Fast cars and gorgeous women. Pro racer Sara Misir is a stunning combination of the two, clocking in at record-breaking speed. Flair recently spoke to the Caribbean’s first Formula 1 woman driver and newly appointed brand ambassador for National Commercial Bank Capital Markets (NCBCM) about the beauty of racing.
“I used to race dirt bikes when I was 10 years old. This really fired up my passion for the head-to-head battles that racing is about, and after starting go-karting and having this challenge of needing to work twice as hard to get to my peers’ level at 16,” she told Flair.
Misir might have arrived late to the sport, but this only drove her to work harder, grow, remain dedicated and determined, and take advantage of any opportunities that headed in her direction. “I have always lived by a quote, ‘If you always do what you can, you will never be more than you are.’ This has pushed me to always be working my hardest and performing at my best,” she added.
She credits her discovery and subsequent love for cars to her father, Jamaica Karting Association President Rugie Misir, who would take her to watch races with him at Dover. “Watching David Summerbell racing his Evo, the excitement from the crowd, and bonding with my dad really ignited the passion for speed and adrenaline,” the 23-year-old added.
Her first race was actually her Dover debut, driving the VW Saviero in the street car class category. Since then, with more experience and seat time, her speed and skill have grown tremendously. Additionally, her car has also been upgraded from 77 horsepower to the McLaren 570s GT4 with 480+ horsepower.
We asked the pro racer a few more woman-to-woman questions, and here’s what she had to say.
How do you prepare for a race, physically and mentally?
Physically, I am continuously increasing my muscle endurance in the gym. Mentally, I keep my mind sharp by working one-to-one with a mind performance coach weekly. Both are key to optimal performance in the car.
How do you keep safe when racing?
The car has a roll cage, and you are strapped in with a five-point harness, while wearing full fireproof gear and a neck brace with a helmet. The team always makes sure that the car is at its best in terms of maintenance, and checking [that] all parts are working and done properly.
What do you think it will take to reach global domination?
I think setting goals can allow some people to become short-sighted. I set my objective to always be working my hardest, taking advantage of any opportunities, and I know this is what will get me to the top. The only person I am ever competing against is myself.
How did the brand ambassadorship with NCB Capital Markets come about, and how important is this partnership to you?
The deal was negotiated through my brand manager, Tanya Lee Perkins of LEEP Marketing, as we were looking for a dynamic sponsorship partner who could help to fuel my dreams. NCB Capital Markets empowers people through their various investment offerings; in the same way, I want to empower other women to take the risk and bet on themselves and see how rewarding that can be. There’s an old saying, those who take the risk will reap the rewards.
The NCBCM brand partnership will impact the Caribbean. What have been the highlights of your Caribbean travels, and do you still have a Caribbean bucket list?
The highlights so far have definitely been the Cayman Islands and Barbados. I love the Caribbean and all the development since independence. The Bahamas is next on my bucket list.
Ladies are known to use their cars as an extension of their handbags. What’s in your car while not on the track?
In my car, you can find my everyday perfume, a hairbrush, make-up remover, tyre pressure gauge, battery starter for the car, emergency gym clothes and shoes.
What is your all-time dream car to race or own?
Currently, my dream car to get behind the wheel to race is the Audi R8 LMS GT3, building at 585 horsepower and 550N.m (newton-metre) torque. Speed and power!
What do you do when you’re not racing?
I love to draw and listen to music. For relaxation, I binge-watch old Disney classics with my brother.
How do you balance racing and your personal life?
When I am not racing, training or travelling, I try my best to disconnect and do things on the other extreme, meaning slowing down, going for a hike, going swimming and horseback riding. Anything to do with nature and animals. I also listen to music to recentre and live in the moment, and love spending time with friends and family.