Photographer Kristina Fender is a dreamer. Her passion for sidecars began just one year ago. “It was love at first sight“, she admits, “I went to the Jarama Classic Moto event last year and I had never seen a machine like those before. But when I saw them on the track, the copilot dancing on the sidecar platform, I just knew someday I would be there!“.
There she met Leandro and Rosa, both sidecar racers, who made possible her baptism as copilot one year later in the same place, the Jarama. “Leandro called me one month before the event to know if I would dare to race as copilot in the Classic Moto 2011 and without even thinking I said YES! I had been hoping for this opportunity the whole year so I decided to go for it. I had never tried it before but in my mind I had to find out if that love at first sight was true love or just a false alarm…“.
And Kris´ first experience with sidecars would be a memorable one. She joined Mani, a sidecar pilot whom she met 5 minutes before the beginning of the first round. “I didn´t even know him in person. All the sidecars were lined up at the starting line and Mani finally arrived; the nerves came all at once…Rosa quickly explained to me what I had to do, I grabbed the front bar of the sidecar and off we went! Oh my god, what am I doing here!!“, she remembers, “and before I knew we were tackling the first right turn, then right again, then left….the speed threw me out of the sidecar and the centrifugal force was brutal! On the last turn I couldn´t even feel my hands and almost didn´t have any strength to hold on to the bar…and finally … the finish line!!“. There she discovered it was really true love!
After a turbulent first week-end, the next step on the way was the Pau-Arnos circuit (France) this past June. This circuit is beautiful, quite small and set in the heart of a green valley, but all that glitters is not gold. It has plenty of grandient change with a difference in height of 55 meters between the highest and lowest points. “I went to Pau to replace a copilot that would arrive next day and to meet the pilot that will take me to Coyotes in August“. But that was not all…She also met Christian, a french pilot…and his F2 sidecar!. “He offered me to be his copilot for a series and of course I accepted. After the first two laps in that roller coaster circuit he looked at me to check if I was ok, by signs I asserted…and suddenly I felt a mix of inertia, acceleration and speed and thought I was going to fly away on the next turn along with the croissant I had eaten for breakfast!” she exclaims laughing. “Next day it was time to ride with Leandro on his F1…no words…since that day I call his sidecar the shaker!!!”.
When asked about her favorite sidecar teams her face lits up. “I don´t have any favorite ones, but I think the best teams are those integrated by husband-wife, father-son/daughter, because they are able to achieve an incredible confidence and faith between them, which are the most important values to form a great team“.
Although not interested in professional racing, Kris hopes to be able to dance on the sidecar platform. “I still have lots of circuits to beat and although my arms and my stomach are not yet prepared, I swear at least I´m going to try!“.
Thank you so much Kris and keep on speeding !!!
Photos provided by Kristina Fender