LEONA CHIN’S BIOGRAPHY
Don’t let her gentle demeanour fool you. Leona Chin is the ultimate girl-next-door spiced with spunk, speed and thrill. Having mastered what is predominantly considered a man’s turf and sport, Leona brazenly breaks down stereotypes by pushing the boundaries of women’s strength, limit and endurance.
Hi I’m Leona Chin from Malaysia, I am a Motorsports Athlete.
Ever since middle school, I was a nerdy girl and I was already hooked on cars.
My friends are cars enthusiasts and I will go out with them to play electronic racing games. When I got my first car, since it was a rear-wheel drive, I decided to install some auto parts for my car, and I learned a lot about cars. I often go to watch the drifting performances and watch them drive in the car park or go-kart tracks. One day, a friend took me and fit a helmet on my head and put me in the passenger seat of a drifting car. At that time, I felt the feeling of drifting for the first time. Really interesting. It changed my life. I met a drifting coach. He taught me the basic way of drifting. I started to participate in drifting competitions in various regions. I am also very grateful to the partners who sponsored me.
One day a friend informed me that there was a full female race team looking for new female drivers. I registered and entered the team. I am the fastest driver in the team. I have joined many training courses and public relations training classes to race in the Malaysian 12-hour Endurance Race. Our Female team ranked second in qualifying. After 12 hours, our team ranked sixth in the race. I didn’t participate before. After my qualifying results, I was very surprised because I didn’t expect that I got a good lap time. As there was 77 cars on the track, It was crazy and I was very nervous. It was a great experience after that and I learned a lot.
At this time, I started to be interested in the Circuit Racing field. I hired a manager and coach, Akina Teo. My coach suggested that I participate in a variety of events and learned the mechanics of various powertrain systems such as FWD, RWD, 4WD. So I participated in various automotive competition disciplines everywhere. Including drift, rally, gymkhana, karting, drag racing, off-road, time trials, autocross and more. After ten years of experience in the various car races. I can say that I am a motorsport athlete and no longer a drifting driver.
I finally found my strongest discipline, and that was the Circuit Racing. So I planned my goal. I decided to participate in the GT event in the future. Since running a racing car is a very expensive sport, I can’t continue running unless I find a big sponsor. In order to find money to continue racing, I did a lot of work related to the automotive industry. My manager and I went to organize activities, organized media cooperation with various companies, and looked for sponsors. We organized various drifting taxi performances with various companies, organized training classes, appearances in advertisement and reality shows, became actors and stunt drivers. A variety of different jobs in order to support my racing career. I used the simulator to practice a few days before the race. I also go to the gym to train my body.
When I wanted to get my international racing license, I had a lot of difficulties. It was not easy to get it because I needed to meet the criteria to upgrade my license. It is expensive to participate in each competition and it takes time to find money to compete. In Malaysia, if you want to upgrade to the international level of the license, you must participate in at least 6 races in one year. It’s really expensive to run six races a year and find enough money to run the whole year. Fortunately, there is a sponsor to handle half of the cost. I needed 2 years to upgrade one level to the next level, as it was not enough to be upgraded in one year. It’s really sad, because i did not have enough money, and I faced many obstacles. When I finally got my international racing license, I participated in the Renault Clio Cup China Series in China, Thailand, Korea. I only had enough budget for the race. Because of the limited resources, it is very difficult to race. Every time other people collide with me, it was on my own costs because the price of the repairs are very large. So every time I ran the race, I am very careful to avoid being hit. The boys will bully me when I race. Because they know that I have the money limitation. They know that if they hit my car, I can’t continue my race. It’s quite disappointing. They don’t want to lose to a woman.
Finally, I ranked runner-up in the overall championship. Throughout the year we went to China (Shanghai, Guangdong, Zhuhai), Thailand, South Korea’s track for the competition. After the Clio Cup China Series, I didn’t have enough money to run for the second year. So, I rest for a year. At the end of the year, someone invited me to the pre-season race of the Mini Cup Asia Challenge at Zhuhai. There were racing drivers from Japan, Hong Kong, China and Thailand. I ranked third in that race.
So, After realising I didn’t race in Malaysia for a long time, my manager rented a car, from TEDCO RACING team to run the Malaysian Championship series. In the first race, I won the MTC Class Double Champion, which is a very happy moment. I also participated in the MSF Malaysia Speed Festival 2019 (this year). With a Millennium Motorsports SAGA, Saga Cup Race, I won the women’s category. I also used my Pitworks Kuraz EVO7 to participate in the SUPERSTREET category and ranked third place.
During a recent motorsports award ceremony in Malaysia, I won the most inspiring female motorsport athlete award.
嗨，我是Leona Chin 陈莉慧，我来自马来西亚
我发现我没有在马来西亚跑比赛了很久，我的经理租了一台赛车，TEDCO RACING 队伍的汽车跑马来西亚房车锦标系列赛。第一场赛时，我赢MTC 系列双冠军的奖，是很高心的时刻。我也是在同一年（今年）参加了MSF 马来西亚速度节的房车赛。用了一台SAGA款的汽车，我赢了女子组的冠军杯。我也用了我的EVO7参加了SUPERSTREET 超级马路组赢了季军。