- BC Games
No catching Storms
Cherie Storms never dreamed about getting behind the wheel of a car and seeing just how high she could make the speedometer go.
“I was always ‘I am too busy painting my fingernails and going to the beach with my friends,’” she said with a laugh.
Her father, Curt Storms, was always into motorsports and racing, so she knew about the sport.
“I went maybe once or twice a year to watch the races but I didn’t really get involved until a couple of years ago,” she said.
A few years back, she completed a driver training program — something her father was always trying to persuade her to do.
“It was through that process that I went ‘OK, this is actually pretty fun,’” Storms admitted.
Last year, she began racing in the Sports Car Club of British Columbia. She also now volunteers with the organization.
But it is behind the wheel that the 29-year-old Langley woman is making the most noise.
She capped off her first season capturing the novice of the year and rookie of the year awards and was ranked sixth out of 106 racers from around the province.
“For a first-year newbie, that is pretty good,” she said.
And her sophomore season was even better, as Storms won the 2013 SCCBC B-Spec championship, winning the season-long title with a great performance on the final weekend of the season.
The season, which began in April, wrapped up on the weekend of Sept. 14/15.
All of the races are held at the Mission Raceway.
“Did I think I could achieve it? Yes I did, “ she said.
“I just didn’t know I could achieve it so soon.”
“I really had to work for it and it came down to the very end,” she said.
“I knew it was going to be challenging and that the others cars that were participating were all very competitive.
“It was certainly going to take focus and time and coaching and I had to be all on the whole time.”
The drivers in this particular series are all in Mazda 2s and can reach speeds of up to 150 km/h.
The sport requires more than just getting behind the wheel and hitting the gas pedal.
The training consists of reviewing in-car video, visualizing the track’s turns and corners and making notes as to when to hit the brakes, where to turn in and where to get back on the gas pedal.
“To try and make sure I was doing them as technically well as possible,” she explained.
“With this series — because the cars don’t have horsepower — the speed relies solely on the drivers ability to carry momentum, which is not easy to learn, and not to make any mistakes.
“As soon as you make a mistake, you have lost that momentum and it is hard to get back.”
“It is just focusing on the technical points and making sure I prepared myself as well as I could so I was not going out on the track and making mistakes,” she added.
Storms, who grew up in Maple Ridge, works in Surrey as a customs broker.