Motor Sport News - - Racing News -

It was great to bump in to Susie Wolff at the Au­tosport In­ter­na­tional Show as our paths hadn’t crossed that much since she was tak­ing the very first steps on her mo­tor rac­ing path in For­mula Ford and For­mula Re­nault at the turn of the cen­tury.

Now she’s re­tired from driv­ing, her next pro­ject, as she was keen to tell me all about at the show, was the Dare To Be Dif­fer­ent cam­paign that she is throw­ing her weight be­hind. She is fronting the scheme, backed by the na­tional gov­ern­ing body, the Mo­tor Sports As­so­ci­a­tion, to pro­mote women in mo­tor­sport.

This isn’t just an­other cam­paign to find fe­male rac­ing stars. The premise of this scheme is to show younger fe­males the op­por­tu­ni­ties that ex­ist in mo­tor rac­ing across all ar­eas of the sport: be that en­gi­neer­ing, me­dia, driv­ing and within the in­dus­try.

The plan is to cre­ate an on­line com­mu­nity that will of­fer ad­vice and sup­port to girls who want to get in­volved in the sport, and there will be a se­ries of sem­i­nars held through­out the United King­dom for girls aged eight to 14 to high­light the op­por­tu­ni­ties to the next wave of tal­ent.

Sev­eral high-pro­file fe­males who have al­ready made their names within the sport will be avail­able to of­fer en­cour­age­ment and sup­port.

Wolff said: “Our main aim with Dare To Be Dif­fer­ent is to drive fe­male tal­ent. This is an am­bi­tious and long-term pro­ject that will build an on­line com­mu­nity of women from all over the world. It will con­nect them through a shared pas­sion and em­power them to be­come the next wave of role mod­els, while also pro­vid­ing ac­cess to some of the most suc­cess­ful fe­male names in the sport.

“Our UK events for young girls will boost aware­ness and demon­strate the var­ied and ex­cit­ing ar­eas of the sport – show­ing that they too can dare to be dif­fer­ent.”

Sadly, it is true that sex­ism does still ex­ist within the male-dom­i­nated world that is mo­tor­sport – al­though those shack­les are be­ing grad­u­ally shaken off. A lot of peo­ple in­volved in mo­tor rac­ing are of a cer­tain gen­er­a­tion when this at­ti­tude was more preva­lent but, with each pass­ing sea­son, fresh blood en­ters mo­tor rac­ing and the in­dus­try that sur­rounds it. It means those with a blink­ered view are be­ing slowly drowned out, which is a great thing.

Wolff’s cam­paign is some­thing that hasn’t been tried be­fore and that is a great rea­son peo­ple should get be­hind it. Any­thing that helps mo­tor rac­ing be more in­clu­sive will have a ben­e­fi­cial im­pact at ev­ery level in the fu­ture.

JAMES “This will help the sport be in­clu­sive”

Wolff was at the Au­tosport In­ter­na­tional Show

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