Attending the 2017 UIM Awards Giving Gala in Monaco this weekend is 22 year old Silvia Borgonovi.
I caught up with the stylish Italian powerboat racing ‘superfan’ at the Salle des Etoiles this morning to chat about her love of the sport. Chatting to her is easy, as her English is perfect and she is just as comfortable conversing in German, Spanish or Portuguese.
It shouldn’t come as any surprise then that Silvia is a full time University student majoring in languages.
Silvia is in the principality this weekend with her father, Giacomo, who was recently re-elected chairman of the Formula Committee, is a member of UIM’s Cominsport and a former Italian Powerboat Federation (FIM) circuit president.
Giacomo has been taking his daughter to events and races since she was 6 months old and Silvia explained to me;
The reason I am such a fan was a childhood curiosity with what has always been my family’s biggest passion, both my father and grandfather were drivers, falling in love with the sport was a pretty spontaneous process in my case!
She fondly recounts her first memories in and around the racing pits;
The first race I vividly remember was held in Auronzo di Cadore, I must have been 6 or 7 at the time, I was helping the officials with the starting procedure, I used to hold the 2 minutes sign before the light system was introduced.
You must have a favourite race you have watched?
I don’t think I’ll ever be able to choose an overall favourite race but the first event that comes to mind is the UIM F2 World Championship round held in Campione D’Italia back in 2015 and celebrating Giuseppe Rossi winning the F500 World Championship is one of my most exciting times.
Silvia has been traveling to the UIM F2 World Championship races over the last couple of seasons;
I was really impressed when I attended my first international F2 race.
I knew the category already but I found the general atmosphere very exciting.
The high number of drivers, the strength and the perseverance they have, the quality and the efficiency of the boats and all the amazing people I’ve encountered, all of this made me fall in love even harder with the sport.
When asking her about her racing heroes, Silvia pays tribute to her 23-year-old friend, Massimo Rossi (below) who suffered fatal head injuries during a German National O-350 race in Traben-Trarbach last year.
Although some of us think she may have a certain (north of England) favourite, Silvia diplomatically answers;
I can’t really say that I have one, even though there’s plenty of past and present drivers I really admire.
I tend to have a preference for the people I had the chance to be with throughout the years, the ones I’ve seen improving and achieving their goals and various other members of the F2 family.
UIM F1 H20 driver Marit Stromoy is a fantastic role model for woman in the sport and I’m looking forward to hearing her sing tonight!
Finally, I ask her the million dollar question, will we ever see her behind the wheel in competition?
There have been countless amount of times I thought about becoming a driver.
It was kind of a dream for me when I was little and the fact that I was always surrounded by drivers and mechanics didn’t really help, it just made me even more eager to race.
With time I understood that attending races, being surrounded by boats and helping my friends and family was enough to make me happy.
But who knows, maybe in the future I’ll have a try, hopefully.
Photos of Silvia in Monaco: Chris Davies