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Formula Women - Changing the face of Motorsport
The first ever modern-day motor racing championship for women drivers
January 10, 2003
1


Formula Women launch

Birmingham, England.   Formula Woman, a major new motor racing initiative set to change the face of motorsport is launched today at Autosport International Show. This unique Championship for women racing drivers marks a new era for this sport with the introduction of the first racing Series devoted entirely to female drivers.

Formula Woman is a unique concept for the world of motorsport, offering women the chance to enter the traditionally male environment of motor racing driving the new Mazda RX8 in the Mazda RX-8 Formula Woman Championship.

The new Championship has been conceived and created by Graeme Glew, a motorsport industry consultant who has been involved in racing team management, a racing driver school and latterly in Formula One. With this pedigree Glew is well placed to instigate a new professional motor racing Series which is set to add a new dimension to the industry bringing women into the sport – in the driving seat.

Television coverage is planned for the Championship, with Carlton TV developing a program around Formula Woman. Further details on the media support will be announced shortly.



Formula Women launch

Speaking today at the launch, Chairman of Formula Woman, Graeme Glew said, “Formula Woman is realizing one of the ideas that I had a few years ago when I ran a racing drivers school. In nearly every other sport around the world there is a platform for women to compete against each other. Today, we have made history by launching this Championship solely for women, and I’m sure we will attract nationwide attention as this unique concept becomes reality.”

Formula Woman is launched with the support of Mazda, with the new Mazda RX-8 being used for the Championship. James Muir, Managing Director, Mazda Motors UK Ltd, explains the tie-up saying, “Mazda are absolutely delighted to be involved as the manufacturer sponsor for Formula Woman. It’s an extremely exciting and innovative project which we believe will really capture the imagination of the public. Formula Woman will be a great fit with the Mazda brand, particularly as we are launching our all-new sports car, the Mazda RX-8 in the summer of 2003.

Former Formula One driving star, Mark Blundell who is now a member of ITV’s Formula One presentation team and is Consultant to Formula Woman is delighted to be involved with the Championship saying, “Formula Woman is an amazing opportunity for someone to realize their dream and become a professional racing driver and I’m sure the boy racers will be very envious watching the women racing – I don’t know whether I could watch my wife out in a race car as I would be full of so many different emotions – I’d be jealous of her, fearful for her safety and willing her to win.

Adds Blundell, “As a Consultant to Formula Woman I have been involved since the beginning of the project and it’s been a privilege to be part of a concept which is breaking new ground in such an exciting, high profile sport. I’m really looking forward to playing a role in the future development of Formula Woman and contributing to its undoubted success.”

Formula Woman has also gained the support of Richard Burden MP, Parliamentary advisor on motorsport to the Sports Minister, who says, “ The common perception of Motor Racing is often one of “boys with their toys.” Formula Woman challenges that in a very direct way. I know that the Government is very keen to see access to all sports widened to those who have a lot to contribute but who, for different reasons, feel excluded from them. By launching this competition to find the woman motor racing champion of tomorrow, Formula Woman has the potential to raise the profile of women in motorsport as a whole. That is why I welcome the Formula Woman project and I will certainly be talking further to the Minister of Sport about it. “

The Championship

Formula Woman will be open to any female aged 18 or over who holds a UK drivers license and has not competed in motorsport. Prospective drivers will be invited to apply for a driver assessment and successful applicants will be requested to attend an assessment day, a series of events which will be held at a number of race circuits throughout the UK between May and July 2003. At the initial qualifying stage selected candidates will be put through tests of driving, fitness level, reactions, personality and presentational skills as Formula Woman sets out to find the all round best 16 female drivers for the Mazda RX-8 Formula Woman Championship. And it’s not just the best drivers we’re looking for - the Formula Woman driver needs to be able to work within a team, be professional and know how to deal with the media – all necessary ingredients in top level motorsport.

The driver selection program will be followed by an intensive driver training course through the winter of 2003 in preparation for the 10 – 12 round Championship to be held at selected UK racing circuits in 2004 (subject to Motor Sport Association approval). The Mazda RX-8 race cars to be used for the Championship will be identically prepared race-tuned versions of the new road car set to be introduced into the UK in Summer 2003. Full details of the Championship rules, regulations and format details will be provided as these are finalized.

Women interested in taking part in Formula Woman can register via the Formula Woman registration telephone line on 09066 360000. Calls to the registration line are charged at Ł1.50p per minute and will last a maximum of two minutes. Callers must be 18 or over and must be the bill payer or have the bill payers permission. Charges may be more from mobile phone. 10% of all call revenues will go to the Formula Woman nominated charities. Full entry details are also available on the Formula Woman website at www.formulawoman.com.

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