19-year-old Swedish racer Sebastian Lehmann is making a splash

Written by By Tara Foss, CNN For the thousands of cars at the New York International Auto Show, Sebastian Lehmann stands out. The 19-year-old from Malmo, Sweden, is the youngest competitor in the mud…

19-year-old Swedish racer Sebastian Lehmann is making a splash

Written by By Tara Foss, CNN

For the thousands of cars at the New York International Auto Show, Sebastian Lehmann stands out. The 19-year-old from Malmo, Sweden, is the youngest competitor in the mud racing category — but her results at both the quarter-mile and mile-long race categories prove she’s hard to ignore.

“Maybe my sponsor doesn’t like it, but I love it,” Lehmann said during a red carpet event at the auto show. “I want to get out there and show people that there are more girls in the off-road and dirt racing world than ever before. I’m a mom now, so I love it, I love competing, I love this whole world.”

Lehmann’s victory at the stakes-packed event demonstrates her newfound popularity and the obstacles that she and other female racers face in a male-dominated sport.

Off-road racer Sebastian Lehmann (Photo credit: Bethany Budd)

Sweden’s Cupar Performance has sponsored Lehmann since she was 11 years old. “We knew she was really good, we had a lot of confidence in her, and of course as a private company we wanted to let her have the ability to develop,” said Erik Brändström, general manager of Cupar Performance.

“She’s a natural female,” said Tami Haida, Lehmann’s gear mechanic. “She’s very organized. I just saw this last year in America with her being able to push the car to the max, and this shows we’ve got a lot of potential in the girl category.”

Rally cars at the New York International Auto Show (Photo credit: Bethany Budd)

Haida admitted that her favorite thing about working with Lehmann is “just watching her doing what she loves, doing what she loves. And that’s all we are here for. At the end of the day it’s what’s going to propel her into becoming a serious racer.”

“My favorite part is that my mom can watch me perform,” Lehmann said. “That makes me happy.”

Leave a Comment