Teenager Chloe Chambers speeds into motorsports career as W Series driver

Chloe Chambers during the W Series testing at the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit.
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After kicking off her career in motorsports in kart racing, New York resident Chloe Chambers zoomed into the headlines in 2020 when she set the Guinness World Record for the fastest vehicular slalom at just 16 years old – and without her driver’s license. Two years later, Chambers — who turned 18 earlier this month and just graduated from high school — is two races into her first full season as a driver in the W Series, a free-to-enter championship series designed to provide equal opportunities for women by eliminating the financial barriers that have historically prevented them from progressing to the upper echelons of motorsports.

Chambers, driving the No. 8 for Jenner Racing, earned her full-time seat for 2022 after impressing during pre-season tests at the Inde Motorsports Ranch in Arizona and the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain. She made her official series debut in May in Miami, where she qualified 11th and finished in 16th (of 18). Chambers followed up with another 16th-place finish in Barcelona last month, and she currently stands 14th in overall points ranking ahead of the series’ third stop England’s Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit (July 1-2).

Chambers recently spoke to On Her Turf about her expectations for her first season with the W Series.

The following Q&A has been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.

On Her Turf: I’m sure you’ve gotten this question before, but how on earth does a teenager get into motorsports?

Chloe Chambers: I started karting when I was 8 years old. I got into that through watching Formula 1 on the weekends with my dad and my mom. And [Dad] did track days and auto-cross events in his car, and I traveled along with him with my mom. At one of his events, I had asked when can I drive? My parents started researching and they figured out that karting was the first step getting into professional motorsports. So, they found a local kart track near my house, and we did my first lesson. I loved it. I kept going with it. I moved from the club level into regional and the nationals.

Last year I moved into cars, and I drove in the F4 U.S. Championship, which is like it goes F1, F2, F3, F4 – so F4 is like the lowest, and then F1 is like the pinnacle of it. I did that for a year and then earlier this year, I got an invite to come out to Arizona and do a test with W series. Then I went to Barcelona last month and I mean that’s basically what how it went and now I’m here.

OHT: What is your favorite thing about motorsports? 

Chambers: I would say the competition. I really like the head-to-head type of competition. I like that it’s just you as the driver that makes a difference on the track. Like, the driver will make the biggest difference. Obviously, you have a team, and you have to make sure the car is set up right, you have to make sure everything is working properly, but the driver ultimately will make the biggest difference. I think that I got that competitiveness from doing swimming. I swam for almost my entire life, and I just loved being able to visually see my competition, know that ‘Oh, I need to go faster.’ I guess once I started racing, it kind of turned into my favorite sport – being motorsports and racing and driving. Swimming, I do it just as like a training type of thing, but I still enjoy it.

OHT: A couple years ago, when you broke the world record for the fastest vehicle slalom, you didn’t have your driver’s license at the time, right? Have you gotten it since?

Chambers: I have gotten it. At the time that I did the record, I had my permit.

OHT: Safe to assume you passed on the first go? 

Chambers: I did, yeah.

OHT: For motorsports fans who aren’t as familiar, how would you describe the W Series?

Chambers: The main thing is that it’s an all-women’s series. And in racing, it’s a very male-dominated sport. The W Series gives 18 seats to 18 different women to progress and learn and get their name out and put them in the spotlight. We race at eight F1 races this year, and you know, F1 is the top level of open-wheel motorsports. To be on the stage with F1, it gives W Series and its drivers a lot of exposure. It helps us out a lot and so far, it’s helped me out a ton. I’ve never raced in anything as high profile as this – it’s a brand-new experience for me. The cars are different from what I’ve ever ran, the team is completely different, but I think that it’s really professional, it’s really well run, and I’m enjoying driving the cars a lot and working with everyone. And of course, I love going to the Formula 1 races. I’d actually never been to one before this, and to be here – it’s pretty crazy, but I’m loving it.

