Abi Birch's Journey to the Sodi World Series Finals
One of our very own staff members, Abi Birch, has experienced the thrill of participating in a Sodi World Series final.
We sat down with Abi to find out what the experience was like and how she first got in to go-karting.
How many times have you managed to get to the final?
I have participated in three SWS World Finals. France 2016, Italy 2018 and Italy 2019. The first time competing on an international stage I finished the weekend in 52nd place. In 2018, I finished 12th and in 2019 I finished 32nd overall. On the last two occasions, I won the Female World Titles (2018 and 2019).
Can you tell us more about the weekend itself?
The atmosphere is just amazing. They really do go over the top but in a very awesome way. Dramatic music, an amazing commentator and very high spec go-karts. After every heat there is a podium so an increased chance for drivers to get a trophy. Every driver gets admission to an after party where dinner is served and the main trophies of the event are given out (1st, 2nd, 3rd overall and ladies 1st place).
How long have you been go-karting for?
Not even five years. I first attempted go-karting in late 2015 after I had just moved to Dubai. My Father had managed Dubai Autodrome (an outdoor go-karting venue in Dubai) for 8 years and encouraged me to try it out. To start with I refused but I finally gave in and had a go. I didn't really enjoy the first session because I was really slow and I felt embarrassed, but I managed to encourage myself to go again and I beat my time. That’s when I started to get the ‘bug’. I continued to participate in practice sessions until my time was competitive enough for the local SWS races. After a few months, I got noticed at the track by a local driver who gave me my first chance at an SWS endurance race. The rest is history!!
How many races do you have to typically participate in to get to the world finals?
You need to participate in at least 10 races although it's better to compete in more races so you have a better chance of building up more points. Typically, drivers compete in 25-35 races over the 12-month season.
How competitive is the final and what is the standard of driving like?
The standard of driving is so good! I was at the front of the pack in Dubai but was suddenly mid-pack at the finals 😮