A SOLIHULL woman has her sights set on becoming the next female motorsport star after storming through to the finals of an international competition.
Despite having no prior experience as a driver, Beki Apparicio’s natural talent saw her selected as one of around 70 finalists, whittled down from 800 applicants from 28 countries, in the Formula Woman contest.
Beki is a dog groomer by trade, running the Solihull Pooch Parlour, but she has a passion for motorsport, inspired when she got together with her partner Joe Walsh seven years ago.
Beki, 26, and 31-year-old carpenter Joe love watching Formula 1 and all motorsport.
They even have a life-size racing car simulator in their bedroom, which Beki is now using to practice ahead of the Formula Woman finals in March.
Beki said her interest was piqued when she saw an advert inviting women with no previous motor racing experience to apply for a place with Formula Woman.
“I completed online courses, track days and simulator days. I think my buzz and enthusiasm for it came across as well as my control and being able to take on the constructive criticism,” she said.
“They whittled it down from 800 applicants to around 70 and I couldn’t believe it when I got through. I cried when I heard.”
The finals are in the UK in March and Beki is working on her fitness and nutrition as well as practicing on the driving simulator.
She said: “It’s like half a Formula 1 car in the bedroom. You can choose different tracks to get used to the different layouts, it is very realistic.
“We even have a canvas above the bed of Ayrton Senna, so I am literally living, breathing and sleeping it!”
Beki’s achievement is all the more remarkable as she has type 1 diabetes and mental health issues.
“In my teenage years I tried to ignore the diabetes, but that was a silly thing to do. Now I’ve learned to control it.
“When I’m driving anything can affect it – adrenaline, caffeine, even sunshine – so it’s always a learning curve, but I’m still in control.”
She is also a campaigner for mental health charity Mind, after it gave her some much-needed support following a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder.
She hopes her story will inspire others who feel they may be disadvantaged in some way.
After the finals in March, the competitor numbers will be whittled down and eventually four ultimate winners with two reserves will be selected. They will get to drive a McLaren 570S GT4 in the GT Cup.
Beki already has some sponsors lined up, but she is looking for more.
Anyone interested can get in touch by emailing Beki on [email protected] or messaging her on Instagram @bekiana.
To find out more about Formula Woman, visit https://www.formulawoman.co.uk/