She might look timid, but 28-year-old Leona Chin sure knows how to dish it out whenever necessary.
Leona who? You may or may not remember her from a YouTube video that went viral earlier this year.
In the video, she donned a nerdy disguise for a secretly filmed prank, complete with ponytails, a SpongeBob SquarePants T-shirt and pink stockings – a far cry from her usual serious racing look. A big teddy bear in the back seat of the leaner-plated car topped off her “clueless” look.
To start the driving lesson, she performed a range of blunders, from repetitive stalls to wrong turns and dodgy gear shifts. However, just when the unsuspecting instructors were starting to lose hope, she stepped on the gas. And as you can imagine, a lot of squealing/screaming ensued!
“Ah, now I know who you’re talking about.”
We caught up with Leona real quick yesterday to find out what she has been up to since the viral video. Here’s what went down:
Hi Leona! Thanks for taking time off to speak to us. Where are you right now and what are you currently up to?
I just came back from China as I have just appeared on a Chinese reality TV show that will be aired on GuangDongTV on 19th June called, “F-Team”. Right after that, I flew back to KL and went straight to Sepang to race for the Caterham Motorsport 2015 Championship.
Professionally, we know that you’re a motor sports athlete. What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced to date in your career?
As a female, I’ve faced many challenges. I have to work double the hours to be where the guys are physically. Financial stability is also a main challenge as motor sports is never cheap. When it comes to racing, car performance parts and maintenance can sometimes cost an arm and a leg.
If you could clear some misconceptions about you, what would they be?
I’m a normal looking girl that looks like a school girl, but looks can be deceiving. I’m actually a girl who loves cars a lot and most of the people in my circle of friends are motor sports enthusiast, but I like to spend time with my family more.
You recently made waves with the nerdy drifter viral video. Has it received mostly positive feedback so far?
Yes, the nerdy drifter viral video has been viewed all over the world. Positive notes I’ve received are invitations overseas. I’ve also been approached by brands like Local Motors and GoPro for endorsements. It has been pretty good!
With regards to the viral video, aside from being able to prank people. What were some of the funniest moments from the production?
The funniest moment was when I had to wear the weird-looking outfit and pigtails, as well as wear really thick lipstick which I normally don’t wear. The screaming Aunty was the funniest part, I was surprised when she screamed so loud.
When you’re not out there burning tyres and the likes, what do you get up to (in your free time)?
I’d be playing my PlayStation, walking my dog, flying my DJI Phantom drone, riding my Verrado Electric Trike, playing some go-karting, walking around the park for physical exercise…
What would you say Leona Chin is like on a good day?
On a good day, Leona is a smiley, normal looking nerdy girl sitting down taking selfies with her Sony Xperia Z3 Compact phone.
A lot of young girls (and we’re sure some guys too) aspire to be a pro driver just like you someday. But who do you aspire to be?
I’d like to be like Danica Patrick, race in international races with the guys, and get lots of endorsements.
If you could’ve chosen a different career path, which one would you have gone for and why?
I’d still go towards motor sports, it’s in my blood.
What else is in the pipeline for you for the rest of 2015?
I have lots of offers to race overseas, but first, I need to get my international license settled. With more races overseas I can see how I fare amongst other female racers in the Asia.
Last but not least, leave a shout out for your fans!
Drive safe on the roads! Racing is meant only on the track. If you love something, do it with all your heart and soul.
Thanks for the chat, Leona!
Leona is also currently a Sony Mobile Malaysia influencer and a part of Sony’s bold new approach for Xperia. The Sony Mobile Brand Campaign is currently on the search for unique individuals in Southeast Asia who have the ability to capture the extraordinary in the everyday, and they’re currently looking to recruit one individual, from among thousands of Xperia customers/users in the country.
The idea is to give a Malaysian the opportunity to be the face of a huge brand.
Each individual must embody the spirit, energy and attitude of the brand through one of the 7 Xperia propositions:
- Waterproof: I can survive underwater
- Low Light: I can see in the dark
- 2 Day Battery: I can stay awake for days
- Digital Noise Cancelling: I can silence crowds
- Hi-Res Audio: I can hear things you can’t
- Remote Play: I can run through walls
- Smartwear: I can shape tomorrow
Attractive prizes are will be given to the winners in the form of:
- The opportunity to participate in future Xperia marketing programs
- A Sony Xperia Z3 smartphone and Sony Xperia Z4 tablet
- Return airfare from the winner’s nearest capital city to Manila for a photography shoot
- Hotel accommodation for the duration of the shoot
Want in? Submissions for the “Next Face of Xperia” can be entered here and will close on 14th June 2015.