DAUGHTER of Dover Raceway heavyweight 'King' David Summerbell, Samantha Summerbell is too young to hold a driver's licence but has already started making her mark on the track.
The 16-year-old made her Dover debut in April driving the Superior Auto Parts and Bell Communications-sponsored Honda Civic in the MP2 race among men more than twice her age.
"It was a great learning experience for me. I enjoyed it a lot and I plan to progress even further next time. I love the speed, the feeling of excitement and the nervous intensity of the moments before a race," Summerbell told Auto.
"I definitely had some butterflies in my stomach at Dover. I was sitting in the car telling my dad I couldn't do it, but once the race started all the nerves went away," she continued.
One of only a handful of female racers in Jamaica Samantha's interest in motorsports was sparked by go karting. Having always been a part of the auto racing arena, what began as simply something fun to do jump started a desire to seriously pursue the sport. Competing, she says, comes naturally.
"At the last event, I was the only female out there and that's how it is most of the time. But everybody is equal on the track to me, whether I'm female or not I'm still going to do my best. I'll admit that proving I can compete with the boys is sometimes in the back of my mind and I do enjoy beating them," said Samantha.
While making the transition from karting to circuit racing is not easy, Summerbell's recent entry into that zone has only increased her desire to branch out into different areas of motorsports. However, she is not by any means unaware of the dangers of the sport.
"My mom and grandparents are very nervous about it but they are still very supportive of me and I'm very cautious when I'm out there. Racing takes a lot of focus and attention. You have to be safe, you have to make sure the car is working properly, that you're driving properly and that the people around you are being safe as well," Summerbell told Auto.
Samantha, who is currently sitting exams, hopes to make a similar splash on the dexterity and sprint scenes as soon as her studies and her parents permit.