From the time she was in elementary school, to her current status as a senior at Rye Neck High School, Kristina Esposito has participated in a number of car-racing leagues, camps, and club races. Throughout her years of racing, Esposito has found herself drawn to the sport, and she now participates on a professional level in endurance racing.
The moment Esposito set foot in Grand Prix New York in Mount Kisco as a seven-year-old, she fell in love with race-car-driving. After ten years of racing, dominating on the racetrack has become second nature to Esposito. When she’s in the zone, there is no stopping her.
“When I am strapped into the car and focused on winning, my brain is focused on racing and only racing. I feel secure knowing that I have control. I am no longer anxious or upset about outside personal issues when I am in the car— I just feel happy,” said Esposito.
Esposito is most proud of her performance in the Sports Club of America six-hour “Devil in the Dark Race.” After completing the race alone, while other racers collaborated in order to complete the lengthy race, Esposito felt a sense of pride in her racing abilities: “This day reaffirmed something for me: race car driving is what I’m meant to do.”
When Esposito looks for inspiration, she channels empowerment through role models such as Divina Galica, Shea Holbrook, and Pippa Mann. Taking a nod from their success , Esposito looks to pass along the confidence gained from her own personal role models by becoming one for young girls interested in racing.
As a woman in motorsports, Esposito has unfortunately experienced moments in which her skills have been discounted or overlooked. Instead of letting those moments bring her down, Esposito expressed a positive outlook on the subject: “Yes, sometimes it is intimidating when you are the only girl at the racetrack. But that isn’t always a bad thing– there isn’t ever a line at the women’s bathroom. I do feel that this is improving and women in motorsports are less stigmatized than they have been in the past. I am proud to be a part of this growing movement. I am also optimistic about the future; I think that longer bathroom lines at the track will soon become the norm.”
Coincidentally, Esposito’s strong connection to racing is something she would have shared with Walter Law, the founder of the village of Briarcliff Manor. In 1908, Law decided to host a Grand Prix and have a race on the small-town roads along the Hudson. This race marked the first ever car race in Westchester County, and brought a great deal of attention and festivity to the rural towns.
Over a century later, the spirit of Westchester’s first road race continues to be preserved through dedicated racers such as Kristina Esposito. Looking forward, it is certain that Esposito’s passion for the sport will take her far as she speeds into the future.