Monday, 29 May 2017 12:15

Beyond Simona: Australia’s female racers

204gracie

Swiss driver Simona de Silvestro's three-year full-time Supercars deal could be a watershed moment for Aussie female racers. With an influx of women competing in junior formulas and a talented bunch of females climbing up the motorsport ladder, we look at the careers of three young Australian drivers most likely to follow de Silvestro's footsteps into the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship in V8X Supercar Magazine issue #98.

Issue #98 is on sale now in stores with the digital edition available in the official V8X app (in the App Store and Google Play), online at DigitalEdition.V8XMagazine.com.au and in the Magzter app store.

CLICK HERE for more information on issue #98.

While the focus is currently on de Silvestro and her progress in the Nissan Altima, her arrival in the series and in helping to break the gender barrier in Supercars is inspiring the next-generation of female racers from Australia.

As she battles the men in the main game, three young Australian female racers will be hoping her progress helps with their own Supercars ambitions.

Issue #98 profiles Renee Gracie (pictured above), Chelsea Angelo and Emily Duggan, the Aussie female drivers looking to follow in de Silvestro's slipstream.

Gracie says she hopes strong results from the likes of de Silvestro will encourage more women to pursue a career in motorsport.

"Yeah, it's no longer a myth, we have actually done it," she says. "Hopefully we will encourage young women to make their way into motorsport whether its racing or engineering or whatever because we beat plenty of other people on track there so it shows that it's possible."

While admitting she gets tired of the focus on her gender, she doesn't mind being a point of difference in a grid full of men.

"I feel sorry for the boys because it would be hard to stand out in a male dominated sport as a male," she says.

"I feel pretty lucky that we stand out and I wouldn't have it any other way. But that doesn't mean there aren't some negatives to being a female racer.

"One thing a lot of people think is that we get handed things because we are female, that's not it at all.

"You still have to be fast. People spend big money on this sport; motorsport is a very money-orientated sport. It is one of the most expensive that there is. It's millions and millions of dollars and no one is going to spend that much money on you just because you're a girl.

"I think it's definitely changing, 20 years ago probably not. I think now it's not that bad. I mean, teams respect us a lot more and people are willing to have female drivers like Simona and I. It's not something I've found people do or don't want. I definitely think times are changing and in another 20 years' time it will be completely different again."

CLICK HERE to purchase issue #98 to read the feature.

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Event Date
Adelaide 500 1-4 March
2018 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix 22-25 March
Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSprint 6-8 April
WD-40 Phillip Island 500 20-22 April
Perth SuperSprint 4-6 May
Winton SuperSprint 18-20 May
CrownBet Darwin Triple Crown 15-17 June
Watpac Townsville 400 6-8 July
Coates Hire Ipswich SuperSprint 20-22 July
Red Rooster Sydney SuperSprint 4 August
The Bend SuperSprint 24-26 August
Sandown 500 14-16 September
Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 4-7 October
Vodafone Gold Coast 600 19-21 October
ITM Auckland SuperSprint 2-4 November
Coates Hire Newcastle 500 23-25 November

 

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Pos

 Driver

 Points

 1

 Scott McLaughlin

2183

 2

 Shane van Gisbergen

2040

 3

 Jamie Whincup 

1750

 4

 David Reynolds

1742

 5

 Craig Lowndes

1731

 6

 Fabian Coulthard

1541

 7

 Scott Pye 

1441

 8

 Rick Kelly

1438

 9

 Chaz Mostert

1388

 10

 James Courtney

1326

 Full points table