Racing driver Sally McNulty’s passion for cars has taken her from a track day many years ago to driving in the TC America Series in a Honda Civic touring car. This year she’s aiming for a podium finish as she embarks on her second season in the championship, with Motul by her side.
SALLY MCNULTY: “I’D NEVER DONE WHEEL-TO-WHEEL RACING BEFORE”
Sally, can you tell us more about your racing?
I’m a driver for Honda Performance Development, which is Honda of America, in the TC America Series (part of the SRO Motorsports Group). I race with Honda’s turnkey Civic Si, a factory-built race car. The only way you can race in this class is to have a factory-built car.
What kind of racing is it?
It's essentially a touring car class. There are seven races across the United States and each one is 40 minutes. Every weekend there are two races. The racing’s really competitive and close as the cars are pretty much equally balanced performance-wise: we race against MINI John Cooper Works, Toyota GT86s and so on.
Racing’s not your day job, is it? You work in a car dealership all week and then go racing at the weekend. How do you fit all this in?
I have no idea. It's really tiring [laughs]. I have to work really hard while I'm at work, because I work a commission-based sales job. But because I work hard, most of the time they don't mind if I take a few extra days off here and there [laughs]. I'm constantly pushing myself to try harder and harder and harder, because I don't have a ton of money.
How long have you been racing?
This is my second year in touring cars. I'm still kind of new. 2019 was my first year, and I was a rookie, so I spent that first year trying to understand the car and the series. I’d never done wheel-to-wheel racing before. I think you’re always better at something your second time around because you have a little bit more experience and a bit more time to prepare and think about it. In my first year my best finish was a top-five out of 18, so this year we're hoping to get some podiums.
Looking at your Instagram, it seems that as well as racing, you take care of the mechanics on the car, too?
I have a pretty small crew of four people. At the race, I hire a mechanic. But in between races we have a two-car garage in our house where my boyfriend and I mostly do all the work to the car. We always have something that needs to be done to the car or replaced.
How did you get into racing?
I really like driving, but I really wanted to make my driving better. I did a track day many years ago and it was super fun. It has kind of just grown from there. Nobody ever thought I would end up doing this just from a track day. I wanted to see how far I could take this. At first, I started in time attack in a Subaru. I got a record and several wins and was starting to get noticed.
What’s your connection with Motul?
I've been working with Motul for several years now. And before I was even sponsored by them, I only ran Motul fluid anyway because I always heard that it was the best and I never wanted to try anything that was less than the best. This year they are once again on board for my TC America Series, which is awesome. It's great to have them on board. Motul has also joined the series as a sponsor so it's like a double benefit for them.