International Women’s Day 2020: Women In Motorsport by Emily Linscott

  I’ve been in motorsport for just four years now and if it weren’t for my mum and dad, I doubt I would have even thought about getting involved in it to be honest.

  Since starting I’ve raced very few girls in karts or cars, and I’ve often talked about why there aren’t many of us in it to my parents. My feeling is that parents of boys and girls have historically chosen to keep with stereotypical roles, so the boys might get taken karting and girls to dancing or stuff like that. I think it’s changing but it needs to change rapidly and at an earlier age, and that way teams, organisers and the like will understand that girls are every bit as worthy as boys, they can be as fast as boys, faster even, and that the physicality side of driving any race car is not beyond a girl. We are equally good.

  I’ve been lucky enough to have great support from another female driver, Indy 500 driver Pippa Mann. Initially that came from a chance she gave to six deserving young drivers through her scholarship with the Lucas Oil School of Racing, but since I proved I had serious pace, she’s gone way beyond to help me reach my potential.

  Shift Up Now, run by Lynn Kehoe and Karen Salvaggio, is a collective of women helping women in motorsport for whom I became an ambassador from 2019 onwards. They too have been supportive of me and a number of other girls through their tireless work to get more girls into better cars, more often. Without people like Lynn, Karen and Pippa, there are a lot of girls who wouldn’t be driving anything at all by now, so imagine what number of girls would be getting behind the wheel of a car or kart if more of us did the same. If just a few more drivers have their time to helping other young drivers develop, or even start something that helps you g girls get into Karting then the chances of a girl reaching F1 and IndyCar would be massively increased.

  But motorsport isn’t just about drivers, it’s about so many other roles too, such as engineers, data analysts, mechanics, team owners, bosses, crew chiefs – the list is endless, and all can be filled by women. It’s very cool that diversity is coming through into these jobs and more and more girls are seeing their dream jobs in motorsport materialise more and more frequently.

  I very much hope to push my career as a driver further and further up the ladder to F1 or IndyCar for myself, but in doing what I’m doing, and every other female racing driver out there doing the same, we’re showing young girls that they can get involved in racing and be great at it and hopefully, we are also changing the way people perceive the motorsport world too.

 

If you want to learn more about Emily, visit her website www.emilylinscott.com or her social media channels
Insta emi_racing
Twitter: @emily_linscott
FB: @emilylinscottracing

PR: Ross Wylie to return to the Porsche Carrera Cup GB with In2Racing for 2019

Ross Wylie to return to the Porsche Carrera Cup GB with In2Racing for 2019

We are excited and proud to announce that Ross Wylie will join In2Racing and make a return to the Porsche Carrera Cup GB for the remaining 2 events of 2019 starting at Silverstone followed up by Brands Hatch in Mid-October.

The 28-year-old Scottish born racer from Dumfries last raced in Carrera Cup GB in 2017 with Slide Sport Racing finishing 10th overall.

Ross started his racing career in Scotland racing Mini Max Karts from the age of 13 years old with great success and numerous championships before moving up to racing Mini’s with Celtic Speed in 2012 with 6 podiums. In 2013 Ross would then move on to Volkswagen Racing Cup racing a Scirocco R-Cup car, but his big break would come in 2014 and the British GT, where he won the GT4 class with Andrew Howard’s Beechdean Motorsport in an Aston Martin Vantage with 6 podiums Inc. 3 wins – 2 poles, plus also becoming BRDC Rising Star.

Ross would carry on his success in the British GT for 2015 – 2016 racing in a McLaren for Von Ryan Racing and Motorbase Performance racing am Aston Martin Vantage GT3 and finishing in 5th place in the Gulf 12 hours behind the wheel of Porsche Cayman GT4. 2017 saw a change of direction for Ross and dove tailing 2 championships the Britcar endurance series and the Porsche Carrera Cup GB, he had great success in both series with 10 podiums – Inc. 4 wins in Britcar and finished 3rd in the Rookie Championship and also in the top ten overall in the Carrera Cup GB. Ross would carry on his winning ways in 2018 but this time with Ferrari and AF Corse racing Ferrari 458 GT3 claiming 13 class podiums and 4 class wins.

