Guest blog by Thiemo Albers-Daly
Isla Mackenzie first began racing back in 2021 and has made quick work of rising up through the ranks. At the beginning of 2022, she was scouted and signed by IMC Motorsport and has been racing in the Senior Rotax category as well as taking part in a testing programme with her KZ Shifter Kart. Following in the racing footsteps of other Scottish speed demons such as David Coulthard, Sir Jackie Stewart and Susie Wolff, Isla has now made another positive step forward on her motorsport journey.
Speaking with me, Thiemo Albers-Daly for Is It Fast?, back in March, Isla teased that there were big things to come for her in the rest of 2021. “I have some exciting things lined up with IMC Motorsport and I feel incredibly lucky – this is just the start for me.” It would seem that now is that time as Isla has joined the Scuderia Fern Racing team – an awesome achievement that is both impressive and not surprising in equal measure.
“I am really excited to say that I have joined Scuderia Fern Racingand they have joined forces with IMC Motorsport. They are the reigning Monoposto F3 Champions and the biggest thing that stood out to me about the team was their passion for increasing diversity in motorsport. We were always hoping to progress to car racing but we didn’t think it would be possible so soon.” – Isla Mackenzie
Back on the 19th August, Isla had her first test with the Scuderia team at Silverstone (it’s a chore being a racing driver sometimes) where she was also joined by her trusted IMC manager, Jono. The weather and conditions at Silverstone were those of a classic British summer with the sun shining and a little bit of cloud cover in the sky. This was definitely meant to be.
As it was Isla’s first time in a single seater car, the decision was made to ease Isla into things and she spent the morning driving around the classic British circuit in Scuderia’s Formula Ford car.
“It was so fun to drive and the perfect introduction to single seaters!” – Isla Mackenzie
For the afternoon sessions, Isla then made the natural transition into their Dallara F3 car and if the photos are anything to go by, it was an absolute dream come true for Isla. Overall, the day went smoothly from everyone’s perspective and Isla even managed to get coached by the one and only Lee Cunningham for the entire day too.
“It was the first time I drove a car with aero and I think I had a smile on my face the entire time!” – Isla Mackenzie
Along with her karting programme, Isla will be testing again soon with Scuderia in preparation for racing with them in the not too distant future too. It also wouldn’t be shocking to see her pop up somewhere else to go racing before the end of 2022 too. It’s an exciting time to be an Isla Mackenzie fan and if you’re not already on board this Scottish hype train, when what more are you waiting for? Get on!
When Isla isn’t busy being a racing driver, she works as a Dyno Technician at none other than the Mercedes AMG F1 team, having made the switch to there from Williams a little while back. Watch out Toto, you’ll have another driver to add to your ranks soon!
With Jamie Chadwick getting to test an Indy Lights car and Tatiana Calderon having returned to Formula 2 for the remainder of the 2022 season, it’s brilliant to see those coming into motorsport also getting these awesome opportunities to learn and progress too. My call back in March that we’d see Isla in W Series sometime in the next few years now looks to be only a matter of when and not if. I love it.