How It Started for Ayla Agren

I am a 19-year-old girl from Norway, racing open wheel cars and trying to live the “American dream.” That’s the short story. But how did it all start? That’s what I am going to tell you guys in the full story.

It all started 13 years ago at the Nordic Karting Championship in Sweden. My family and I got a phone call from my uncle, where he and my cousin were competing. By coincidence we happened to be very close to the track so we decided to stop by.

When we arrived there was so much to take in — the sounds, the smells, the people. It was a lot for a six-year-old girl. It all looked cool enough, but the thought that I could do this never really occurred to me. Well at least not before I saw a girl driving.

On another note, I couldn’t really see that it was a girl that was driving, but she happened to “fly over the fence” that day, and brought everyone’s attention to this accident, even mine. And from that moment when I figured out that this driver was a girl, I was determinate that I wanted to do this too. Because if she could do it, why couldn’t I?

After that I started in the lowest karting category in Europe called Cadetti and worked my way up through the ranks. I started racing in Norway and when I was allowed to compete in Sweden we went there. After a few years it expanded to Italy, Spain, Belgium, Finland, Denmark, Germany and France as well.

Towards the end of 2011 the question was, what do I want to do next? And the answer was pretty obvious to me; I want to go live “the American dream.” I had been in the US several times before, and it was somewhere I could think of living. When we got in touch with Anders Krohn (a fellow Norwegian and race car driver, and now my manager with CoForce International) to hear what his experience with racing in the US was. The answer was very positive, so we started working toward making it happen!

I have now done my first year in open wheel racing in USA and am trying to make a second one happen. It has been an overwhelming year I will never forget both on the racing side and the moving to another country on the other side of the earth, all of the experiences and memories. During this first year I managed to get 4 podiums in the Skip Barber Summer Series. Of course I would have liked some more, but for a first year of everything it’s a good start.

Its funny how one phone call can turn your life upside down. I can pretty sure they say that if we didn’t get in contact with Anders Krohn I would not have been racing in the US at this moment. And that would have been too bad!