From Frustration to Success

by Marta Garcia

To celebrate the two-year anniversary of W Series, we have been catching up with the leading drivers from our inaugural on-track season last year in a new series of blogs. Next up is Marta Garcia who finished fourth in the 2019 Championship and runner-up in this summer’s W Series Esports League.

I am living with my family in Valencia and everybody is well – my parents are working hard and my sister has just got a job in Manchester where she studied for four years. The lockdown has eased here in Spain but some restrictions remain in place. We have to be home by midnight and travel is restricted so I am unable to go to my university in Barcelona where I am studying public relations. I miss the social side of university life and catching up with friends over a drink, but they record the classes and being able to watch them at any time has given me more flexibility and made it easier to fit studying around my training schedule.

It was great to travel around Spain on holiday with my family after the W Series Esports League finished in August. I struggled to motivate myself at the start of the Esports season because I was still frustrated about not being able to race on-track this year. But I was sixth in the League table after the first round at Monza in June and that inspired me to work hard because I always want to win. From then on, I was spending at least two hours on the simulator every day and it worked. I improved a lot and had a good season, finishing runner-up to Beitske [Visser]. We had some great battles together and I got lots of comments from people on social media saying how much they enjoyed our racing. 

At the end of the summer, I was approached by DUX Gaming – a Spanish Esports team owned by Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and Real Betis striker Borja Iglesias – who had seen me in the W Series Esports League and wanted me to race for them on the Formula 1 game. It has been great fun filming content on Twitch where they have lots of followers so more people know me in Spain now. I have surprised myself with the Esports this year, but there is no substitute for real, on-track racing and my goal is still very much to get to F1. That target feels closer following the announcement that W Series will stage eight F1 support races in 2021. I was lost for words when I heard the news and I am so thankful to everyone at W Series for making it possible. I cannot wait for next year!

This year has been very tough mentally. At the start of the year I was so excited about the second on-track W Series season, having finished fourth in the inaugural Championship and won the race at Norisring in 2019. Then Covid hit everything and the season was postponed which, of course, I understood but I was worried about not racing and losing the sharpness and momentum I had built up. Apart from one day in a kart when one of my old mechanics asked me to help with some coaching, I have not been in a racing car since March. Having such a big gap is not good for a driver and feeling like I have lost a year is frustrating. But I have had it easy compared to many people around the world who have been ill or lost their jobs because of the pandemic, and I will try to get some testing days in before Christmas. It will take me two or three days in the car to regain the feeling and speed I had back in March before I start to improve, but I know that I am in the best possible shape physically to do that.

In March I tested a Formula Renault car and the steering wheel felt harder than I was used to in the W Series single-seater. That made me want to get fitter and stronger and I have been training so hard for that over the last few months. I have a new trainer and I’m doing more high-intensity, strength resistance work. It closely replicates what I do on-track and will help me stay strong and carry speed through long corners next season. I am looking forward to spending Christmas with my family and then I will be ready and raring to go racing again in 2021!

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