Timeout With: Christina Lam

A fixture at NASA Mid-Atlantic and NASA Northeast events, Christina Lam caught the racing bug bad, so bad her social media feed caught the attention of a national magazine. Soon enough she found herself on its cover page, enjoying more than the usual 15 minutes of fame. As an aside, it was Lam who drove the car we used to shoot from for the August 2015 cover of Speed News.

Q: You were recently featured in a cover story in Grassroots Motorsports magazine. How did that all come together?

A: I update progress on the No. 345 M3 and my own driving on Twitter (@christinaylam). I ended up talking with David Wallens, the editorial director of GRM on there one afternoon and we chatted about how I got into motorsports. I had no idea it would turn into a feature article in the magazine and was excited when I saw the preview.

Q: What was it like to see your photo on the cover at the newsstand?

A: It was super cool once I got over the shock that I was on the cover. I’m still pretty shy about it, but I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback regarding the article. The best part of it is when people tell me how the article helped push them to come out and try HPDE, or how their kids were inspired by the story.

Q: You recently made the jump from HPDE and TT to racing. How’s it going so far?

A: It has been a phenomenal experience so far. Racing introduces so many more dimensions to track driving, you learn quickly without even realizing it. The M3 has been on the podium every race so far. I look forward to continuing that trend.

Q: What was the most surprising thing about moving from TT into racing?

A: The jump to racing was a pretty big shock for me. In TT, we grid to minimize traffic so everybody can get fast laps. Suddenly I had to have the pace, and also fight my friends for position. My first race I thought everybody was so savage, but I became much more comfortable as I started to become more aggressive.

Q: What advice would you give to someone about to move up into racing?

A: NASA’s competition school is a fun day with lots of on-track drills and classroom time. It prepares you very well for your races that same weekend. Study up on the CCR and be sure to practice that exit drill. Watching races is also a good way to start preparing, whether it is NASA races, F1, or V8 Supercar. You’ll end up learning some of the race craft from watching others race.

Q: You also just finished building your E36 M3 into a full-blown racecar. What did you learn from that experience?

A: I wish I had done it sooner! The guys at Hi-Speed Motorsports built me a killer racecar that is fun and easy to drive. Sometimes you really need the experience of a professional to dial in the car when you’re looking for that top podium step.

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Image courtesy of NEWLIN KEEN/TRACKTIME PHOTOS