After my race last weekend with Sick Sideways in the Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Series, I began to think about women in motorsports. Why aren’t there more women in the series racing with me?
I had a frustrating qualifying session at Mid-Ohio that weekend. Unfortunate luck had me starting in seventh, but that never discouraged me from getting my butt into gear and driving it to fourth in the races. As I sat, strapped into my racecar on grid, waiting for race one, it hit me that I had been having “guy talk” all weekend because I’m the only female in the paddock/on my race team/in the series, etc.! Why?!
My race team, Sick Sideways, and I were extremely lucky to have Loni Unser join us for two races this year. Although she wasn’t racing with us for rounds 5&6, she was still at the track being the best “track mom” any team could ask for. This past weekend, she was not able to make it and it was a noticeable difference not having another female around. This brings me back to my original point, where are the women? This past year, I have been fortunate enough to work with a program called Shift Up Now whose main goal is to inspire female racers with confidence and courage to believe in themselves and their motorsports career. I realize there are more females slowly trickling into the motorsports world, but they are seriously missing out on the most exciting, talent-driven series there is.
As no female has ever been on the podium of a MX-5 Cup race, I know I shouldn’t be, but I am putting all the pressure on myself to be that first woman to stand and represent holding a trophy. To be quite frank, I have never wanted anything so bad in my entire career! As many of the drivers who have been in this series would say, this is the most nail biting, toughest racing they have been a part of. As difficult as this series is, it is a great way for women and men to prove their driving skills.Driving 95% doesn’t cut it here. What makes a winner in the GMX-5 Cup Series is learning pure racing skills, setups, overcoming fear, toughness, team work and everything else it takes to eventually dominate any other series you want to attain. Look for yourself at past winners and their accomplishments.
So why am I the only one? I honestly don’t know and it’s why I am writing this. We are all on a quest to be the best we can be and if it’s skills you’re looking to improve, it’s here to learn. If it’s incredible competition with a level playing field, it’s here. And ultimately, if it’s respect you want as a pure driver, this is the place to earn it. I should not be the only female here, nor do I want to be. So, as this year has been tough for me financially and emotionally, it is the best I have ever had because of how much I have learned. Being with Sick Sideways has taught me how a team of drivers, engineers and mechanics can work together for the good of everyone.Yes, I might be the lone female, but to them I am a driver and I have never felt more comfortable racing before. They are my best friends, my family. I truly wish other females could experience what I am experiencing.
Hopefully, one day soon, women drivers (even crew!) will be more involved in MX-5 Cup. This Mazda series is lucky enough to run alongside IndyCar and there is nothing more satisfying than seeing a brilliant female engineer sitting in the pit box for Ganassi, helping lead a team. I do hope if you’re a female driver or not sure what your next step in racing is, that you consider Global Mazda MX-5 Cup.
Thank you to all of my partners who have given me the opportunity to be a part of this series. @SickSideways @ShiftUpNow @HarrisonContractingCo. @LafayetteTravel @LemonsofLove @MyLegalEdge @EEspositoInteritors @GlobalMX5Cup @MazdaMotorsports
#WomeninMotorsports #DriveLikeAGirl #ShiftUpNow #WomenWithDrive #FemaleAthletes #FemaleRacers #DrivenWomen