Female racer spurs on girls to work in motorsports

A female racer is encouraging young girls and women to get into the grassroots of motorsports as a gateway for a future career in the sport.

Claire Norman, 42, from Great Witcombe in Gloucester, has been racing for the past 20 years.

She has recently taken on the voluntary role of race section secretary with the British Women Racing Driver's Club (BWRDC) to continue their support of women and girls in motorsports.

"Within the motorsport industry, there are a number of initiatives encouraging women with no experience to get into grassroots motorsport," she said.

She said the BWRDC welcomes women interested in all areas of motorsports, including engineering, mechanics, personal training and social media.

Formula one has had five female drivers in its 74 years of recorded history and there has not been a female F1 driver since 1992.

Ms Norman said she wants to show girls and women there are plenty of ways to get involved in the sport.

"The role is about showing women and girls that there are careers in motorsports, even if you are not in the driving seat, you can be involved in other areas of the sport."

Ms Norman was introduced to motorsports as a child by her father Charles Tippet, who was a racer.

She said she was a regular in the paddock at race meetings and they always watched Formula 1.

"It wasn't until I started driving myself that I did a couple of track experiences - one for my 18th and one for my 19th birthday," said Ms Norman.

She said she was instantly "hooked" by the thrill of driving at speed and learning how to control the car at high speed around corners.

Since then, she has been racing with her father in a classic BMW 1800ti and more recently, a BMW 2002ti.

"We get on really well, I think it's a healthy competitiveness that we have," she said.

Her new voluntary role will involve continuing the support that the BWDRC has been providing for the past 60 years to woman in motorsports.

"It doesn’t matter how old you are – you don’t have to be young.

"There are women in their 50s, 60s and 70s enjoying motorsports in some form."

She has teamed up with ex-BTCC racing driver and friend Alan Blencowe in his Seat Cupra TCR car to compete in the 750MC Enduro Championship this season.

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