Focus on the Positives!

Look to the future!

Natalie Barratt has one simple rule that has helped her overcome and achieve so much in life – and that is to look at everything as a strength.

And that’s her philosophy as the mother of two prepares to return to Motorsport after a break of 13 years – contesting the brand new all-electric Projekt E – a support race series held at selected European rounds of the FIA World Rallycross Championship.

But make no mistake, despite the positive mind-set, Natalie is her own worse critic. The fear of failure is just as real as it is for a less optimistic person, but that’s never held her back – despite some big obstacles in life.

For example, rally driving – with a navigator calling out left and right corners over an in-car intercom system down a forest road at speeds in access of 100mph – isn’t easy.

To absorb, compute and react impeccably to such detailed instructions, often for 20 or 30 minutes at a time, when physically and mentally stressed, is exceptionally difficult – and especially so if, like Natalie, you suffer from dyslexia.

Natalie will adapt the lessons she has learned in rallying in preparation for her rallycross debut. And in a Projekt E car, which can accelerate from 0-60mph in 1.8 seconds – faster than a Formula 1 car – detailed preparation and natural driving instinct will collective play their part when the racing starts in Sweden in August.

“I had my own pace note system in rallying to overcome my dyslexia, and I’ll have my own system with my spotter in rally cross as well. We won’t have a left and right system, as that is something I find difficult to compute, especially in the heat of competition. So instead, my spotter will call ‘inside’ and ‘outside’, as I can instantly react to those commands with no problem at all.”

Natalie has competed at the highest level in very hi-tech and sophisticated machinery before – contesting 44 rounds of the FIA World Rally Championship in cars like a Renault Clio Sport, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo and Hyundai Accent WRC.

Cars like that aren’t easy to start, let alone drive – and Natalie has to study with great care the launch control system, plus the vast array of switches and gadgets, to make sure she can extract the most out of these technologically advanced machines.

And the ground-breaking new four-wheel drive Projekt E race car – with its petrol engine replaced by three electric motors – is one of the most sophisticated race cars on the planet.

Cars like that aren’t easy to start, let alone drive – and Natalie has to study with great care the launch control system, plus the vast array of switches and gadgets, to make sure she can extract the most out of these technologically advanced machines.

And the ground-breaking new four-wheel drive Projekt E race car – with its petrol engine replaced by three electric motors – is one of the most sophisticated race cars on the planet.

“I love competing in motorsport, and I’ve raced as well as rallied, but I do have to put an awful lot more effort in to study how a car works and its control systems, thanks to my dyslexia.

“It’s no good me turning up at a race meeting and having an engineer explain how everything works and sending me out of the pits expecting everything to have instantly clicked. I have to study the dashboard layout, the launch procedure and know what all the complicated array of buttons do in advance, so I am completely at one with the cockpit. Once I’ve mastered that, I can concentrate on my driving.

“It’s the same in normal life. With an Xbox, you have to enter a sixteen digit code. It doesn’t matter how slow someone reads that code out to me, it’s all jumbled up. It’s far easier if I just remember to drive… and I do that fast!”

Published by NATALIE BARRATT RALLY X

British Rally driver Natalie Barratt has returned to the world of motorsport this year with Projekt Electric. Natalie has got back behind the wheel, and she is fully charged. "Its electric and its mind blowing fast, what more could you ask for?" Natalie will be competing in ‘Projekt E’ series which is the leading electric support series to the FIA World Rallycross Championship. She drives the world 1st Electric Rallyx car. In its inaugurate season, the 4 rounds are all in Europe. "It’s a fantastic opportunity and I’m hugely grateful to be part of it’’ ‘‘To date I can’t confirm If I will manage to compete in all 4 rounds, as the budget isn’t complete yet, but I’m working hard on the case’’ ‘’At the moment I am concentrating on getting the rest of the budget in and getting physically prepared – it’s been a long time since I sat in a car, and it’s a monster off the line, amazing to drive ‘’

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