The Pro Drivers Showing Everyone That Motorsport Is Just As Much For Women
And they have advice for you if you want to go into the industry...
Motorsport sounds like something that we wouldn’t know how to get into tbh - period five car racing is just not a thing. Even in schools that have sports grounds, owning a race track is a bit of a stretch.
Here's Scarlett Curtis revealing some of the biggest myths about feminism...
For girls, motorsport doesn't just seem out of reach in terms of physical access, but because it has historically been geared towards men. Like many other activities and careers, motorsport has been categorised as more of a ‘male thing’ by society for ages, which of course is total b*llocks. No subject, sport, activity or career should ever be off-limits for women.
There are some brilliant women behind the wheel in the industry now not only giving drivers at the top of their game a run for their money, but inspiring future generations of girls to get into it too. We saw a few of them at the Red Bull’s VC London team talks, and they totally inspired us. Here’s a bit of background into their careers, how they made it, and their advice on how you can do the same if cars are your thing.
Catie is a 20-year-old rally driver who got into motorsport at a very young age and became a young driving prodigy. She’s got an impressive résumé, having won the European Ladies Rally Champion 2016 at just 18, and was nominated for The Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year Awards that same year. Her ultimate goal is to become the first female World Rally Champion.
Catie’s out there killing it on the roads, but she’s also doing a lot to help other young girls get into motorsport too. She works with Dare To Be Different, an initiative dedicated to helping young girls and women break into the motorsport industry, and build a network of people who want to do the same.
On breaking into the industry Catie advises that young wannabe drivers should get involved with their local motorpark, which is how she first got started. “Use what you’ve got, who you know, and build on that from there,” she said. “You hear a lot of people at the top are still working with the team they started with at the beginning.”
Abbie started go-karting at just 10 years old but moved into car racing at 15, winning her first championship, and kicking off her very successful racing career (she's a multi-British champion).
One of her big achievements has been securing the role of The Grand Tour’s new test driver for Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. The first woman to do so, she was introduced as the new driver on the show with simply, “We spent the last nine months auditioning everyone we could think of... until we ended up with the fastest. And here she is.”
It was an amazing moment for female drivers everywhere. Abbie is not just inspiring women (and men) who want to get into motorsport, but she actively helps to get people involved. “If a guy or girl wants to message me and see if I can help get them in, I always try and help get people into the tracks,” she explained. “I’m here to chat to people and I’d love to... answer questions.”
Here she is in action...
It turns out making it in the automotive industry can come in all shapes and sizes. Becky (AKA Queen B) is an automotive lifestyle vlogger with an expert knowledge about cars and car modification, and an Instagram following of more than 60k.
As a women with an encyclopedic knowledge of automotives and a massive social following, Becky is really changing the face of car culture. Her advice if you wanted to secure a high-profile car career like hers? “Get involved, get chatting to people, get messaging people. That’s the way I worked it.”
Becky's just starred in a brand new Red Bull Media House production called Drift Queen. During the programme, Becky ventures on a journey of discovery into the world of drifting – a new motorsport that’s all the rage among young drivers right now. During the series, Becky starts off as a complete beginner, buying and building her own car, and learns how to drift with the aim of eventually competing. The series is helping to show young wannabe drivers that the drifting community is friendly and inclusive, and (as it's a type of motorsport that's on the cheaper end) showing how accessible the sport can be to all who want to explore it.
About the series, Becky said: “My hope for people watching this series is to realise how easy and fun it is to be involved in drifting... If Drift Queen helps just one person get into motorsport who didn’t think they could before, then I’ll be happy.” You can watch the first episode here.
So what are the biggest tips for women who want to get into motorsport? Start by turning up at lots of events (try Goodwood, for example), reaching out to drivers and chatting to everyone you can to make connections. The industry is changing for the better, with more and more industry professionals and sponsors supporting more diversity and more women in motorsport. So rest assured; being a woman won’t be able to hold you back.