Increasing opportunities for female racers all across the motor sport spectrum | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

Increasing opportunities for female racers all across the motor sport spectrum

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26.03.19

Since its creation at the end of 2009, the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission’s mission to grow the level of female participation in motor sport at all levels and in a wide variety of roles has steadily gathered momentum.

In recent times, however, the rate of growth has increased greatly, and as the 2019 racing seasons begin, the Commission, through engagement with sister sporting commissions with the FIA and championship promoters across the motor sport spectrum, is supporting a larger number of competitive opportunities than ever before.
“There is a lot going on surrounding women in motor sport at the moment and opportunities, certainly behind the wheel, are also definitely emerging. It feels like there is really positive movement, which is so rewarding for everyone who is working to open doors,” said Commission President Michèle Mouton.


Working together with Formula E, two test days have provided significant opportunities for a number of female drivers.
At the opening round of the 2018/’19 season in Saudi Arabia, a test following the E-Prix featured nine female drivers including Women in Motorsport Ambassador and Alfa Romeo Racing Team test driver Tatiana Calderón, British GT Championship winner Jamie Chadwick, sports car racer Katherine Legge, BMW FE test driver Beitske Visser and up and coming Emirati driver Amna Al Qubaisi.
The success of the test at the Ad Diriyah circuit led to a second opportunity to test at the Marrakech round of the championship for Tatiana and for Jamie Chadwick.


De Silvestro’s Formula E commitments extend beyond the tests, however, as late last year she was named as test driver for the Venturi Formula E Team run by Team Principal Susie Wolff.
“As a Commission, we are working very hard with the FIA’s porting commissions to develop opportunities for women to showcase their talent within current mixed environments,” added Mouton. “The Formula E test in Saudi Arabia was a great example of how we can work with our championships and their respective promoters to provide these breaks for talented young women. We really have to thank Formula E and the teams involved, and it was fantastic to see Tatiana (Calderón) and Jamie (Chadwick) invited back for the second test in Marrakech.”
The Commission President also highlighted the body’s work in sports car competition.
“Endurance racing is another area where things are really moving. We have a top all-female team racing in IMSA in the United States, as well as ELMS, and a programme going on in ALMS that is part of a development strategy in Asia to support and encourage female racers at the base level of the discipline. This is real progress and it makes me immensely proud that our Commission has played a part in promoting female talent. We are also working closely with our own Endurance Commission to open doors in the FIA World Endurance Championship; this is another area where there is so much potential.”

The current progress crosses all disciplines and a number of female drivers have achieved notable success.

Racing on the same weekends as Formula E, the Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy is a highly competitive single-make series for electric cars. At the second round, at Mexico City’s Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, British driver Katherine Legge claimed an impressive flag-to-flag victory with fellow Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver Sellers second. She followed up the victory with second place in Hong Kong and ahead of the round in Sanya lies second in the championship standings. Jamie Chadwick also made history by becoming the first female to win the MRF Challenge, and in karting the Richard Mille Young Talent Academy held a talent detection test for girls at Lonato in association with Birel ART. Six girls aged from 13 to 17 were assessed last December to form a two-driver female team for the 2019 international season. Brazilian Julia Ayoub was chosen to wear Richard Mille’s colours in OK-Junior and the Spanish driver Maya Weug was selected in OK.


Off the track, Jutta Kleinschmidt, the first woman to win the Dakar Rally, has been elected as President of the Cross Country Commission, and 2016 Australian Rally Champion Molly Taylor has become a new member of the Rally Commission.
And finally, the Commission is delighted to see Sophia Flörsch preparing for the 2019 racing season with Van Amersfoort Racing after her terrifying accident in Macau last year.