The 2012 racing season started early for now 17 year race car driver Natalie Fenaroli down at the Texas Motorsports Ranch (TMR) in mid-March. Hauling her BigW/KCEngines/KCRim Shop Spec Miata 10 hours to TMR turned into one of her more frustrating weekends with her usually very reliable Miata suffering multiple wheel bearing failures at the NASA Texas Region event. Natalie and her team had travelled far so she could participate in Mazda’s Teen Mazda Challenge. It became clear by the end of the weekend that the car was under powered for this level of racing where the field had more than 35 Miatas including 2 regional champions. She DNF’d in the first race with a bearing failure, took 26th in the second race with another bearing going out and break pad damage and finished the weekend a humble 23rd.

The following weekend in late March Natalie started her open wheel season at Hallett in her # 33 Formula S Argo which she had raced one other time at the end of the previous season. The car was in good form and so was Natalie battling up to 3rd for a career high finish in cars.

With a limited budget, Team Fenaroli decided to focus on getting Natalie seat time in her open wheel car. April 28-29 was race two in the COMMA race series at Hallett road racing circuit in Jennings, OK. Natalie again looked good in her open wheel car right up to the point in the pre-final that her oil pump lost the belt and damaged the motor putting an end to her weekend.

After missing several mid-season races Natalie was again able to return to the fray with another strong outing at the end of September where she took her third podium of the year finishing 3rd. The last race of the season Fenaroli finished 6th after a late race spin as her tires were going away but still managed to set a personal best fastest lap at Hallett 1:18.04 “I had a great season at Hallett in my Argo. I am very grateful to the Stephens family who operate the track for being so supportive of me. I really felt like I learned a lot over the course of the season, and what can I say, it was nice being able to see my wheels again.”

Fenaroli is in Indianapolis for the IMIS trade show for the next couple days and is looking forward to the “Women in the Winners Circle Panel Discussion” Friday afternoon, moderated by Lyn St James.

About Natalie:
Natalie Fenaroli is a 17 year old race car driver who started racing go karts when she was 5. At age 7 she won the Group2 Kid Kart National championship and went on to win a Cadet karting Championship at 11 and a SKUSA Jr Championship when she was 12. AutoWeek named her 1 of 5 of the “Fastest Women You Will Ever Meet”. She started racing a Spec Miata at 14 and moved to racing an open wheel car when she was 16. She is currently a junior in High School and has above a 4.0 grade point average. She is on the Board of Directors for KCAM, the Kansas City Auto Museum, in charge of Youth Outreach.

Team # (Matt) 816.305.1279

Look for an update as she makes plans for next racing season.