In 2019 would stay with FF Corse and race in the GT Cup Championship (GTC class) plus selected Britcar Endurance Championship races in the new and very powerful 488 challenge car.

Nick says “Ross is a highly respected driver whom I have wanted to run in our Porsche for a number of years to have him working alongside Peter Kyle-Henney for the last 2 rounds will be great”

Ross commented “I am really pleased to be joining the Carrera Cup GB grid again this weekend since my series debut in 2017. I have known Nick now for a number of years & its great to finally be going racing together, In2 have been around the Carrera Cup paddock for as long as I can remember & I have no doubt they will do a good job in giving me a quick race car”.

Walking The Monaco Grand Prix

There are so many memorable races at the Monaco Grand Prix it’s hard to pick a favourite to write about, so instead I’ll share with you the day I dragged my wife around the 2.075 mile circuit.

On arriving in Monaco you know you’re somewhere special. The shops are a Formula 1 junkie’s heaven. From model cars to watches, cufflinks to scarves it’s all there. Everywhere you look Formula 1 sponsors names adorn posters and shop windows, you can see Ferraris and people with team caps and shirts on.
If you have time a trip to HSH The Prince Of Monaco Collection Of Classic Cars is a must for any petrol head. They hold an impressive collection of vintage Monaco Grand Prix posters (I have indulged in a couple).

We started our walk by Casino Square: the Casino is open and quite a visit if you’re feeling lucky. From there you can walk down towards the previously named Loews hairpin, now called the Grand Hotel, a sharp left turn leading onto a right (Portier come race weekend, where Ayrton Senna famously crashed in 1988) and into the tunnel, possibly one of the most iconic stretches of race track in the world!

Through the underpass and the sound of the road cars amplified gave us some sense as to how the Formula 1 cars would sound. Unfortunately it’s something only drivers, marshals and the odd cameraman will ever truly experience.

Leaving the tunnel, the shock of daylight blinds you. Whilst our eyes adjust to the light and lungs breathed in some much needed fresh air, we strolled down, looking out at the yachts on the Mediterranean and the rich and famous on them. Onto the Nouvelle Chicane before the the left turn on Tabac, named after the tobacconist store there, the next landmark on the track is the swimming pool section (Piscine – French for pool), the pool is open to the public but you would have to check opening times.

Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 24, 2018 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

We carry on walking in glorious sunshine, it’s getting rather hot now and my long suffering wife has to be bought off with a promise of Ice cream. We follow La Rascase round onto Anthony Noghes corner, whose idea it was to have a Grand Prix in Monaco. This takes us onto the start/finish straight (not that straight at all) then a right turn at Saint Devote takes us up the hill to Massanet and the Hotel De Paris before back to the icon of Motorsport, Casino Square, and the promised ice cream. I have to finish by thanking my wife Joanne for indulging my passion for Formula One, although it has it’s perks, a nice trip to Monaco and an ice cream can’t be bad. Can it?

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO – MAY 24: (EDITORS NOTE: Image was created using a variable planed lens.) Daniel Ricciardo of Australia driving the (3) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB14 TAG Heuer on track during practice for the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 24, 2018 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

By Simon Tassie

ThePitCrewOnline Exclusive: Louise McGrath for International Women’s Day 2019

International Womens Day gives us the opportunity to pause for a moment and appreciate just how far we have come and the wonderful progress that’s been made in the last few years towards encouraging more women to join the world of motorsport.

It’s a chance to recognise those who have been leading the way before us and defying all the odds in what has long been a male dominated industry. As women we too have just as much to offer the industry we love so much. We thank the women who came before us, who knew the challenges they were facing but did it anyway. There are now remarkable women throughout all corners of the industry from engineering to hospitality, from the pitlane to the factory, breaking down stereotypes and encouraging others to do the same.

