Russian drift series star Ekaterina Naboychenko has admitted that she struggled with “anger” and “rejection” as she got used to being the lone female racer in the championship, adding that she faces a tougher challenge than men.

Naboychenko indulged her childhood passion for adrenaline when she joined a drifter in their car around the streets as a 16-year-old, buying a Nissan Skyline of her own when she was 21 and surviving three failed qualifying stages when she took part in her first full race with the championship in 2017.

She is hugely popular with fans, providing insights into her life on and off the track via a YouTube channel that has more than 42,000 subscribers and an Instagram account with more than 88,000 fans.

“The whole mechanics of the process means that you do not need to have some kind of superpower,” she told Match TV about the series.

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“You need to have over-aggression and courage. Men have more of that, but who cares?

“I went through all the stages: anger, rejection, and so on. Initially, I thought: ‘That’s it: If you put on racing overalls, it means that it doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman.

“You are a pilot and you must go. I have always competed with this thought.”

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Despite her early struggles, Naboychenko bought a more competitive car in her determination to improve and joined her current team, AIMOL Racing, a year later.

She is currently 30th out of 38 drivers after the third stage of the season, where she finished 24th out of 36 before being knocked out in the first one-on-one race of the final fixtures.

“I do not demand special attention… because I am a woman, but inside I understand that it is still harder for me than for all of them,” she explained.

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“Whatever one may say, I have different nerves, a completely different testosterone level, a different experience compared to all the guys who compete with me.

“From time to time, I reassure myself by saying, ‘you are doing well just because you are here.

‘You’re a girl, it’s really harder for you. Just take it and that’s it. Physical fitness is not so important here as a prepared car.”