Dave Verrecchia and I got in touch several years ago. Since I became a Vanderkitten fan and follower, I have loved following the Women’s Cycling Team’s success. As Vanderkitten starts spreading their message into motorsports, I took some time to chat with Vanderkitten founder Dave Verrecchia.
SI: What is Vanderkitten?
DV: Vanderkitten is a women’s action sports brand based in Northern California that promotes everyday women doing extraordinary things. We focus on casual apparel and feature limited edition, high-quality technical apparel and accessories.
SI: What was your inspiration for creating Vanderkitten?
DV: I have observed strong women of all ages all of my life, and seen a lack of compelling brands that they can call their own. Vanderkitten has an urban edge to it, so while there are several brands in the market place that cater to strong women, we feel our brand is fun, but bad ass and very diverse; like the women that inspire the brand and are taking it to new levels. I like to think of Vanderkitten as creating an idea of successful women who are approachable.
SI: Why are you moving to VK brand into motorsports?
DV: Motorsports has a huge following worldwide, and its something that I enjoy watching. Compared to mostly physical sports, like cycling, there is a more even playing field for women in motorsports, and they compete directly against men, I feel that this is pretty exciting! What really intrigues me is the exposure this can provide these athletes, and raise awareness of the talent that women possess.
SI: What is your daily driver?
DV: I have a 2009 WRX, with many, many mods, TCE brake kit, built motor, etc. It is not an STI, but gets the job done very effectively… and these days it’s leaning more towards track day car.
SI: If you could race any car, what would it be and on which track?
DV: I love the “idea” of the classic GT40, but when I play GT4 I usually turn the best lap times in a Skyline of some sort. I would love to race, or drive, Spa, or the Nürburgring… any euro course. I would feel better with more run-off, so maybe we’ll DRIVE those 2 tracks and race Mugello.
SI: How do the women of pro-cycling compare to women of motorsports?
DV: First of all, you can’t be timid and be in the game in either sport – if you’re not addicted to speed, don’t get in the game. Pro Cycling can be a gnarly sport with big crashes and styrofoam helmets and lycra as your only protection, and the risk of injury is pretty high. It takes a certain kind of woman to check their desire for self-preservation at the door and get on a bike with 60 other women and hit speeds of 50mph or more. Motorsports is a “guy’s sport”, and women are the absolute minority behind the wheel. This requires a dynamic mental game on and off the track, feature confidence, fitness and often times, poise. I know many cyclists who are very fast at the Kart track.
SI: Do you have any racing / driving experience?
DV: I like to go to track days in my Subaru, but it doesn’t happen often enough. I am fortunate enough to live near 3 fantastic tracks: Laguna Seca, Infineon Raceway and Thunderhill, and hope to hit each this fall.
My only formal racing experience in Motorsports is some Supermoto and a couple seasons of Off-Road motorcycle racing. Hobbyist level at both, retired as well. I love Karting as well, but don’t go often enough.
SI: Who is your inspiration?
DV: My mother is one of my biggest inspirations. She has shown me how to work through adversity, always strive for success, and treat others kindly. I find inspiration through many people and in many ways because I feel my interests and needs are so varied, it’s hard to really pick one, but you can’t go wrong with mom.
Look for Vanderkitten’s spirit to be at a race track near you in the future! Thanks, Dave for sharing with us a bit more about Vanderkitten and Vanderkitten Racing. For more information visit www.vanderkitten.com.