As a 44yr old wife and mother of three children, I never dreamed I’d start working on a project within the realms of Formula 1, let alone doing it alongside my 18 year old daughter Rachel. She is obsessed with F1 and like me, has followed the sport for as long as she can remember. I think it may have begun when she realised she shared her birthday with Lewis Hamilton! She is gifted in maths and is the only person I know who gets genuinely excited at complex equations! From around 11 years of age, she started to become aware that she could take her love of maths and apply it to the sport. She began to research people like Adrian Newey, to understand the study path he had taken, to try and figure out how to become an aerodynamicist.

We spent hours, days and months on a quest for knowledge but the information was so hard to find. All the careers advisors we spoke to either didn’t take Rachel seriously about wanting to be a motorsport engineer due to her young age and gender, or just didn’t have a clue what an aerodynamicist was! It was a stressful time not only because information and understanding was so lacking, but she was trying to make the right study decisions that she knew would impact her future.

We eventually stumbled upon something called Dare to be Different (D2BD), which is an initiative founded by Susie Wolff and the Motorsport Association to encourage more girls to consider a career in motorsport. D2BD has a group of ambassadors from all across the world of motorsport – from journalists like Rosanna Tennant and Senior Strategy Engineers like Ruth Buscombe, to inspirational drivers like Nathalie McGloin and Maria Costello MBE. These women who have come before us are really leading the way in helping girls to realise that they can make their own unique mark in this exciting and rewarding industry.

D2BD gives us access to a supportive Facebook group of likeminded girls, and the ability to attend networking events where we can meet the D2BD Ambassadors. These meet-ups are always inspirational and you go home feeling like anything is possible! It’s thanks to initiatives like D2BD that girls are beginning to see a career in motorsport as an equal opportunity from a young age and are more willing and able to follow this passion growing up, just like Rachel has.

Being a part of the Dare to be Different community really inspired us and gave us the confidence to see our own project to fruition. We really wanted to help those students still in school and college who were struggling like Rachel, to make it easier for them to find the information about study paths into the world of Formula 1. On our journey we’d learned not just about study options, but about things like the importance of hobbies and work experience, networking and cv building, and all the events and opportunities up and down the UK that not many people know about! And so the idea of Formula Careers was born, a website to house all the information that a student would need to give them the best chance of working in F1.

No-one can predict the path that will lead to that dream job, sometimes it twists and turns in unexpected ways you could never imagine, and so it’s always best to stay flexible. But at least if we can give students a good foundation to work with, they will be more confident in the decisions they make for the future. We want students to realise they are not alone, that we know it’s a difficult and stressful time, that there’s help and support there if they need it from people who understand. To realise that they can take the gifts they have and match them up to the industry that they love!

Being able to speak with the D2BD Ambassadors was really important to us, and so we tried to figure out a way to do that for others and bring students closer to those already working in the roles they dream of. Myself and Rachel set about contacting and persuading as many people as we could from the world of F1 to share their own stories about how they got into the industry. We know these little case studies will really inspire the next generation and show them that with dedication, self belief and passion, it really is possible to have a career in Formula 1.

Formula Careers gives us the opportunity to make our own contribution to the world of F1, so if we can do it then anybody can! It has been an absolute delight to be able to work with my daughter on something we are mutually passionate about. It’s not only brought us closer together, but given us the opportunity to create relationships with key people in the industry. I think people are surprised that we are a mother and daughter team, but I think that makes our project stand out in a good way!

We still get the occasional strange glance when we tell people what we are doing because many still see it as a male dominated industry! But each conversation is a chance to educate others on the exciting changes happening for women in motorsport. It’s thanks to initiatives like Dare to be Different and the amazing, brave women who have come before us that we can move forward with confidence and achieve our own career goals.