AUTO: MAY 06 F1 Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix
MIAMI GARDENS, FL — Chloe Chambers looks on from the cockpit of her race car prior to the W Series race qualification on May 7, 2022. (Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

OHT: [Two-time W Series champion] Jamie Chadwick is on your team. What does it actually mean to be teammates? Is there anything that you’re looking forward to learning from her?

Chambers: Jamie has been basically the benchmark – everybody’s trying to be her. She’s a two-time champion (2019, 2021). To have her on my team and be pretty accessible for me – that helps out a lot. Of course, we do a lot of media stuff together, so we’ve talked, and we’ve done a bunch of other stuff like we went out to Malibu to meet [Jenner Racing team owner Caitlyn Jenner] just before Miami, so I got to speak with her there.

Jamie has said that she doesn’t think that she’ll be able to actually teach me anything, but I think so far, she has taught me some things. I think that Jamie is very professional and carries herself really well off the track, and of course, she’s a pretty talented driver. I’m just looking to learn whatever I can from her and Caitlyn. I wouldn’t say there’s one specific thing that I’m excited to learn, I guess we’ll just have to see.

OHT: You (just graduated) from high school. Any plans to go to college or are you just focused on racing? 

Chambers: I’m planning on doing the online program at Arizona State, and I’ll do that for business management. The online program just works out so much better with my racing schedule. And I think that it’s important to get your education and to get a college degree. So that’s always been kind of a big thing with my family. We’ve always said my education comes first. If I can’t perform well in school, I can’t go racing. So…

OHT: In terms of racing, what are your goals looking ahead?

Chambers: I started racing through watching Formula 1, so I’ve always wanted to be like the Formula 1 drivers. That’s why I started racing, and so my goal has always been to get into Formula 1. But I’ve kind of deliberately said that I want to get into Formula 1 and be able to compete and be able to win. I don’t just want to get in it, and then be in it and not really accomplish much.

I want to do the Indy 500, of course. It’s a huge race in America, and I would love to just do it. And then this year, I started doing some more sportscar closed-wheel races, and I figured out that I really enjoy that. And it’s something that you can do well after you’re done with open-wheel racing, because it’s much more physical and sportscars are not as much. But I think that I’ve enjoyed sports cars so much that I’ve also added in the Daytona 24 and the Le Mans 24, as well, and just some of those more iconic, endurance sports car races.

OHT: When you have a free moment, what do you like to do for fun?

Chambers: I like hanging out with friends and doing just normal teenage-life type of things. In my free time, I do enjoy going on the simulator and not doing it quite as seriously, but just having fun with some friends. And I like being alone a lot, so I like watching Netflix or YouTube.

OHT: A lot of people can relate to that, I’m sure! Last question: For young kids that are interested in getting into racing, what advice would you give to them?

Chambers: I would just say that it’s going to take a lot of work, and you’re going to have to stay really committed and you’re going to have to work really hard. You have to take in everything as a learning experience, whether that’s a win or a loss. Actually, the losses are usually a bigger learning experience than the wins, and you have to be able to cope with that. So I mean, just work really hard and if you really love it, then that shouldn’t be a problem.

On Her Turf writer Lisa Antonucci contributed to this report.

2022 Rivalry Series: USA extends lead to 3-0 over Canada in women’s hockey showcase

Hilary Knight #21 of Team United States reacts after scoring a shorthanded goal in the second period during the Women's Ice Hockey Gold Medal match.
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Hilary Knight had two goals and one assist to lead the U.S. women’s hockey team to a 4-2 win over Canada on Sunday, extending Team USA’s series lead to 3-0 in the seven-game 2022-23 Rivalry Series.

Savannah Harmon and Abby Roque also scored for the U.S., which has notched three consecutive wins against Canada for the first time since 2019. Goalie Nicole Hensley made 22 saves in front of a record-setting crown at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, where fan attendance totaled 14,551.

Marie-Philip Poulin and Sarah Nurse scored for Canada, which captured gold \at both the IIHF Women’s World Championship in September and the Beijing Olympics in February.

