Words by : Cheryl Tay, Photos by : Cheryl Tay
We have recently been joined by local journalist Cheryl Tay, becoming the first female contributor of TheRightWrong. The choice of having Cheryl join us was simple. She is a journalist that eat, sleeps and breathes cars for her living. She gets the opportunity to travel to events such as Super GT, Tokyo Auto Saloon and Formula D Long Beach which will be happening this weekend and many other places for work. We love our motorsports as much as we love our cars and having her contribution in event coverage will allow us to give you more features on a more regular basis.
This is Cheryl Tay
That being said, we shall let Cheryl give you a brief introduction of herself before her contribution of Formula D Long Beach. Of course with events coverage, there will undoubtedly be babes too!
Some people find my name familiar, some people find my face familiar, some know my face and my name but have no idea what I do, and some have no idea who I am at all. Therefore, nothing is more perfect than this opportunity to introduce myself as I kickstart my relationship with TheRightWrong.
“Hi, my name’s Cheryl Tay and you will be seeing more of me here at The Right Wrong with the inroad to some of the hottest motorsport extravaganzas. I love cars and motorsports and I am very fortunate to be able to live my dream and combine work and passion. When you love your work, then it isn’t work anymore.”
So what exactly do I do? Journalist? Photographer? Blogger? Racer? Race queen? Consultant? Event planner? What if I tell you that I am all that and more? I spent some time brainstorming, to try and come up with one title that will sum up all that and I came up with “Independent Automotive Consultant”.
Essentially, I write for newspapers, magazines and websites and I’m currently Singapore’s only full-time female motoring journalist – so that’s the Journalist bit. I’ve had the privilege to interview some of the greatest drivers like Formula 1 world champions Mika Hakkinen and Sebastian Vettel, as well as key personalities in motorsports including Tony Fernandes, Christian Horner and Adrian Newey.
Perhaps the next time she does an interview, we could gather a couple of questions from our readers for them eh?
Next, I travel across and also out of the tiny island of Singapore to attend car events like motor shows, new car launches and test drives, as well as motorsport events from go-karting to drifting to circuit racing to Formula 1 in the region and around the globe. At these events, I can be interviewing drivers or out on the track under the hot sun in bright neon photographer vests capturing racing moments or fighting elbow-to-elbow with others at mega car shows such as Tokyo Auto Salon. That fulfils the Photographer part.
Then, once I’m in the comfort of my own bed with my pink laptop, I post up photos and write about my adventures on www.Cheryl-Tay.com – that’s where the Blogger is. For the Consultant role, I’m engaged as a consultant for projects or initiatives, such as PAssion Motoring, a motoring community started by the People’s Association in Singapore. I’ve worked with the Singapore Sports Council, Singapore Motor Sports Association, Kartright Speedway and several other teams and private companies too.
With an aim to reach out to a greater motoring audience (especially to get more ladies into the driver’s seat), promote motorsports to more people and educate the public about motoring and motorsports the right way, I have given talks to schools and also conducted go-karting classes for females only. Called Ladies’ [email protected], this introductory karting course was a platform to allow females to get into motorsports without having to face discriminatory males. This is where my Event Planner function comes in.
Through this Ladies’ [email protected], I then scouted for female racing talent and held a nationwide search to form Singapore’s only all-female karting team for the inaugural OCBC Corporate Karting Challenge last year. As captain and founder of this team, I was also the youngest driver of the six-woman team. If presented with the chance to try my hand at some competitive karting or driving, I’m always game for it! So that was how the Racer side of me came about…
A member of the British Women Racing Driver Club, I’ve always wanted to set up a female automotive association, hence I approached the Singapore Motor Sports Association and am currently the youngest member of the Women Motor & Sport Commission. In addition, I am very honoured to be the first and only Singaporean to be inducted into the prestigious Guild of Motoring Writers (UK).
Now that you have a much clearer idea of what my “work” entails, let me take you on a brief history lesson…
The origins of my journey into this male-dominated world of cars and racing can be traced back to my time in university when I joined the motoring club. This automotive interest immediately grew upon meeting like-minded people with similar passion. I also completed internships with Mitsubishi Motors and Volkswagen in the marketing and PR departments, hence getting to understand the local car market better. Then in my free time over weekends, I earned some pocket money through being a race queen at some car events. I even participated in a race queen search! I don’t know where I ever got the courage to do that to be honest… (Ah, here’s the Race Queen bit!)
Somewhere along the way the chief editor of a Singapore car magazine approached me initially to be a model for their car features. It then led to an offer of my own column, which marked the official start of my automotive journalism career. Young and eager, I was more than happy to provide a fresh perspective to readers. I started penning for more titles within Singapore and then slowly started writing for publications outside of Singapore. Fast forward five years and here I am today.
Being in a male-dominated industry certainly has its challenges but nothing ever comes easy. It is the support and encouragement I get from readers like you that keep me going. When you have a dream, keep believing, keep having faith and hold on tight to that dream. You will be seeing more of me on The Right Wrong and I will continue working hard to bring you exciting stories and features…”