On International Women’s Day, we are reminded that all things are possible, and that no matter our circumstances we have the ability to go out and make our dream careers happen.

www.formulacareers.com
www.linkedin.com/in/louise-m-279239138
www.linkedin.com/in/rachel-mcgrath-12a7b1139
www.twitter.com/formulacareers
www.facebook.com/formulacareers

F1 VS Football

You might have seen that I went a bit viral this week, with my commentary of the England v Tunisia World Cup match. However, despite its players’ fine coiffures and fancy footwork, football is not my sport of choice. I much prefer motor racing. I’ve been a big fan of Formula 1 and other motorsport since I was a young child watching battles between Michael Schumacher and Mika Hakkinen. So, what’s the appeal? After all, there’s no diving in F1 (apart from Piquet Jr that one time, perhaps); the largely sub-par haircuts are hidden under helmets (although Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen are putting in valiant footballer-esque efforts); and, sometimes, the races are undeniably boring (recent visits to Canada and Monaco don’t so much spring, but limp, to mind).

However, some races have more than their fair share of craziness. Two out of three visits thus far to Baku have resulted in bizarre crashes, last-minute drama and surprise podium appearances (Well Done Baku, indeed). Meanwhile, even in less exciting races there’s usually some drama to discuss, whether it’s a first lap clash or a teammate rivalry. Just like football then, not every race is exciting, but there’s usually still something to talk about.

In place of the referee and VAR we have the all-powerful stewards and their sometimes questionable decisions, and there’s just as much fruitless protesting – only we get to hear it. This has given us gems such as “When did I do dangerous driving?” from an aggrieved Sebastian Vettel, who surely must have known that driving alongside, and then into, Lewis Hamilton under a safety car just might be considered dangerous.

Instead of aerial duels we have, well, aerial duels, with more than a few cars being launched into the air over the years. Even when cars don’t make it off the ground there’s plenty of dramatic crashes and clashes. From Grosjean’s repeated trips into the wall this season to the numerous clashes between Force India teammates Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon last season, there’s always material for a heated discussion about who was at fault or how an incident could have been avoided.

From a personal standpoint, this season hasn’t been the most enjoyable for me, mainly because I’m a Williams fan, and, unfortunately, they’ve produced a car so terrible it’s often slower than last year’s model. My second-favourite team, Force India, are going through some testing times as well, with poor results on track and financial problems away from it. They have, however, enjoyed a podium this season, with Perez standing atop the third step at Baku, so that has buoyed my spirits somewhat. However, it’s another reminder that, just as in football, you have to take the lows and the highs with your team of choice, and supporting a team or driver adds another level of emotion and intrigue into the sport.

So, what else might we be missing in Formula 1? Football has their transfer season, and we have ours. Will Fernando Alonso stay or will he go? Will Daniel Ricciardo accept a cool 20 million to drive for McLaren? Will Robert Kubica ever return to an F1 race seat? These questions and more keep discussions interesting even when the racing is not.

So, while my forays into football commentary have seen my tweets go viral, and years of tweeting about motorsport have done nothing of the sort, Formula 1 remains the sport closest to my heart. And while I might watch a few more football matches than I used to, nothing will hold my attention like Formula 1 has done for so many years of my life.

 

Featured image courtesy of Sven Mandel

LEVC Electric London Taxi

I finally got to see the new LEVC purpose built electric London Taxi at the London Motor Show.

Hands up, I wasn’t in the mood to roll over and have my tummy tickled by the salesman. I do know a thing or two about electric cars!

Let’s start with the positives, yes, it’s still the iconic London taxi and yes, the build quality is another level to my TX4. In the passenger compartment you have the feel of space that you’d expect, with nice clean lines you can see they’ve learned from previous vehicles, the panoramic glass roof is a lovely touch, I do wonder about insurance issues though.

The wheelchair ramp/step is a huge improvement but the grey plastic that’s hard to keep clean remains. The drivers compartment felt like a mid-range car not cheap at all, in fact I’d say well built, but it’s is small with the battery clearly cutting into the luggage compartment. Now, as a small chap I felt cramped.

Now unfortunately I have to mention the negatives and there are a few, not least of which is the price, now the salesman can dress this up however they like the cheapest version is the Vista that comes in at £55,599 on the road after a £7500 discount from The Office For Low Emissions Vehicles. The Vista Comfort comes in at £56,799 after discount and the top of the range Vista Comfort plus £57,999 after discount.

