Beitske Visser

Beitske Visser: “I hope to drive in the DTM one day.”

Part two of a series of interviews with the BMW Motorsport Juniors.

The BMW Motorsport Junior programme features five promising, talented youngsters in the 2017 season. They are all still in the early stages of their development as racing drivers, but already have fascinating careers behind them. In a series of interviews, we present the BMW Motorsport Juniors. This time: Beitske Visser.

 

Visser is the first woman to have made it onto the BMW Motorsport Junior Programme. She had spent the previous three years racing in the Formula Renault 3.5 World Series – one of the strongest junior series in single-seater racing. In 2013, she was part of the junior team at BMW Motorsport’s premium partner Red Bull. In her first season as a BMW Motorsport Junior, Visser’s experience has included her first track-time on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife in the BMW M235i Racing.

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When I started to win races, the guys started to respect me.

Beitske, when young girls are involved with horsepower, it is usually in equestrian circles. What attracted you to the world of motorsport?

Beitske Visser: “My father raced touring cars in the Netherlands. Then I remember there being a 24-hour kart race when I was three years old. I went with him, and saw some little karts there. From that moment on, I told him almost every day that I wanted a kart and to have a go at karting. I was finally given one for my fifth birthday. I immediately left my family and friends at home and headed straight to the kart track to drive it.”

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How important has your father been in your career?

Visser: “When I was younger and racing karts, he used to help me as a mechanic. He would travel to the races, and often to tests, with me. As such, he played quite a large role.”

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Do you sometimes ask your father for advice?

Visser: “When I was younger, he taught me everything. Nowadays, he tries to give me the odd recommendation to help me make the right decisions.”

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Is it more difficult for a woman to succeed against male competition in junior series?

Visser: “I really noticed that when I was younger. In kart races, a few drivers forced me off the track because they did not want to lose to me. When I then started to win a lot of races, they started to respect me. I don’t have those problems anymore.”

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Nico Menzel

Do you always have to be better, in order to be taken seriously?

Visser: “I would not necessarily say you have to be better. You simply have to show that you are there to win, and not just to make up the numbers. Then you are shown some respect.”

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Do you have a motorsport idol?

Visser: “Not really. There are obviously a lot of good drivers that I like to watch. However, I do not look up to any one particular driver. I just focus on myself.”

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You were also the first woman to be accepted onto the Red Bull junior programme. How was that, and why did it come to an end?

Visser: “It was very special to be part of that programme, and a very good opportunity for me. Unfortunately, we had a few problems that year and did not get the results we had hoped for so it was not continued. However, I learned a lot there.”

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We are a really good group.

How did you come into contact with BMW?

Visser: “I drove for Teo Martín in the Formula V8 3.5 series last year. The team also runs the BMW M6 GT3. At the start of the year, Dirk Adorf phoned to ask whether I would like to take part in the shootout for the Junior Programme.”

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And you did so in style. What does the BMW Motorsport Junior Programme offer you?

Visser: “An awful lot. This year, my first year, there was a fantastic training camp, we visited Munich, and we are working towards getting our permit for the Nordschleife. With that in mind, we have already taken part in a number of races with the BMW M235i Racing. I drove the BMW M3 GT2 race taxi at Spielberg, and will also get an outing in the BMW M4 GT4. That is a nice schedule.”

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How is the relationship with the other Juniors?

Visser: “I know Mikkel Jensen, Dennis Marschall and Joel Eriksson from my time with the German Motopark team. I had also met Ricky Collard before we met again at the shootout in Miramas. I don’t know Nico Menzel so well yet, but I have seen him at the Nordschleife. We are a really good group.”

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I think I am quite focussed, determined, and a bit of a perfectionist.

What three words would you use to describe your personality – both on and off the racetrack?

Visser: “I think I am quite focussed, determined, and a bit of a perfectionist.”

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What can you do best, apart from motor racing?

Visser: “I was pretty good at maths in school.”

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What was the best moment of your career so far, and what was the worst?

Visser: “The best moment was my first Formula ADAC victory at Zandvoort, one day after I had a big crash – and winning the European Kart Championship. Losing the title in the World Kart Championship when I had led the series was not so good.”

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Do you have any set goals for your career?

Visser: “I hope to drive in the DTM one day.”

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