Yvonne van den Berg-Houffelaar is not only a real race driver, but she’s also a champion archer while active in social work involving handicapped children and sim racing is her passion!
This is Yvonne’s remarkable story:
In 1999, I tried karting for the first time in France. I enjoyed it a lot! When we were back from vacation, I looked for an association to learn karting and drive competitions. I was already a Formula one fan.
In 1999 I started with karting competitions till 2012. Unfortunately, I had to stop due to my handicap.
I still go-karting sometimes for fun, with my old team Q-Tox Racing Team who are also my friends. We decided to do an outdoor competition in 2021.
In 2009 I got my racing license. I did some testing drives but never did a competition due to my handicap. Maybe I will drive again at the circuit, at least I hope so!
Today I am a Dutch National Para Athlete in Archery, which I started in 2016 with archery and have been shooting with a compound bow since the end of 2017.
It’s very different than karting or racing. The sport has very different challenges and I enjoy it a lot!
I always set some high goals for myself, high but achievable.
If I can make it to the Paralympic Games 2024 in Paris, depending on the classification. Simply said, it’s an examination if my body is “bad enough” to compete in the Paralympic Games.
I also teach children with handicaps. It’s amazing to teach them!
I know what an impact it had on my life when I was young and sometimes still now. I enjoyed it a lot, to let them see what you can do, that they are not less than other children and see that they enjoyed it a lot!
I started with sim racing in 2015, together with my husband and brother-in-law. We started with iRacing which I enjoyed it a lot, but when I started with archery competitions, I had less time for sim racing.
In the first lockdown in April 2020, I started again with sim racing. Together with some old teammates from Q-Tox Racing Team we started on Assetto Corsa Competizione.
I met some Belgium people in September 2020 and joined them on a discord channel. Because of them, I know The Sim Grid races.
Then there was a message on The Sim Grid discord, a team was looking for a teammate in The Sim Grid Endurance Cup Split 3. I sent them a message and joined the team!
Then the More Female Racers was announced in November 2020. I signed in for this series without a co-driver. That was not a problem, if I didn’t find a co-driver then they would find someone for me.
I decided not to wait and sent this message on the discord, ‘I’m looking for a teammate! I’m a female driver, not much experience, and not super fast but I want to practice much and learn a lot!’
Then Alethea Boucq (Theamusante) and Giorgio Simonini sent me a private message, I hoped for a response from someone but I never thought this was going to happen!
I had a very good conversation with Giorgio about the GTWR team and what I want as well. I’ve got the chance to drive with them and learn from them!
I drove the More Female Racers S2 with co-driver Chris Harteveld. I learned a lot from him and the other co- and female drivers from the GTWR Team!
The next season there are going to be a lot of challenges. I’m always up for a challenge! I’m going to drive the RCI Diamond Drive Cup together with Sarah Johnson, The Sim Grid Sprint Cup S3 with Theamusante, World Cup Endurance with GTWR Female Racing Team, and More Female Racers S3.
The next race is NXTGEN Silverstone 12h Brain Tumour Charity race with the GTWR Female Racing Team on Saturday 27 February.
I’m into sim racing because I meet a lot of like-minded people and some great communities! We talk a lot, have fun and drive together! There are more and more female drivers and I still hope there are gonna be ladies to join us! We learn from each other and have a lot of fun!
My journey in sim racing has just started. I want to get better and I have a great opportunity to learn from the GTWR Team.
You can follow my journey in a weekly blog, on my social media, and on my stream. If you want information on how to start with sim racing or to join a competition you can send me a message in discord or on social media. Discord Sim Racing Artisans
Since meeting Yvonne through social media via Thea Musante, I have seen that a person such as Yvonne shows sheer determination in everything she does.
Her pursuit to help others not only just in sim racing but also in Archery shows that she is a real team player. It has been a pleasure to have someone such as Yvonne be a female ambassador, not only in sim racing but for her to be here at simrace247.com.
We also are pleased to confirm that Yvonne will contribute a regular column to our site, keeping us tuned into her intriguing world. Thank you – Darren B.