I’m not going to get into the state of the trade here, we all know about that but we all also live in the real world! LEVC state the saving you can make with the electric power unit (approximately£60-70 a week depending who you talk to) here’s the elephant in the room, it just doesn’t have a long enough range to be fit for purpose.

The taxi has a 110kW (150 PS) motor with a batter power of 31kWH and a range of 80.6 miles whilst the Tesla Model X has a 100kWh battery providing 351 miles of range! Now in comparison, the Nissan Leaf has a range of 140 miles with future upgrades to 80kWH. It’s likely to exceed the range of a Tesla all be it in a much lighter car.

So, the question is would I buy one? The not so simple answer is yes, but not yet. Technology is moving so fast that the moment they launched the car the tech had already moved on in leaps and bounds, Toyota launching self-charging cars for instance.

This is the first generation and we all know that LEVC AKA LTI haven’t got a great track record with new vehicles. It’s has to be a wait and see, and I’m sure the government will try and pressurise us into ditching the dirty diesel they forced us to buy as quickly as possible but here’s an idea, why not take of the VAT until the fleet is totally upgraded? That would at least 10k a cab. Yes, it’s a loss for the tax man but a huge win for the environment not least that of London.

@f1taxi

Simon Tassie

Australian Grand Prix – Driver Ratings

My opinion of Driver Rating’s for the 2018 Australian Grand Prix in result
order.

Sebastian Vettel – 8

Sometimes you make your own luck, staying out longer than others certainly
paid off and with high chances of a safety car at the compact track, a win
was always a possibility. The German was out-qualified by his teammate on
Saturday but kept Hamilton behind him.

Lewis Hamilton – 8

It looked good for the reigning World Champion on Saturday, an amazing lap
by the Brit, he was a whopping 0.6 seconds quicker than anyone else, which
is a lifetime in the sport. He can’t be blamed for the error resulting in
Vettel taking the lead. He may have had the pace but a silly mistake cost
him in sector 2 which also cost him a possible chance at the end.

Kimi Raikkonen – 8

The Finn looked like he had adapted well to the 2018 car, with consistent
speed throughout the opening weekend. He managed to out-qualify his
teammate too. He must have felt a bit hard done by with the bottom step of
the podium, but you can never tell by his facial expressions, can you?!

Daniel Ricciardo – 7

Daniel did well to recover from his silly mistake of not slowing down
under red flags in practice. He seemed to lack the outright speed of
teammate Verstappen but luck may have been on his side to enable him to
finish so high up. He performed one of the few overtakes on track with his
trademark lunge early on.

Fernando Alonso – 8

It was nice to see Alonso back at the top end of the field, although not
competing for wins just yet. The Mclaren doesn’t seem to be the finished
article, the more they work on it the more tools it gives Alonso, who is
regarded as one of the best on the grid. We saw a very good race from the
Spaniard, after starting 11th after an average qualifying. Frustrated
Verstappen late on with his speed.

Max Verstappen – 6

A weekend to take a deep breath and forget about for Max, it was a what
could have been weekend for the Dutchman, Errors cost him a front row
start in qualifying and a spin in the race damaged his tyres and dropped
him places on Sunday. You could say he overdrove the car, he has the out
and out speed as we all know.

Nico Hulkenberg – 7

One of the most consistent drivers on the grid in modern Formula 1, again
delivered points for his team. Quiet throughout the weekend but knuckled
down and got on with it. Things look promising for him this year with a
better car at his hands.

Valtteri Bottas – 5

The pressure was already piled on his young shoulders, he certainly didn’t
do himself any favours. His error in Q3 resulted in a penalty and heavy
work for the team. He struggled to make his way through the field and
didn’t pick up a single place at the start. Only a points scorer due to
others misfortune.