Knight has enjoyed a standout 2022-23 Rivalry Series to date, registering six points (three goals, three assists) in the first three games including the game-winning goal in a shootout victory in Game 1 of the series on Tuesday and the game-winning assist in Game 2 on Thursday. Prior to the puck drop in Seattle on Sunday, Knight was presented with a golden stick to commemorate her record-breaking 87th career point in world championship play. Knight became the all-time points leader at the IIHF Women’s World Championship in September, when the eight-time world champion recorded one goal and one assist in Team USA’s 12-1 quarterfinal win over Hungary.

Sunday’s matchup between the U.S. and Canada marked the third game of the 2022-23 Rivalry Series and was the third matchup between the two teams in five days. The U.S. came in with a 2-0 series lead following a 2-1 victory on Thursday in Kamloops, B.C., and a 4-3 shootout victory — the first shootout in Rivalry Series history — in Kelowna, B.C., on Tuesday. It also was the first game for the U.S. national team on home soil since Dec. 17, 2021, when the team hosted Canada in St. Louis (Canada won 3-2 in overtime).

The 2022-23 Rivalry Series continues next month with two games in the U.S., set to be played in Las Vegas on Dec. 17 and Los Angeles on Dec. 19.

2022-23 Rivalry Series schedule, results

Tuesday, Nov. 15 USA 4, CAN 3 (SO) Kelowna, British Columbia NHL Network
Thursday, Nov. 17 USA 2, CAN 1 Kamloops, British Columbia NHL Network
Sunday, Nov. 20 USA 4, CAN 2 Seattle, Washington NHL Network
Thursday, Dec. 15 10 p.m. ET Henderson, Nevada NHL Network
Monday, Dec. 19 10 p.m. ET Los Angeles, California NHL Network

What is the Rivalry Series?

The Rivalry Series was introduced by USA Hockey and Hockey Canada during the 2018-19 season and designed as an annual showcase of the highest level of women’s hockey at various locations in the United States and Canada. The first series comprised three games between the two national teams, with Canada winning 2-1. Team USA took 2019-20 title, winning the expanded five-game series 4-1 and wrapping with an overtime win in the finale in front of a then-record-breaking total of 13,320 fans in Anaheim, California.

Following a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic and preparation for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, the Rivalry Series resumed this season with seven games over three months: three in November, two in December and two in February.

The U.S. and Canada have battled in the gold-medal game of six of seven Winter Olympics and 20 of 21 IIHF Women’s World Championship, with the two exceptions being the 2019 World Championship and 2006 Olympics. The Canadian women are the reigning Olympic and world champions.

2022-23 Rivalry Series rewind: USA takes Games 1-2

Game 1 recap: USA 4, CAN 3, SO (Nov. 15): The series kicked off Tuesday with Team USA grabbing a 2-0 lead off goals from Hannah Brandt and Hilary Knight. But Canada battled back with three unanswered goals and held a 3-2 lead with 13 minutes to go in the third. With just 1:29 remaining in regulation, Alex Carpenter tied it for the Americans, sending the game to overtime. The U.S. ultimately won in a shootout, with Knight and Carpenter scoring while U.S. goalie Nicole Hensley made two key saves.

Game 2 recap: USA 2, CAN 1 (Nov. 17): Canada was first to get on the board Thursday when Marie-Philip Poulin capitalized off a penalty shot opportunity in the second period, but USA’s Kendall Coyne Schofield knotted the score just 1:12 later. Alex Carpenter scored the go-ahead tally with 6:36 remaining in the third to give the U.S. a 2-1 win and a 2-0 series lead. U.S. goalie Maddie Rooney recorded 19 saves in net.

Who’s playing in the 2022-23 Rivalry Series?

