for all women.
I've re-entered a motor racing competition to find the next female motor racing champion.
Formula Woman has attracted global interest in 42 countries, as the competition seeks to find the next star female racing drivers.
Formula Woman is all about creating opportunities for all women who wish to get involved in motorsport. The competition will be broadcast on television and offer opportunities for track days, ice-driving, simulator experiences and visits to motorsport events.
After nearly a year of competions and assessments, six young ladies were selected to undergo further training to be able to drive the McLaren in the 2022 GT Cup - and as I write, are doing exteremely well - and certainly no being intimidated by the male drivers who are their main competitors! The team consists of four race drivers with two 'reserves', although one of those reserves has already left the scheme to join with two other Formula Woman challengers to form their own race team 'Valkyrie Racing'. Just to emphasise that Formula Woman opens the door to many other racing disciplines - many of the 2022 entry are also proving themselves in various motorsport teams. The world is one's oyster, as the cliche says!
This years' successful finalists will have the most superb opportunity to race a McLaren 570s GT4 in the 2023 GT Cup.
So why have I joined this community of prospective women racing drivers - other than I can't ignore a challenge?
The main reason is a very personal one but one of which I have become more and more supportive. As a trans-competitor, part of the core team for Racing Pride and a member of Motorsport UK's LGBT+ sub committee, I have become aware of the difficulties that some LGBT+ people have to overcome to even get started in motorsport.
I believe that those of us who are LGBT+ and who compete or officiate should be more visible to encourage other LGBT+ to take the plunge and join us. I hope my participation of Formula Woman will go some way to dispel any fears that motorsport is in any way gender discriminatory.
Age is no bar to
rising to a challenge.
I believe in women having an equal opportunity within all disciplines of motor sport however old they may be.
My own attitude is that one should be able to follow any dream at any age. As a 'Senior Citizen', I would like to think that any others who read this website will be enthused to 'have a go' - there is, as the initial invitation says, no upper age limit, and all applicants are accepted.
As one who is no longer in the first flush of life, I have since retirement: started to sail with an unsuccessful attempt to crew a Round the World Clipper, instead crewing Youth Tall Ships Challenger yachts; piloted a glider and a Tiger Moth; driven on a number of Track Days; and spent time at the Silverstone i-Zone Driver Training Centre where I drove a simulated McLaren 540GT ( and others) around the Donington Park Race Circuit; and marshalled at rallies and races - and still compete on Historic Road rallies in a 1966 Classic Porsche 912.
I discovered during my progess through the Formula Woman expedition, I happened to be ,the oldest challenger at the age of 78 (even though the promotional video claims the oldest was 73! Nikki got it wrong) - and this year I'll be 79. Will anyone come and beat that? Please?
Age is no bar to rising to challenges.
As one of many hundreds who belong to 'Formula Woman' I will now begin to focus on changing from rally driving to race driving, and have already booked a one to one race driving course at my local Blyton Race Park (near Gainsborough in Lincolnshire) in a Catrham, or similar, race prepared car.
But all this does cost money and I would be delighted if I could ally with an organization who would be prepared to help finance me on my road and be willing to accept my own help - after all, sponsorship is a two way road and should be a proper business relationship. (You scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours!)
The Formula Woman competition will be broadcast on television, and I aim to create a social media buzz about my participation in the competition and gain coverage from local media. Last year, I raised media awareness through the Women's Institute national magazine 'WI Life' which has a circulation of 200,000 as well as a number of local newpapers and the local BBC Radio Lincolnshire breakfast show. And I do manage to promote my attempts through my own face book page (facebook.com/rowena-racing is the one to follow!)
My own personal sponsors will have a presence on my car, helmet or overalls - and for my side of the bargain I would be more than willing to attend company meetings to talk about Formula Woman and what it means to me as a transgender motorsport competitor and participant. With fifty years of motosport in various countries under my belt, I have many tales to tell - I can even add some of my RAF aircrew stories if necessary!
If you would like to be involved and support my journey please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org