From strength to strength

Natasha Seatter misses being on track but has grown to enjoy real estate. — Pix courtesy of Natasha Seatter
Natasha Seatter. — Sunpix by Zulkifli Ersal

INSPIRED by Suzie Wolff, Clair Williams and David Coulthard, Natasha Seatter is Malaysia’s first female Formula racer. The Scottish-Malaysian, also known as Natasha Nurida, got into her first go-kart at the age of three.

“It was the kind of experience where you’d sit on your dad’s lap,” she said and that was when she was first exposed to go-karting by her father. For the first born of three sisters, go-karting every Sunday was how they spent quality time together. “My dad really liked motorsports so he kind of helped me get into the scene.”

After relocating to Kuala Lumpur, she became more enthusiastic about go-karting and started training at the age of 10 which she claims is really late as kids would normally start training at the age of six.

Being away from school on days when she had to race meant she had to shift schools and she settled in a British international school which supported her throughout.

“I would always try to stay in school. Do my best in academics first, and race after,” she said.

Natasha continued to make progress and made a career out of go-karting. She entered Klub Kart Selangor in 2005 as a junior member, and worked her way up by winning an overall third place in the Klub Kart Selangor Series 2005. She has also competed internationally in Dubai at the age of 12 and held the track record for the fastest female racer.

“I was extremely nervous at that time and went an extra lap. It is probably one of the most embarrassing moments of my whole career,” she quipped.

Natasha admitted to several injuries that happened while go-karting. In one incident, she was tossed out of the vehicle and being six-feet in the air before crashing, and landing on both her palms.

She suffered minor fractures on her wrists from enduring her entire body weight on her palms. She also got T-boned during a back-to-back race in Thailand causing her to have a hairline fracture and a cyst to grow on one of her wrists.

None of that deterred her as she continued go-karting to the end of her teenage years. At the age of 17, she jumped into her first GT race where she drove Porsche Carrera Cup cars in Shanghai.

“It was the hardest car I ever had the pleasure to drive, but I learned a lot throughout the experience. There is a saying ‘if you can learn to drive a Porsche well and fast; to its limit, you can pretty much drive any GT car in the world’,” she said.

Interestingly, that same year, Natasha was also training to be a helicopter pilot. It was her father’s dream to own a hangar and tend to helicopters, and Natasha decided that training to be a pilot was a way to pursue his dream.

After taking her solo flight and seeing her boss’ life taken away in a helicopter crash, she decided it was too pressuring and quit the training.

In 2015, oil and gas companies hit a low and sponsors started pulling back – that being Natasha’s main source of sponsorship, she couldn’t continue racing. Also, currently due to the Sepang F1 Grand Prix contract coming to an end, she is taking a break from racing.

“If I ever had the chance to race again, I would go for the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia or a 12- or 24-hour endurance race; which is taxing on the body but exhilarating,” she said.

After completing her studies, Natasha collaborated with Red Bull Wings which landed her a job with an oil and gas company where she worked for a short period before helping her mum out. Her mother owned a few properties in various places and became a property agent. She now follows her mother’s footsteps and is doing real estate full-time.

It’s been two years since she took a break from racing, and Natasha admits she misses being a race car driver, but selling properties replaced that feeling. Initially planning on just helping her mother out, she has developed a fondness for her job.