Autosport (UK)

New ‘Into Speed’ scheme to assist female drivers


A new initiative has been launched by the British Women Racing Drivers Club aimed at encouragin­g more female drivers to enter motorsport using hillclimb events as a starting point.

‘Into Speed’ has received the support of Motorsport UK and features a threestage process. The hillclimbi­ng discipline has been chosen as the entry point because road-going cars can take part.

Initially, a taster day will be held at Yorkshire hill Harewood in March that will introduce people to the sport, explain how to get a competitio­n licence and give them the chance to get behind the wheel, with kit provided, all designed to make the initial step less daunting for newcomers.

The next stage will be at Staffordsh­ire sprint venue Curborough, with a focus on improving each driver’s skills with support from BWRDC members. The new competitor­s will then enter a hillclimb at either Shelsley Walsh, Prescott or Harewood later in the year where they will be teamed up with a BWRDC mentor to guide them through their debut.

“With the support of Motorsport UK we are proud to have created this programme to take women through the sport from the very early stages to their first competitio­n,” explained BWRDC chair Helen Allen. “It is all about access and enjoyment, and trying to show that there is a place for everyone in motorsport.

“We aimed to create a safe environmen­t for women to ask the questions they may not have the courage to do in a mixed environmen­t, and to build their confidence in a welcoming and open way. We will offer training, tuition and hand-hold through every step until each participan­t feels able to compete independen­tly.”

Motorsport UK CEO Hugh Chambers says recent research from the governing body shows significan­t numbers of women follow the sport, even though they only represent 10% of all licence holders, believing “it is not from lack of interest but rather a lack of clear pathways into the sport” that prevents a higher percentage competing.

While the focus is initially upon hillclimbs, it is hoped that the scheme could expand to other discipline­s in the future.

 ?? ?? Hillclimbs have been chosen as starting point because they can be tackled in road cars
Hillclimbs have been chosen as starting point because they can be tackled in road cars
 ?? ?? BWRDC members will support rookie drivers
BWRDC members will support rookie drivers

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