Special to Western News
Sarah Cornett-Ching has swapped her position as a journeyman welder for a spot in the driver’s seat.
Cornett-Ching of Summerland will be competing with Race 101 in the Automobile Racing Club of America series this season. The announcement was made by RACE 101 after Cornett-Ching made her debut at Daytona International Speedway in mid-February.
“We are excited to move full speed ahead with Sarah,” said RACE 101 owner Tony Blanchard in a press release. “When we announced in Daytona that we would run multiple races with her we didn’t believe the full season was an option due to funding.
“The right opportunity developed and we are ready to tackle the full schedule,” continued Blanchard. “We know Sarah is poised to progress in professional motorsports. She did a great job at Daytona and she has only improved since then, spending many hours learning about and working on the cars. She is the complete package.”
Cornett-Ching left her job in Dawson Creek to chase her dream, but even she didn’t foresee things progressing this quickly.
“Daytona was a great experience and we came back to North Carolina and started working on the equipment,” said the 23-year-old. “The original plan was to race next at Talladega in May.”
The RACE 101 team quickly adjusted its schedule to meet deadlines and a car was prepared to test in Mobile, Ala., where the next race is scheduled for this weekend. Cornett-Ching has balanced her time between public relation activities with PitStopsforHope.org and helping in the shop with fabrication and assembly. When it came time to get back behind the wheel, Cornett-Ching tested well on the tricky half-mile oval.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve worked with a driver who is this hands-on with the equipment,” said Blanchard. “It motivates the crew to have a driver working as hard as they do to make things happen. There is enormous energy in the shop lately.”
The full ARCA schedule includes 20 races on tracks ranging from short, similar to where Cornett-Ching cut her teeth in B.C., to super speedways, dirt tracks and road courses where she has no experience. Blanchard knows the learning curve will be steep.
“Sarah is ready for the challenge,” said Blanchard. “The team has been to these race tracks and everyone here is as determined as she is to support her success.”
“Racing is all about challenges,” said Cornett-Ching. “What happens at the race track is a small part of what goes into the sport. The challenge begins at the race shop, and in meeting rooms, and the most important thing is that I am always learning. I’m ready to learn, and I’m ready to do everything it takes to be a great racer.”