Emma Kimilainen has highlighted how motherhood has improved her as a racing driver after dominating the fifth W Series race of the season at Assen.
The Finn is a winner in touring cars, Radicals and Formula Ford in Scandinavia, but has had a interrupted racing career due to sponsorship struggles, injury, studying for a degree in Chemistry and focusing on her family.
Victory at Assen has moved the 30-year-old up to sixth in the standings, despite having to miss two races after aggravating a back injury sustained during her time in touring cars.
“Of course [winning as a mum]. it?s special. I think it?s a huge – I don?t know if it?s an advantage – but for me it?s really a great thing because it has grown me as a person quite a lot,” Kimilainen said.
“If I see me back as a 20-year-old and how I am now, I?m so much more calm, very patient. Everything has come along, with being a mum, as what I needed when I was a 20-year-old to be a super racing driver.
“[Being a mother and a racer] is a good combination right now. My daughter’s hopefully cheering at home. She?s always watching the race and giving some advice. Six-year-olds, they [think they] know everything.”
W Series’ regulations require drivers to use a different chassis each race, and Kimilainen’s Assen car had a “really, really short clutch”, which caught the Finn out and resulted in her losing the lead from pole to Alice Powell.
After an early safety car period, Kimilainen hassled Powell before finally reclaiming first place when the leader went wide at Turn 1. She potentially could’ve made a move earlier, but made two mistakes while following closely behind Powell.
Kimilainen also confirmed that she will be returning for the second W Series season in 2020, with the aim of winning the title.