From watching Damon Hill at the 1995 Monaco Grand Prix with her father to organizing supercar drives in the canyons of LA. Gayana is a true car girl and an automotive enthusiast that could give any petrolhead a run for their money. Faster Living team was lucky enough to spend some time with Gayana and find out a little more about her life and some of her high-octane adventures. Enjoy!
Hi Gayana, first off, tell us a little bit about yourself and what do you do.
GAYANA: Hi guys! I’m Gayana, and I’m a car girl! I was born in Russia but grew up all over the world. I used to move a lot and worked in oil and commodity trading. It was a very serious business that took all of my energy away until I decided – “You know what? Why don’t I live for myself?” I moved to LA, and now I’m in Hollywood! I work in movie production and also do a little bit of acting.
Where did your automotive passion come from?
GAYANA: It all started a long long time ago. Actually, my father got me into Formula 1. First, we started watching races on the TV and then he took me to my first race in 1995 – The Monaco Grand Prix. Visiting the race made me fall in love with the speed, the sound and the competitive aspect of racing. I became a superfan of Formula 1. After the race, I started getting into cars a lot more as well as learning more about them.
Tell us a little more about your AMG GTS.
GAYANA: To be honest, I wasn’t planning on getting this car. I’ve had an Audi TT RS before for about 6 years and thought it was time for a change. I started looking around for something that was on the market. Something that was new and unique. Something that would be a bit of an upgrade from my Audi TT. I then went to Geneva Motor show at the beginning of 2015 – and there she was. In the big Mercedes-Benz hall. Right in the back. I just saw her and that was it. To be honest I just sat in it and I knew – that was it. I didn’t have to search anymore. I didn’t have to look anymore. Literally about 7 days later I’ve preordered her. It was love at first sight. Sometimes people ask me – “It’s been some time. When are you gonna get rid of her?”. I tell them – “Never! You don’t get rid of your first love. She’s staying.”
Have you made any modifications to your car?
GAYANA: No. I’m a believer that if you buy a masterpiece, you don’t touch it. If you buy a Kandinsky or a Picasso – you don’t put your own splash on it. That’s just how I see it. However, I’ve had the car for over 3.5 years now and I enjoy it thoroughly as it is. Maybe… I’m not saying I’ll never do anything to it, but as for now – I’m in love with it as it is!
What do you love most about your car?
GAYANA: I think there are quite a few things! What I love most about this particular car, compared to many others is that you’re able to change driving modes as you’re driving it. You can have it in Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and RACE, which stiffens up the suspension and opens up the exhaust valves as well as increases the drift angle. It’s great, because you can have your car in race mode while driving in the canyons, but also be able to put in in comfort mode and not disturb the neighbours as you’re coming home after a long day of driving. That’s what I love about it! It can always match my mood!
Simple question. Windows up or windows down?
GAYANA: Not a simple answer! I used to be a “windows up” kind of girl, but then I moved to LA and the weather here is so precious and I really love to feel the breeze so now its windows down all the time.
What do you normally look for in a car?
GAYANA: It’s all about the performance. I mean, my car is gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous, but it’s all about the performance for me. It’s about the stuff I mentioned before. The car has to be able to match my mood and how I feel at that exact moment. My GTS has over 500 horsepower and almost 500lb ft of torque so it’s perfect for me as I can be quite aggressive when driving and need a car that can match it.
You mentioned that you saw the car at the Geneva Motorshow. Is that one of your favourite car events?
GAYANA: Absolutely! I used to go to Geneva every year for about 10 years in a row. I once even flew there from LA. So, yeah, I think it is. I can’t say that I’ve been to many other big car shows like this, but Geneva has always been great. However, since I moved to LA, a place where so many car events happen, local events have definitely been my favourite to attend.
Do you go out to car events every weekend?
GAYANA: Absolutely! Every weekend on my calendar is packed with car events and if there isn’t an event going on, me and a small group of friends organise our own canyon drives early in the morning.
If you could choose any car and drive anywhere in the world – what would it be?
GAYANA: I would love to drive the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL and I’d probably take the Pacific Coast Highway up to Monterey because that road is just so epic! I went up there for the Monterey Car Week last year. It’s a really beautiful road with amazing scenery. I’ve also seen the 300 SL many times, but only sat in it once. It was a dream come true. However, I’ve never driven it- so that would be another dream of mine.
What would be your perfect 3 car garage?
GAYANA: I would love to have the 300SL that I mentioned before. Also, my boyfriend really wants a Carrera GT so that would be the second car. And of course, my AMG GTS. It’s always my first choice.
You’ve mentioned something about a movie that you’ve been working on lately, tell us a little more about that.
GAYANA: I’ve met a lot of interesting people since moving to LA. Particularly in the automotive world. That gave me an idea for a movie. It’s called “Car Girl” and we’re actually in the process of shooting a trailer for that right now. You’ll be able to hear about it soon!
Finally, do you have any tips for young car girls that want to own their own supercar one day?
GAYANA: I would just say, set a goal and go for it! Don’t listen to anybody and live your own life. Have a strong opinion and don’t be afraid to have your own voice in this industry!
We would like to thank Gayana for being a great guest and giving us time from her busy schedule to answer these questions! Make sure to follow her on Instagram at @gayana.ch!
Pictures by Leta Photography