At 16, Leona Chin fell in love with cars. By the time she was 20, her passion for cars soon evolved into a hobby of drifting and she began picking up the skills that were necessary to zoom past corners with finesse and style.
Given her passion, she managed to pick up the basics of drifting within one night’s intensive training, leaving her mentor astonished. She even managed to learn how to change her own tires during the same training.
Despite losing her father when she was 16, her single mother continued supporting her passion, both financially and emotionally. As she continued on her journey of mastering the art of drift, a friend approached her and convinced her to participate in a ladies race driver selection and she became one of the finalists in an all female race team.
While you may not know her from her exploits as Malaysia’s Female Motorsport Athlete who represents Malaysia internationally at motor sport events all around the world, you may know her from this video.
She featured as a nerdy girl that had her private driving lesson at a car park but little did her instructors know that were going to be pranked. The video reached 37 million views on YouTube, and 60 million views in China.
Treading On New Ground
Immediately after the success of the video, she was approached by Auto Bavaria and VW to run campaigns for them. And a month ago, Mr. Nakamura, Mr. Suzuki and Mr. Ross from Tokachi International Speedway contacted Leona Chin through Facebook to participate in Wako’s Cup 3rd Round of Endurance Race in Tokachi Speedway.
Mr. Suzuki and Mr. Nakamura prepared a Honda Integra Dc5 that’s race ready and they invited her to be the 2nd driver for them. This particular endurance race will require them to cover 100 laps around Tokachi International Speedway, a distance that spans to a total of 510km.
Endurance racing is a form of motorsport that requires a team of multiple drivers, and they are supposed to cover a large distance in a single event by switching drivers at certain intervals. This requires them to maintain singular focus, incredible stamina, steely nerves, a dedicated team, and money to complete the race.
Although this is an incredible opportunity for her, the invitation to travel to Japan to compete opened up for her at the last minute and she won’t be able to rely on her current sponsors in Malaysia for funding as this wasn’t part of their motorsports programme budget.
And this is exactly where you can help her bring her dream to life.
Leona Chin is currently running a campaign on Indiegogo to raise funds for the trip. The target for the campaign is USD10,000 and all the donations towards the campaign will be used to cover the cost of racing by funding her team of 4.
The funds will be used to purchase flight tickets, and to cover the cost of flight transfers, accommodation, videographer fees, the race tires, race entry fees, race car’s petrol, along with the rental for the race car.
The donation tiers range from US$1 all the way to US$1,000, where you get to have a meet and greet session with Leona Chin. While there are different donation tiers, you could sponsor her campaign by donating the featured amount of US$25.
This tier will provide you with plenty of behind the scenes updates and you will receive a thank you shout out on Facebook along with a Super Limited Edition T-shirt and a Super Lovely photo signed by Leona Chin.
For the past 8 years, she received numerous invitations to participate in races that were to be held in Hungary, Australia, Europe, among others; however, she missed out on many golden opportunities due to lack of funds. However, that hasn’t stopped her for persevering and focusing on races that were within her budget.
This trip to Japan however, is a dream that she’s always looked forward to. Although she’s never travelled to Japan before, she studied Japanese when she was younger to be able to communicate with her Japanese Race Idols if they ever came to Malaysia.
Although, the Tokachi Speedway is a new track for her, she’s absolutely committed to putting in the necessary effort to memorise the track by watching YouTube Videos and by training her stamina through rigorous workouts at the gym.
If you’d like to support her dream, you can click here to support her campaign on Indiegogo.
It’s important to note that time is running out as the event will be held on the 1st of November 2015 and she plans to travel to Japan with her team on the 28th of October.