Racing lady with dedication. Emilija Ulvydaite.
Emilija did not start with huge success right away. The BMW 325 CUP is the most competitive series in the Baltics but she never gave up and slowly, step by step she improved her pace and race craft. And in 2023 season she was already a frequent visitor in the TOP 20. An inspiration for other girls to chase their dreams in motorsports.
How did Emilija’s path in motorsports started?
My inspiration to start the motorsport journey was my classmate, well-known racing driver Gustas Grinbergas. I started my racing career in go-karts, first with rental karts in a club for young kids when I was 12 years old. After that, with sports kart in Junior category and year after with DD2 karts. My karting career was not long, as my father wanted to make the step up to race cars, so he started a small motorsports club and bought our first race car – Mitsubishi Colt which I drove in Nemuno Ziedas track. That’s a short review in how it started.
The BMW 325 CUP is not the most comfortable environment to be in. But you have already two seasons behind you. How do you feel about those 2 seasons?
I dedicated my first season to learn and to be comfortable with the car, which was hard, but I really liked the competition in BMW 325 CUP. I like to battle with guys on track, it was fun so I continued in 2023 after which, I can say I feel comfortable in the car, and I know the race tracks. In my first season I was P50! In 2023, I was 22nd in overall standings and first in the lady’s class.
What would you say to other girls from other motorsports disciplines to inspire them for circuit racing?
You must be brave, if you want to race – just try it! Don’t be scared, you must start somewhere and make the first move to achieve something. If you are dedicated and want it really strong, you are going to achieve it!
How is your mother looking on your motorsports career?
My mother never comes to the races as she is scared. She says that she can feel my energy when I am stressed and nervous before the races. But my father comes to every race and always is as helpful as possible and supports me a lot in my motorsports journey. Huge thanks to him that I can pursue my passion!
Aim for 2024? And aim for career?
In 2024, I will try to finish higher in the standings, maybe TOP 10? For now, my goal is to race somewhere in Europe, try some new racetracks outside Baltics. Don’t really know my dream now, but probably to race in Europe with more powerful cars and see how I do. Carmen Kraav is my example, that I can do it too.
The three Baltic tracks, which one you like the best?
After two seasons, I can say that my favourite track is Bikernieki. I have had a lot of crashes there, basically all my crashes are from there, but it is still my favourite because of the “Bridge” turn. It’s a fast track and a lot of opportunities to overtake.
We are going to Poznan in 2024. What do you think of it?
It will be fun experience for everyone. Will be great to learn the new track. I have already tried racing there in Sim racing with the BMW 325 CUP. I like the configuration, will be fun to see how it is in real life.
You have been in car racing for several seasons, last two with KTK Racing Division. How is the everyday work with this team?
KTK Racing Division is an amazing team with great atmosphere, friendly and helpful people. I am a shy person, so when I joined the team, I struggled to be around so many new people. But now they are all my friends. Karolis Jovaisa is my driving coach, and he helps me a lot and works with each driver individually. He is a very good coach and an example for me. Every week I go to train with him in sim racing for around 2 hours. We are working hard to prepare for the new upcoming season.
Who is Emilija outside race tracks?
I am originally from Vilnius. Now I have moved to Kaunas to study sports management in Kaunas college. I am working too, training in simulators and besides that I love to cook. I like to spend my time actively – going to the gym or jog.