Laurette Nicoll has quickly become an amazing part of Formula Drift. On most any FD weekend you can find her in the hot pits, researching and interviewing the drivers and pit crews of various teams. She is always on the move and always with a smile on her face.
August 6th, 2013 Laurette was diagnosed with cancer, she is a survivor and one of the strongest women I have ever met. Watching the interviews with Laurette from those days, even though she had lost her hair and she was tired, she was smiling and she was sincere.
This weekend Formula Drift worked with Laurette to raise money for City of Hope, through various items that went up for auction on eBay. Drivers and Formula Drift offered items from autographed T-shirts to driving schools and even the opportunity to be an announcer during the finals at Irwindale. The support the fans gave showed us the love they have for Laurette and what she means to the future of drifting.
Over the weekend I had the opportunity to follow Laurette around a little, and what I found was quite amazing to me. Every single driver and staff member that saw her gave her a hug as if they had not seen her in years. They instantly perked up and let anything that was bothering them slip away, for at least a few moments, while talking to her.
When I asked Formula Drift Judge Ryan Lanteigne what Laurette brings to Formula Drift, he said “She has had a huge impact on the connection between the drivers and the fans, giving insight where there once was little or none at all. She brings a human touch to what she does that was missing before she arrived. I love watching her interviews and I assume they (the fans) do too.” Andy Luk, Formula Drift Director of Operations, said “She gives a different perspective and she is high energy. She brought passion and energy to our livestream and gets to tell people the backstory of FD.” One thing is clear: Formula Drift is better with Laurette in it.
I think everyone that has met Laurette has a favorite moment with her. I have to say that one of mine is the first time that I met her in person at Atlanta: she ran up to me, gave me a hug and instantly made me feel like we had been friends for years. We chatted for well over an hour about life and nothing in particular. When I spoke with Paco Ibarra, he said “Way too many, but one of my favorite was doing ‘Late Nights with Laurette’ where she would talk to people with a beer in her hand and in a more comfortable setting. So much fun.” I think one of the moments we all will carry with us for a very long time is the one that Andy Luk mentioned “The mic struggles.” What a fantastic moment in FD history.
If you ever see Laurette walking around the pits, say hi, thank her for being part of FD. Congratulate her for being a fighter, for beating cancer and for smiling the whole time. Formula Drift’s “hot pit” reporter has taken a place in our hearts and the future looks great. I can’t wait to see what comes in the next few years with her and FD.
Thank you, Laurette, for being the amazing person that you are.
And to the rest of the photos!
Kyle Cross is a photographer from St. Louis, Missouri. Automotive Photography is a passion of his and he strives to produce the high quality photography that enthusiasts are looking for. Kyle is an avid car enthusiast, his cars have been featured in National publications like Rat Rod and Raw Bike Magazines, as well as producing stock photos for Cobb Tuning and CorkSport.
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