A peek into the Mailbox

What kind of mail do I receive from followers? There are the usual encouragement comments that hearten me, and thankfully I don’t get hate mail, but I do get a lot of requests. It’s a good thing – it means they see me as a reliable automotive directory source perhaps, but the bad thing is how I’m unable to fulfil all the requests.

I try my best to answer all the queries, but sometimes I really don’t know how I should help. In case you are curious, I managed to categorise them into 8 different types: 

1) Getting started in racing

Surprisingly, this is a very common request that I get – people who are keen to get started in racing and wondering how to start and how much it would cost them. I hope they realise that motorsports is not cheap and if they are serious about it, they need to set aside at least five-figure sums.

I’m XX, I am from Singapore, I am aged 22 this year of 201X. I would like to enquire whether you know any jobs of how can I be part of any race teams as their race driver? And how could I start? If you got any idea, from your experience or anything, help me, let me know. 

I was just wondering if there are any avenues for girls/women/females to express their interest in motoring/racing? Apparently it’s really hard for females in Singapore to be able to pursue motoring due to lack of opportunities (and personally-owned sports cars $$$). Can you help?

I’m currently 17 and I want to be a pro kart racer. I have raced go-karts in Batam, Bali and Genting and have gotten hooked on to it. It’s so fun and the adrenaline rush I get from it is awesome. Do you know the cost of owning a go-kart, its maintenance and the necessary items like helmet, gloves, suit etc.?

2) Permission to use my photos

This is flattering as it means that my photos are being appreciated. I get requests from commercial entities who want to use the photos to promote their products or services, from media outlets who want to run my photos with their articles, as well as personal ones like this guy here:

“I loved your pictures in the F1 Singapore coverage in Speedhunters 🙂 Is it possible for you to send me a high quality sample of the first picture where red bull is in the pit? It would be cool to have on the wall in my living room :)”

3) Writing for me

I often get people asking if they could do guest posting on my website. Some probably have a hidden agenda to plug their businesses, but there are genuine enthusiasts who want to write about their passions.

I am XX, a student at NUS and a passionate F1 fan since 1999. I am also a creative writer and run my blog which has poetry and short stories (I wrote a poem about karting too!). I have looking to meet people who cover motorsports in Singapore and I came across your blog and I have read a lot of your posts over the last few days. I was wondering if I could have the chance to work with you (maybe like a freelancer).

4) Sourcing for sponsorships

I guess people assume I have a wide network and just want to tap on my contacts.

If I can be honest with you, it is currently impossible to find sponsorship in India for motorsport. I have been going at this with my heart and soul since October 2013. With almost no time remaining and no success in India, I am coming to Singapore to try and look for potential sponsors. I request you to kindly grant me a short meeting at the earliest, to discuss if you could direct me to individuals who you think I can possibly approach.

5) Contacts in the automotive industry

I get asked for all kinds of contacts.

I own a XX and I’m having trouble with the car and no help from customer service. They seem to want to ‘quieten’ my case without any service recovery. I would like to highlight my case to their MD. I have the contact of his GM but even he was of no help. Was wondering if you have his contact or email. Appreciate any lead that you can give me. Thanks.

Dear Cheryl Tay, I’m from Mauritius. I’m a passionate of Formula 1 and race cars. Since I was a little girl, I dream of working for a Formula 1 Grand Prix organiser or for an F1 Circuit. Today I have decided to make my dream come true and I deadly need help!! Would you kindly put me in touch with someone related to the F1 organiser in Singapore. I would be very grateful if you would kindly help me. I would be happy to provide any additional information you may require.

I am a supercar agent based in England. I read an article you wrote on supercars in Singapore and wish to know more about the supercar market in Singapore. My motive of emailing you today is to see if you can assist me with getting in touch with the right people in Singapore in order to establish good business connections. Please get back to me and let me know if you can help me. Thank you. I look forward to your reply.

I’m a vivid fan of Lamborghini cars and I have always wanted to have an opportunity to make pictures of these awesome beasts. Do you have any contacts of the Lambo Club? I wanna do something of a smaller scale – maybe a group of close friends within the club – like have the Lambo owners stand by their cars in a formal attire, with crossed arms, in a proud fashion.

6) Press passes

I have to admit this annoys me some. Legit members of the media will know how to get press passes, because they will be representing a publication. I do not have free tickets or press passes for you I’m afraid.

Wondering if you could help me out with info on how to get press passes. I booked flights way back to get cheap tickets before dates were released and I do a bit of photography so I will half look the part! But really, just wondering if you knew who I have to talk to etc.

7) Journalism/blogging tips

Glad to inspire!

I am an avid Formula 1 fan, and hope to one day go into F1 journalism. I am very inspired by your work, and I was just wondering what advice you would give to a teenager with the same vision and dream that you have managed to achieve?

8) Academic projects

I have helped out students with their various projects. I hope they get a good grade out of it with my help!

I recently attended Formula Drift and I would love to write a piece on it for my journalism class. If my piece is good enough I can potentially get it published in a news outlet. I have a love for cars and motor sports as well but I am nowhere near being an expert on drifting. If I could ask you some questions through phone, email, or person that would be great!

9) Random queries

All other queries I get that don’t fall in the above categories.

I have read your website and really enjoy your blogs. I was in Kuala Lumpur this year for F1 and stayed at the Pan Pacific where I got to meet most of the F1 drivers, but not the Mercedes team. Do you maybe know where they are staying in Malaysia?

I have a couple of questions as I’m doing a project on the Media Centre for F1. May I know what are the main items inside and what makes it an ideal place for the Media Centre to be placed there?

*This was first published in Wheels Asia magazine.