Friday, March 11, 2011

Photo of the Week (POW) - Racer Nicole Pilkington

Nicole Pilkington in the pits waiting to get on the track at Shannonville
Nikon D80 with 18-200mm VR.
Motorcycle racing is cool. But women racing motorcycles is really cool. And a 17 year old woman motorcycle racer? That's really cool + awesome + sweet!

In 2010 Nicole Pilkington raced in the CBR Cup (her best result, finishing 3rd overall), AM 125 GP, and AM 250 GP classes in R.A.C.E. In SOAR she raced in Formula Femme, and Formula 2 Stroke, and in the National series she ran in the CBR Cup. That's 6 different divisions across 3 series! Most teenage girls would rather go to 6 stores in 3 different malls. So why does she do it? By her own words, "The one thing I love most about racing is the escape. The track is like therapy to me. It relieves all my stress. Just getting on track and putting all your concentration into what you need to do to improve on track and nothing else." So that tells me that in her "normal" life she's either really stressed out, or super relaxed like Jello.

Nic Pilk grew up at the racetrack. Her father Stuart started road racing in 1989 and Nicole spent every summer of her life at racetracks across Canada and the U.S. with him. He was her inspiration to get into the sport. But first she had to prove herself so at 13 years of age, a determined Nicole hopped on a motocross. The deal was she had to show she could crash and get back up before being allowed to road race. Now that's tough love! Nicole's first road race was 2 years later at Shannonville in 2009 when she was 15.

(Read more after the jump)

I look at motorcycle racers like superheroes. They have a "normal" life with a secret identity and their superhero life on the track (sans cape). So I asked her who her hero was. From a teenage woman racer I expected Valentino Rossi, Vicki Schouten, or maybe even the Hulk because he smashes things. Her answer though shows her strong roots: "My parents are my heros, and always will be. Without them, I wouldn't be where I am today. They're the reason behind all my racing and all the opportunities I have had. The support both my parents give me is more than I could ever ask for." She gets it. Family trumps everything.

So what does she do when she lives in her secret identity? "I'm studying acting for film and television. I got accepted to Toronto Film School and I start in October. I want to be an actress. :)"

Nicole would like to thank Lean Angle, Pro 6 Cycle and Clarington Cycle.

Looking ahead to the 2011 season, Nicole will be a contender in R.A.C.E. (AM 125 GP and AM 250 GP) and in SOAR (Formula Femme and Formula 2 Stroke). She's working on a website so for now, be a virtual fan of Nicole Pilkington Racing on facebook. Or you can be a real life fan of #25 like me.

"I'm 17. I race the motorcycle. And there is nothing wrong with wearing a dress."
Nicole Pilkington on her RS125 at R.A.C.E. Round 6, Shannonville Sept. 26, 2010.
Shot with a Nikon D80 with 18-200mm VR

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