Australian motorsport’s mission to get more women onto the track | The Canberra Times

News, News, Harry Bates, Motorsport, Rally Car

Australian motorsport is pushing for greater inclusion of women, not only behind the wheel but also in key supporting roles where they are ‘outnumbered’. Over the next month, girls aged 8-14 will have the opportunity to take part in the FIA ​​Girls On Track programme, which gives children insight into careers in motorsport, including its STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) aspects. World Rally Champion Harry Bates is involved with the program and believes that while much has been achieved there is still work to be done to increase the inclusion of women in motorsport overall. “There aren’t enough women involved,” he said. “I think the program is doing a great job of introducing girls to the sport who might otherwise never have encountered it.” Motor racing has evolved over the last few decades, moving away from the stereotypical images of yesteryear with “grid girls” in skimpy attire. Bates said rallies are also one of the “more acceptable” examples in motorsport, which has long supported women. The Toyota Gazoo Racing driver grew up surrounded by many strong women, not least 2016 Australian Champion Molly Taylor and her mother Coral, who was also co-driver with Harry’s father Neal for 18 years. Now Bates continues to advocate for his family to get more women into the sport. “I’ve always had a lot of respect for women, especially because they’re outnumbered in sport, but I think it’s really important that they’re not,” he said. “There are so many different roles in motorsport to make a team like ours and there is absolutely no reason why more women couldn’t be involved. There is so much more to motorsport than just driving fast,” said Bates Unlike sport, in motorsport women can compete with men on a much more equal field. “There are no physical or psychological differences when it comes to what a man can achieve and what a woman can achieve,” he said. “People like Molly have proven that by winning the Australian Rally Championship against all men. And it’s no different than any other role in motorsport either. “Whether it’s a managerial role, an engineering role or a logistics role, there’s nothing a man can do that a woman can’t, so I think that’s one of the beautiful things about motorsport.” April will be held for the first time as part of the Netier National Capital Rally in Canberra. Our journalists are working hard to bring local, breaking news to the community. So you can continue to access our trusted content:


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