Christina Lam is a racer and team co-owner at Hi-Speed Motorsports. She heads business operations and manages race team logistics in addition to building race cars and coaching drivers. The Hi-Speed Motorsports race team consists of two HPD factory racecars, a TC Civic Type R, and a TCA Civic Si along with two T1 BMW M3s. These cars are part of an arrive and drive program supported by Hi-Speed Motorsports.
Christina got her start in motorsports with autocross and worked her way up through HPDE, Time Trial, and Racing. She built her own E46 M3 which she competes in with the rest of the Hi-Speed Motorsports team. She now races the HPD Civic Type R and HPD Civic Si in SCCA Majors, Hoosier Super Tour, and NASA.
What was your first track day like? How did you feel?
My first taste of speed was at the Nurburgring for my first track day in a Suzuki Swift racecar, and I didn’t know how to drive manual. I whipped out YouTube and memorized the process and away we went! My instructor was apprehensive after giving me a condescending speech about Americans and driving automatic cars. He ended up changing his tune by the end of the day encouraging me to go faster as we hit every apex and track out. I came home from that trip and committed to autocross for a season. I eventually bought my E36 M3 as an automatic street car. I had the transmission swap done and then taught myself how to maintain and upgrade it into a solid track car.
How did you get started in track?
Autocross was my gateway drug into racing. I started with WDCR SCCA and BMW CCA autocross events and was quickly hooked. Soon every summer weekend was filled with shagging cones for seat time. Autocross is a critical base that contributes to my success today. It taught me how to learn a new course quickly and execute my drive with accuracy. Learning new tracks is one of my strengths thanks to autocross. I decided to do a few High Performance Driving Events (HPDE) and fell far and fast down the rabbithole. Autocross every weekend turned into track days at any track I could get to. After moving up the HPDE ranks I began to Time Trial and instruct with NASA.
How did you get started in racing?
A successful Time Trial season filed with podiums pushed me to take the next step: Racing. I knew I wanted to commit full tilt and I sent my E36 M3 to Hi-Speed Motorsports. Up until that point, it was a garage build and weekend warrior. Hi-Speed Motorsports transformed the car into a precise track weapon and one of the best GTS2 cars in the country. My rookie season found me on the podium every single race weekend, finishing second in the championship. We competed at NASA Eastern States Championships at Sebring and brought home a solid third place at my first national race!
I now compete in the SCCA Majors and Super Tour series alongside my two Hi-Speed teammates Hugh Stewart and Jonathan Vasquez. We build and race E46 M3s in Touring 1 against some of the fiercest racers in the country.
Walk us through the process of a track day and please share any tips you have!
An SCCA Majors race weekend for me starts long before I arrive at the track that weekend. The week before is car prep, ensuring that the car has basic preventative maintenance, checking the alignment, and putting a wrench on every nut and bolt. Racing is hard on the cars, but at Hi-Speed Motorsports, we ensure that the cars get the attention needed between rounds to operate at their best.
My gear bag is always packed and ready to go from right after the last weekend with freshly laundered gear.
I watch race videos leading up to the weekend, typically at the track I will be racing at. I watch videos with cars similar to mine, cars similar to my competitors, competitor videos, just about anything where I can glean a hint of information that will give me an advantage during the race.
Trailer is typically loaded up with most of what we need. Spares are always in the trailer. I load up a set of sticker Hoosier A7s and then the cars.
We typically get to the track with time for a test day, but many times we head straight into qualifying. This is where autocross has helped me extract the most out of my first few laps. With qualifying out of the way, we have two races between Saturday and Sunday. Between our own racing, we look at our own data and video and compare among teammates to find more speed in certain sectors. Dialing in the car with suspension, swaybars, and aero based on our runs helps us have the best cars for the race.
After two solid days of racing and standing up on those podiums, its time for the long drive home.
What was the most important thing you've gained from doing track events?
Never stop learning! Even if you don’t break your personal best, there is always something to take away from the day or weekend. Be your own coach. My best students are the ones who can self analyze what they just did, pick out areas of improvement, and immediately make changes to their driving.
We hear you have exciting news to share. Tell us what you've been working on!
I’m excited to share that I’m the co-owner of the new Hi-Speed Motorsports race team. We added two Honda Performance Development racecars to our lineup. The first is a TC Civic Type R and the second is a TCA Civic Si. These factory racecars are available for rent for pro racing in SRO, sprint racing in SCCA/NASA, endurance racing with AER/WRL and HPDE/track days.
We offer full arrive and drive programs with coaching and race support. All you have to do is show up and have fun! It is a great way to get into a factory racecar with full safety for a track day, or take your racing to the next level by running in a pro series. We’re here to support and make those dreams come true.
What do you say to someone who is thinking about trying an event?
Come out and try it! It is okay to be nervous, but don’t be afraid to ask questions. Most people at the track are extremely friendly and are happy to see more people join the community. Find a mentor in the community that you can work with to learn more about the events, opportunities and set reachable goals!
That's great advice! Driving Forward Together is all about encouraging people to try events, make connections, and offer support. Do you see this mission in line with what you want to see in Motorsports?
Yes! The DFT Mission Statement concisely hits every point about why I love motorsports. DFT didn’t exist when I was navigating my way through the sport, working my way up from HPDE student to race team owner. It felt like I was flying blind to make my way out the other end. I really love how you have created a group to empower drivers with guidance to pursue their goals and push for overall equality in motorsport.