Stoffel Vandoorne – 6

Stoffel has one of the best teammates, much like Bottas with whom he can
easily be compared too. He was within two tenths on Saturday but didn’t
take advantage of the virtual safety car hence why finished further down
the field. Solid weekend for him but nothing to shout about.

Carlos Sainz – 6

Carlos is a great talent to have on your team, so much so he is on a
technical ‘loan deal’ from Red Bull. He was battling with his idle Alonso
for the majority of the early stages of the race after a poor start. He
ran wide which gave Alonso the place and he never really recovered
thereafter.

Sergio Perez – 6

Perez was on the cusp of points for the majority of the race, a veteran in
his eighth season in the sport, comfortably out-qualified his teammate but
not much action on Sunday. A track which might not suit his car well, so
watch out for future races.

Estaban Ocon – 5

The Frenchman struggled to get into his groove in Australia, he didn’t
really seem with it. A relatively new car which might be a bit difficult
to instantly get to grips with. Completed the race, more miles for him to
understand the car.

Charles Leclerc – 7

A strong performance by the highly rated Ferrari academy driver. Looked
confident with what he had available after many spins in testing.

Lance Stroll – 5

In his second season for the historic team, the pressure is on the
Canadian. He did well in qualifying with P14, separating the Force India
drivers. A poor race though, with lacklustre pace from him resulting in a
quiet and dull afternoon.

Brendan Hartley – 4

We saw Honda’s true pace in Australia which still doesn’t seem to be great
but the gap is closer than ever, which resulted in the Kiwi dropping out
at the first stage of qualifying. A heavy lock-up at turn 1 ruined his
race as he had to pit. Finished a lap down.

Romain Grosjean – 7

Heartbreak for Romain, a failure with the wheel gun brought an
unexpectedly early end to his race when solid points were possible. He
turned the whole race on his head where he parked his car.

Kevin Magnussen – 9

Heartbreak again! The same issue albeit on the rear tyre for him, great
start to jump Verstappen, taking advantage of him being boxed in on the
inside of turn 1. He kept his cool as he followed, points should come
next round.

Pierre Gasly – 4

The Frenchman had a weekend to forget, a poor qualifying resulted in him
starting last due to two mistakes on his fast laps. He had to retire the
car with mechanical issues. Great raw talent, just hope his car doesn’t
overshadow that.

Marcus Ericcson – 5

Quiet weekend, retired with car failure, out-qualified his teammate, but
with his many years behind the wheel, you’d expect him to be more than a
tenth ahead of his rookie teammate.

Sergey Sirotkin – 4

It may have been overheating that resulted in the Russian’s failure to
finish, but it looks concerning for him. 0.5 off his teammate and P19 on
Saturday. Did Williams make the right choice picking him over Kubica?

The driver of the Weekend Award

No outstanding performances which resulted in a perfect 10, but the driver
of the weekend goes to Kevin Magnussen. Out-qualified his teammate and
frustrated a fast Red Bull. Could have walked away with no points but Haas
does look like they have the fourth best car with one of, if not smallest
overall team.

PitCrew HQ 2018 F1 Predictions

Here at the PitCrew HQ we have been busy studying and following all the latest F1 news. And each member has predicted which drivers will be in the top 5 after Abu Dhabi. And here is what we came up with.

As you can see our predictions.  Lewis Hamilton is our overall favourite. Also everyone picked different predictions barring 2 people who picked the same. Do you agree with our crew. Who would be your top 5?

Alice Powell for International Women’s Day 2018

Motorsport is predominately a male sport, and some people even go as far as saying a woman will never make it to Formula One. However, there are some awesome female drivers out there that are proving gender has no relevance to success in this sport. Though International Women’s Day, we are able to take the opportunity to reflect on these individuals. Bryony King spoke with Alice Powell about her career so far and what the future holds for her…

Photo: Alastair Staley/LAT Photographic.

Bryony King:  Career Highlights:
Alice Powell: I would say if I had to choose two then they would be winning the Formula Renault BARC Championship back in 2010 and racing around Monaco in GP3. It was a tough year racing in Formula Renault in 2010, as I struggled with budget throughout the year, so to come away with the title was fantastic.
Racing around Monaco is something I am sure every race driver dreams of. You could say it is not really an achievement, but it is certainly a highlight.