Team USA’s roster — led by coach John Wroblewski — for the November Rivalry Series games features 23 players, 16 of whom were part of the silver medal-winning team at the 2022 IIHF Women’s World Championship in August:

  • Hannah Brandt (Vadnais Heights, Minn.)
  • Alex Carpenter (North Reading, Mass.)
  • Kendall Coyne Schofield (Palos Heights, Ill.)
  • Jincy Dunne (O’Fallon, Mo.)
  • Aerin Frankel(Chappaqua, N.Y.)
  • Rory Guilday (Minnetonka, Minn.)
  • Savannah Harmon (Downers Grove, Ill.)
  • Nicole Hensley (Lakewood, Colo.)
  • Megan Keller (Farmington Hills, Mich.)
  • Amanda Kessel (Madison, Wis.)
  • Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho)
  • Kelly Pannek (Plymouth, Minn.)
  • Abby Roque (Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.)
  • Hayley Scamurra (Getzville, N.Y.)
  • Maddie Rooney (Andover, Minn.)
  • Lee Stecklein (Roseville, Minn.).

Team Canada’s 23-player roster, selected by coach Troy Ryan and director of hockey operations Gina Kingsbury, features 16 players who were on the gold medal-winning team at the 2022 IIHF Women’s World Championship and the 2022 Beijing Olympics (Canada beat , including:

  • Erin Ambrose
  • Kristen Campbell
  • Emily Clark
  • Ann-Renée Desbiens
  • Renata Fast
  • Brianne Jenner
  • Jocelyne Larocque
  • Emma Maltais
  • Emerance Maschmeyer
  • Sarah Nurse
  • Marie-Philip Poulin
  • Jamie Lee Rattray
  • Ella Shelton
  • Laura Stacey
  • Blayre Turnbull
  • Micah Zandee-Hart

Rivalry Series history

Following Sunday’s victory, the U.S. holds a 6-2-1-2 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record over Canada all time in the Rivalry Series. Canada won the 2018-19 Rivalry Series with a 2-0-0-1 record, while the U.S. won the 2019-20 Rivalry Series with a 3-1-1-0 record.

2019-20 Rivalry Series results

Dec. 14, 2019 USA 4, CAN 1 Hartford, Connecticut Alex Cavallini
Dec. 17, 2019 USA 2, CAN 1 Moncton, N.B. Alex Carpenter
Feb. 3, 2020 CAN 3, USA 2 (OT) Victoria, B.C. Hilary Knight
Feb. 5, 2020 USA 3, CAN 1 Vancouver, B.C. Katie Burt
Feb. 8, 2020 USA 4, CAN 3 (OT) Anaheim, California Megan Bozek

2018-19 Rivalry Series results

Feb. 12 USA 1, CAN 0 London, Ontario
Feb. 14 CAN 4, USA 3 Toronto, Ontario
Feb. 17 CAN 2, USA 0 Detroit Michigan

Atthaya Thitikul takes LPGA rookie-of-year honors in stride ahead of Tour Championship

Atthaya Thitikul of Thailand smiles after the birdie on the 6th green during the second round of the TOTO Japan Classic.
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To say that Atthaya Thitikul has enjoyed a breakout rookie LPGA season is a bit of an understatement, but keeping things low-key is exactly how 19-year-old “Jeeno” likes it.

As the 2022 season concludes this week at the CME Group Tour Championship, Thitikul has already captured two LPGA titles, held the No. 1 spot in the world rankings and collected the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year honors. But the current world No. 2 displays a wise-beyond-her-years ethos when she says what she’s most proud of this season is her mindset.

“[I’m]19 years old — I think I’m still young to handle all the things that I have now,” Thitikul told On Her Turf ahead of this week’s season finale in Naples, Fla. “I didn’t say that I handled it well, but I’ve just said that I think I can handle it. I can do it. And yeah, it’s turned out to be pretty good this year.”

To keep herself in check, the Thailand native keeps her philosophy posted on her Instagram profile, which reads, “Be you, be happy and everything will be fine.” Thitikul, who on Oct. 31 joined 18-time LPGA winner Lydia Ko as the only players in tour history to reach No. 1 before their 20th birthday, said she took stock of poor performances on the golf course and found they all had one thing in common: She wasn’t being herself.

