they don't want to show that they are doing well, when they have so much more potential inside of them."
R: I think it's always important to show that you can live your dreams.
Linda: "Yes I totally understand what you mean. I was bullied when I was in Elementary School, because I just couldn't fit in. But now I think I'm in a happier position, because in motorsport everyone is like in the same group."
"At the racetrack, there is no one saying that I shouldn't be there because I'm a girl. Everybody is supporting me and encouraging me - and we're all treated the same."
R: And it's great to see the increasing number of female drivers as well.
Linda: "Yeah I think the biggest problem is that there are so many more men and not enough women in order to really compete equally in a racing series right now. You might have one woman and 24 men - of course the number of male winners in the races is going to be higher than for the female ones."
R: That's why it's even more important to see a woman winning races.
Linda: "Most of the girls know that they can do it, but to see that it's actually possible, from time to time, gives you some extra power to push for the dream - especially when sometimes you might be struggling a bit.” ”This year I have really enjoyed seeing Martina Bäckfelt winning races in the Finnish Championship. She’s a great driver."
R: Where would you see yourself in five years' time?
Linda: "Dream big - I would say TCR. And I would love to run my own series in Finland - for example bringing the DS3 Cup to Finland, in order to have one category that is equal for everyone to race in."
"Now we have plenty of classes, but the competition is not equal because the cars are so different. That's why I would like to take the DS3 Cup to Finland - or something similar - something that is affordable to run here."
"Five years is quite a short time, but it's also a long time; I definitely see myself racing somewhere and I really hope to find the budget to race in TCR someday."
"Everything is possible when you find your passion."
Dream big: that's the motto that Linda Vekka is trying to follow in order to pursue her dreams and hopefully we will indeed see the young Finn driving in TCR in the near future. But, before that, we will see Vekka joining the DS3 Cup Denmark from 8th to 9th October at Jyllandsringen and at Padborg Park from 15th to 16th October for the final two rounds of the 2022 season.