BK: How did your motorsport career begin?
AP: I was always interested in Motorsport, whether it was F1, bikes or rally. My Grandad took me indoor go karting after my 8th birthday and I never looked back. I then moved to outdoor karting just before I was 9.

BK: Did you suffer any discrimination whilst competing at high level?
AP: Not too much at a high level, but once I started to feature more on the news or some odd TV programme, I would get tweets from random people saying females can’t drive etc (that kind of rubbish). I really remember when I started karting that it was worse. I remember lots of karting dad’s speaking to their son’s as loud as they could saying they can’t let a girl beat them etc etc….

Photo: Daniel Kalisz/LAT Photographic.

BK: How did it feel getting large amounts of media attention whilst trying to secure the F1 test?
AP: Some of the facts weren’t correct, so that was annoying seeing some stories which were not true. However, I did not mind doing the interviews and trying to raise awareness of females in motorsport. Again, I got the odd comment from tweeters saying females cannot drive, but I think you will always get that.

BK: How did it feel when you made the decision to stop racing full time?
AP: It was not easy at all. I still hope to have some full seasons of racing in the future, however, as you know, Motorsport is just ridiculously expensive these days. It won’t stop me from giving up though. I have really enjoyed, however, doing more coaching with up and coming talent.

BK: What is it about driver coaching that you enjoy most?
AP: I really enjoy helping the drivers progress and when they are successful, you feel their success. It is great to share it with them. I have really enjoying working with drivers that I have worked with, so far.

BK: Where do you see yourself in the motorsport world on 5 years’ time?
AP:I would like to see myself driving in GT’s at some level. Formula 1 would be the dream, but I have to be realistic unfortunately. I hope to also be still coaching.

The Future of Women in Motorsport | Nicki Shields

On International Women’s Day, and especially this year, it feels like a great time to celebrate the incredible women working in motorsport and give encouragement to future generations of women that will work in our industry.

I’m proud to be a woman working in motorsport and there is a great network of strong, brilliant women doing a wide variety of roles across the industry. Of course, the percentage is a lot smaller than men in the industry, but I do have confidence that as time goes by more women will enter as barriers are broken down and girls become more aware of their opportunities; which will happen if we increase the visible role models to spread the message.

There are many opportunities for women to get into motorsport in and what we need to do is educate girls that they have whatever opportunity they want and that they shouldn’t feel like those jobs are unavailable to them because of their gender.

There are so many different jobs you can do in motorsport – from things like engineering and mechanics, to the media side of it in marketing and PR and, like me, presenting. Then there are roles from HR and finance to legal positions and health and fitness. The only barrier is perception and lack of visible role models. I feel there is starting to be a sea change in attitudes towards this and in girls studying STEM subjects, which is something I’m very passionate about as I studied biological sciences at university.

There are a couple of important initiatives at the moment promoting women in motorsport that I think are fantastic.

Photo: Glenn Dunbar/Williams F1.

Racing driver Susie Wolff runs an initiative with the Motor Sports Association called ‘Dare to be Different’ which is a community to inspire girls who want to work in motorsport by providing access to these role models and connecting them in the industry. It shows that there is a great community of female talent in motorsport – we just need to make the world aware of it to help it grow.

The FIA (motorsport governing body) is also striving to do important work in this area and already has an FIA Women in Motorsport Commission, which aims to attract young women to motorsport. On 7th March this year, in recognition of International Women’s Day the following day, the FIA will official launch its European Young Women Programme. This is a two-year project based on a cost-effective ‘arrive and drive’ karting slalom format in central urban locations. It will be promoted to young women between 13-18 years old in eight countries and the girls that progress with be supported by the FIA through a sporting and educational programme.

Make sure that you follow Nicki Shields:
Website: nickishields.com
Twitter:  twitter.com/nickishields
Instagram: instagram.com/nickishields/