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Observer writer

Friday, July 05, 2019

Jamaican racer Nastasha Chang drove her way into the Guinness Book of World Records when she set the fastest time for a production car up the Doi Chang Mountain in Thailand, on March 14.

“We came, we saw, and we broke a Guinness World Record. What an amazing experience,” she told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine yesterday.

Chang's six-minute, record-breaking run was due to her participation in Record Rides, a two-part television show for the National Geographic cable channel. Both episodes aired on June 23 and 30.

“It actually happened very quickly. I got an e-mail, which I initially thought was spam and deleted it. But something told me to read it. So I took it out of the trash and read it. It turned out to be the concept of Record Rides and them seeing if I would be interested. Still sceptical, I responded saying I would be interested to listen. It wasn't until a few phone calls and a lot of research and finally signing a contract with Fox Networks, did I finally set in that it was real,” she explained.

By March, Chang was flown to Thailand and found herself facing Filipino-American DJ Casey Wyatt Montero Mille. The challenge of the show was that the pair source their own race cars to complete the run up Doi Chang Mountain.

“Because it was for a show, we had little to no time to prepare. We only saw the course once, when we drove it at normal speeds in a stock car as the roads were still opened to the public,” she said.

Teaming up with Thai team Phat Garage, she piloted a modified Honda Civic to the record time. The programme has already aired in Asia where Chang is still doing press for sponsor Caltex.

“It's been getting such great feedback, Caltex and National Geographic will be launching it on their YouTube channels.”

This is not Chang's first time in the history books as in 2013, she became the first female driver to compete in the Caribbean Motor Racing Championship after starting her motorsports career in 2006 racing go-karts for Jetcon Racing. She went on to compete in dexterities, rallying, and eventually gained a significant following racing a Honda Civic at Dover Raceway, St Ann. She now resides in Florida.

“I still have a Honda S2000 race car, but I've been on a break. I do plan on getting back into circuit racing, so we'll see where this new path takes me,” Chang added.