While motorsport is a field largely embraced by men, women have embraced the sport over the past few decades, creating a leeway for younger interested women to join.
Majority of women across Europe, Australia and America have taken on all motor sport disciples and positions in the field, transforming their passion for racing into a lifetime career.
From Formula One racing, to circuit racing, to speedway, to off-road racing to drag racing all through to drifting and hill climbing, there’s no particular field that car sportswomen have been unable to cover. It is in that very spirit that women car racers from different racing drivers’ club have been able to participate in challenging races and winning themselves trophies and pushed their names in the motorsports industry.
But for upcoming car racing enthusiasts, the most pressing questions might be; is joining women motor racing communities hard? What kind of car races can women participate in? And are there any motorsport women clubs near me than I can join to get started? If you’ve been asking yourself such questions, then the answers are right here with you. Below are points you need to know about motorsport for women.
Types of Motorsport for Women
Motorsport has been one of the most popular and successful sports in Europe, more particularly Britain. With over 750 registered motor clubs in Britain, there are over 4300 events organizes each year all of which feature 22 different disciplines.
And among the 100,000 competitors that participate in the sports are a section of women holding MSA competition licenses. Motor sport is perceived to be a male-dominated sport but it’s surprising to see many more successful female participants join the industry each year. Major categories in women motor racing include:
You don’t need talent, huge wallet or be male in order for you to participate in circuit racing. It’s actually easier to participate in the more than 300 motor race events that take place in UK every year.
The motor sport is also organized in other European countries, Australia and USA, so you can always take advantage when they come up. Circuit racing for women just is conducted the same way as for the conventional circuit race. A number of cars line up and race wheel-to-wheel on a racetrack with the winner being the first competitor to reach a chequered flag that falls when the designated number of laps for the race is completed.
The kind of car to use on women circuit racing largely depends on the type of racing you want to participate in. What really matters when choosing a car for racing events is compliance with regulation and that’s why there’s a scrutineer to check the cars before the race commences.
In the UK alone, rallying is a sport that is enjoyed by thousands of women competitors across dozens or championships as well as events. Road rallies have been for a long time in history the most celebrated and easily accessible with only a road car and driving license being the major requirements. There are several car rallies for women namely:
Stage Rallies: These types of rallies usually take place in the forests and comprise a number of competitive sections or stages where the winner is the crew (driver and co-driver) who completes the loops in the lowest aggregate time. It’s the co-driver’s responsibility to read the route direction notes given by the organizers on both the stages and the subsequent linking road sections to help keep the car heading the right way.
Road Rallies: This takes place on public highways and much emphasis is put navigation and driving skill. Here, the crew must maintain the time schedule in all the control points with the help of an ordinance Survey Map. It is the responsibility of the navigator to direct the driver around the given route and to ensure proper timing and control.
Other Types of Rallies: Apart from stage rallies and road rallies, women can participate in different forms of road rallying such as Economy Runs, Runs with No Timing, Historic Rallies that involve classic cars and many other competitive night events that emphasize on good navigation and time keeping.
For the past few decades off-road driving has been considered a man’s endeavor based on the sweat, grease and dirt that a sportsman has to deal with. However, it turns out women are getting into the dirty, driving fast involved in off-road racing.
The race which mostly involves short course racing, the takes place on short tracks which incorporate left and right turns on various radii, jumps and even washboard runs and gravel pits. If you thought off-road racing was only for men, then you need to ask of the big names in the industry like Corry Weller who won the Lucas Oil off Road Racing championship and Jessi Combs the passionate off-road racer.
We cannot talk about off-road racing without mentioning Bailey Campbell, Charlene Bower, Nicole Johnson and Makinzie Alavazo who are all big names in competitive off-road racing. If these women could make it in the motorsport, then there’s no barrier for any women interested in off-road racing to join.
Hilling climbing motorsport has been part of Britain’s motor sporting culture since the early days. Though the discipline is considered a sport for amateurs, it has attracted more and more women participants each year.
With this kind of sport, cars are required to tackle a point-to-point uphill course one by one, with the winner being he/she who completes climbing within the quickest time. All competitors are given practice runs before the start of the competition and one gets two competitive runs and it’s the best time that counts in the final results.
Getting started for this sport if you’re a woman is simple. Simply attend the local car sportspersons meetings and chat with competitors. You can then join your local hill climb club after which you can apply for MSA Non-Race B competition License which is available to anyone aged 16 and above.
Are Motorsport Cars Expensive?
The type of car to be used on a particular race largely depends on kind of race you want to participate in. For instance with road rallies and circuit races, a standard road car perform the racing perfectly. But with off-road races and Hill Climbs, there’s need for you to buy specially designed cars or cars with minor safety modifications depending on the class you’ll be participating in.
And due to the high-speed nature of rallies, off-road races and hill climbs, you might need to buy MSA-compliant safety gear like helmet, fireproof overalls, gloves as well as boots.
Sports racing are no longer a man’s sport because there are plenty of women participating in various sports car championships and events. Whether you’re UK based, Australian or in the United States, there are plenty of motorsports racing clubs that you can join locally for you to get started.
With MSA license in place and few training sessions, you’ll be good to go. However, you should be keen on choosing a motor sport that you’re passionate about. From circuit racing, to rallies, to off-road all through hill climb, you can never miss on a car sport that you can find thrilling.
We interviewed Tina, a mother of 3, who is competing in off-road rally.
Tina, how did you start with motorsport?
Well i’ve got 2 big brothers and a father that have been competing in different motorsports all my life, so from I was a little girl i’ve been watching them compete and it just feelt natural for me to start as well.
How long have you competing in off road rally?
Almost 10 years. But I was driving at the most when I was in my early 20’s. Nowdays I only compete when I got the time for it. Since I work full time and have 3 kids and a husband to take care of the time isn’t there anymore.
What is your best tips for someone who want to start competing in motorsport?
Just try it. You will fall in love with the sport and the awesome people you meet out on the road. Do remember motorsport is generally a expensive sport so my best tips is to start out with a less expensive class and then when you have decided that this is for me, go up in more competetive classes.
Tina is a baby sleep coach and you can check out her website http://www.babysleep.help where she share great advice and guides to help parents with their babies sleep.