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Race-car driver Milka Duno

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Born in Venezuela and now living in Miami, Milka Duno is one of the world’s most successful female race-car drivers. But wait … there’s more. Prior to 1998, Duno had earned four master’s degrees and was a naval engineer. This weekend, she’ll race in the top class of the Rolex Sports Car Series at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele. The nine-hour race begins Saturday at noon.


Why forsake a career in engineering for the high thrills and risks of car racing?


It just happened by coincidence. I was invited to a driving clinic, and I started winning races. But my engineering background helps me to better understand the car and communicate with the engineers in my team.


How did you decide to race full-time?


I was invited to do it as a hobby and suddenly it became more time consuming. That is where I decided I wanted to become the best. I always like to be the best I can.


Do you think more women should consider auto racing as a career?


I think women and men are equally able to race cars, so I don’t see why not.


Are women racers taken seriously enough, or are they “eye candy” to draw audiences?


Of course we are taken seriously'but only if you provide results. In my case, after the successful races I had in Daytona and Australia, people are following my career more and more.


Besides a gi-normous savings account, what else do you need to start racing professionally?


You need strong sponsors and, of course, to provide results so they keep interested in you. I personally have worked on preparing my mind as well as my body for this profession. It is something that you perfect every day.

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