“I didn’t have fun,” she says of those unsatisfactory rounds. “I was expecting a lot of results on the golf course, not really talking, not really enjoying it. So I think being myself, have fun, keep smiling, keep laughing and talking with other players or talking with my caddie, joking around — I think it’s the best that I can do.”

Golf has always been fun for Thitikul, who grew up in northeast Thailand and was introduced to the sport at age 6 through her father and grandfather, both of whom were not golfers themselves but recognized the opportunity that golf might provide. Thitikul teases that her grandfather was enamored with Tiger Woods, but after her first golf experience with a professional in Bangkok, she was hooked, too.

“They asked me when I finished practicing, do I like it? And I say, ‘Yeah, I do.’ Because [there were] a lot of friends and when I practice, it seemed fun and it seemed not like other sports that I have been watching on TV,” she recalls.

Thitikul’s ascent to the top of her sport was swift: In February 2017, just three days after her 14th birthday, she made her first LPGA tournament appearance at the Honda LPGA Thailand and finished 37th out of 66 players. Just five months later, Thitikul made headlines when she became the youngest person ever to win a professional golf tour event at age 14 years, 4 months and 19 days old, winning the Ladies European Thailand Championship on the Ladies European Tour (LET).

RELATED: 2022 CME Group Tour Championship — How to watch, who’s playing in LPGA’s season finale

For three more years, Thitikul resisted turning professional, racking up multiple international amateur victories and plenty of tour experience, notching her first LPGA top-10 finish in March 2018 at the HSBC Women’s World Championship (T-8) and earning low amateur honors that same year at two majors, the ANA Inspiration (T-30) and Women’s British Open (T-64). The following year, she won the Ladies European Thailand Championship for the second time in three years, earned low amateur honors at the British Open (finishing T-29) for the second straight year and was No. 1 on the women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking.

In her first year as a pro, during the pandemic-impacted 2020 season, Thitikul broke through for her first professional win in July at the Thai LPGA Championship. She finished the season with five Thai LPGA wins and topped the money list.

Thitikul moved to the LET in 2021, winning the Czech Ladies Open in June, and just a month later she moved into the top 100 on the world rankings for the first time at No. 89. She finished 2021 with two wins, three runner-ups and nine additional top-10 finishes, securing the LET Order of Merit and Rookie of the Year titles and becoming just the fourth player to win both awards in the same season.

After finishing third at LPGA Qualifying School to earn her card for 2022, Thitikul didn’t miss a beat in her meteoric rise this season. She posted two top-10s in her first four starts before striking a staff deal with Callaway, which she followed up by winning her first LPGA title in March at the JTBC Classic. She carded an 8-under 64 in the final round to force a playoff and Nanna Koerstz Madsen on the second extra hole. She earned her second LPGA title in September at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, tying the tournament record of 61 in the second round and beating Danielle Kang in a playoff.

As for the pressure of being a teen phenom, Thitikul admits she can’t ignore it but has figured out how to turn it around to her advantage: “It’s still so hard because I think as players want to be on top and we put the pressure on ourselves, and there’s a lot of eyes on us. … But at the same time, it’s kind of like you couldn’t win every week, you couldn’t have a good day every day. It’s golf. I like to think of pressure as a challenge. I put a lot of pressure on myself, but I think of it as challenging.”

Away from the golf course, Thitikul enjoys spending time with friends, watching Korean television dramas and indulging in Asian food (Chinese and Korean are favorites). Although she doesn’t have a pet, she says she’s a dog person, and prefers the mountains to the beach, as she loves to hike.

But don’t expect too much lounging, hiking or other non-golf activities on Thitikul’s itinerary after this season wraps on Sunday.

“This offseason, we have a lot of work to do,” she says.” There are a lot of things I still have to learn – not just for next year but for [beyond.] … But hopefully next year, it’s going to be nice and good for me as well. I really want to have a major win in my career. I don’t know if it’s going to happen next year, but hopefully.”