Chloe Chambers might only be 17 years old, but she’s already achieved more than most of us could ever dream. She’s a Guinness World Record holder, a feature star on America’s Got Talent: Extreme, a successful race car driver, an avid high school student in the throes of college applications, and this year, she’s going to travel the world representing America in the W Series. We had a chance to speak to her just before she heads to Miami for the W Series’ first doubleheader event.
Scheduling an interview with Chambers means working around her already-busy schedule. She’s still attending high school in person as much as possible, and I had a video chat with her just after her day had ended.
“I mean, I think I’ve just been doing it for long enough,” Chambers said when I asked her how she balances school, a career, and her personal life. “At this point. I’ve been racing for nine years, and it kind of was always just, I had to know how to balance that. And I was young when I first started, so I kind of just figured it out somehow. I don’t really know how, but at this point now in my life I have a system that I kind of used to keep up with my schoolwork while I’m away. I make sure to tell my teachers and we have a good reputation with my school and everything. So I think so far it’s been working.”
It helps, Chambers says, that she’s a little bit of an introvert. When she’s not actively competing or completing schoolwork, she’s sim racing with her friends or watching Netflix. Racing is, after all, her life — the thing she’s enjoyed for as long as she can remember.
“I had just grown up watching Formula One with my dad on the weekends, and it was just kind of our family thing that we would do,” Chambers recalled. “My dad was also very interested in cars, so he did track days and autocross events in his track car. And my mom and I would go to his events with him and watch and help him out and do all of the family things.
“One day, I saw some go-karts that younger kids were driving at one of his events and I was standing there with my mom and I was asking my mom, like, when can I drive?”
After her first outing behind the wheel, Chambers knew that racing was her destiny. Her family looked into how to get her started, and before long, she was regularly competing in the North American karting circuit.
When I asked her where her competitive spirit came from, Chambers had an interesting answer: Swimming. Before she truly settled into motorsport, Chloe was a competitive swimmer. As she aged, though, she realized that her short stature wouldn’t exactly serve her well in swimming. It would, however, be a boon in the racing world.
As of right now, Chambers has been racing for nine years, with her two commitments in 2022 laying primarily with W Series’ Jenner Racing and the World Racing League’s Monoflo Racing. She’s won countless karting events and championships, holding various titles such as New York State Champion and Northeast Rotax Champion, and she’s recently been moving her way into Formula 4 racing.
Chambers sees her opportunity in the W Series as a great one for countless reasons. It will, of course, give her a chance to display her skills in front of the Formula One contingent — but she’s also found that she enjoys the atmosphere of the W Series more than she’s enjoyed other series in which she’s competed.
“I think just the professionalism that I saw and even just the friendliness of some of the other girls was really cool to see because I had never had something like that before,” Chambers said of her first W Series test in Arizona. “And I guess in the W Series it’s almost like everyone is a little bit more talkative with each other. It’s not really as hostile as just normal racing ways that I’ve always done. And I think in the W Series you’re almost like forced to have to talk to everybody and you do all the media together, you all travel together, and it’s the same group of drivers as well.
“When you race in other series, especially in karting, you never really knew who was going to be at the race, and so you never really got to talk to many people You wanted to keep all your data, all your knowledge to yourself. You didn’t want anybody to know. It was a lot more secretive in that environment.”
As a rookie in the series, Chambers is aiming to spend her first year learning as much as she can, but she’s also carrying confidence into her first race knowing that no one in the W Series will have driven the Miami street circuit before, leaving everyone on more equal footing.
Miami not only marks Chambers’ first race in the W Series, but it’ll also be her very first Formula One race. She told me that she’s raced in the Miami area plenty but never actually explored the area, so this year, she and her family scheduled in a few extra days to hit the beach and play tourist.
It’ll be a welcome respite for the hard-working teen with big goals.
“I had always had my eyes set on Formula One,” she said about her hopes for the future. “It’s pretty much one of the reasons why I got into motorsports. When I first started racing, I was always like, I want to race at Formula One. I’ve always kept that.
“And I want to race in Formula One and have the chance to win. I don’t just want to go into Formula One to just be in it.”
Aside from Formula One, she’s also chasing an Indy 500 start and, as a result of her ties to Porsche, endurance races like the Rolex 24 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“Are you chasing the Triple Crown?” I asked her.
“Yeah, that was actually why I added in the sports cars and the Indy 500 as well,” she said with a smile.
Chloe Chambers and Graham Hill. If anyone can live up to the iconic British driver’s legacy, it’ll be Chloe.