The recent announcement of a women only race series, dubbed W Series, took the automotive internet world by storm. If you didn’t hear about it, you can read about it out here. It seems lately I’ve been seeing a little bit more encouragement in the motorsport world – whether it be promoting women in the sport, youth engagement, etc. I tend to take notice of these things, as I personally find them extremely important. At the end of the day, there’s not much more important to me than broadening our passion. And Bell Helmets has recognized that.
Bell Helmets is name that’s been around as long as I can remember (and long before me, too) and they just jumped in to this recent spew of “women in motorsports” campaigns. Just earlier this month at the PRI Show in Indianapolis, they announced the creation of what they’re calling the Bell Helmets Women in Motorsports Mentor Program.
Chris Wheeler, Director of Motorsports at Bell Racing USA, explains, “We have been considering a women’s mentorship program for a while, and with so much recent talk about an equal playing field for women in motorsports, now feels like the right time to launch.”
It was created for women who are interested in pursuing careers in motorsports – and the idea behind it is quite awesome. Whether they want to be behind the wheel or not, the program is allowing them the opportunity to receive mentorship from a diverse list of women in the industry with professional motorsports experience – from NHRA Top Fuel drivers and Indy 500 vets, to engineers and business owners.
The list of participants are;
- Kendra Jacobs, marketing director, Knoxville Raceway
- Ashley Sanford, NHRA Top Fuel driver
- Shea Holbrook, sports car driver
- Sarah Fisher, Indy 500 veteran and business owner
- McKenna Haase, winged sprint car driver
- Christina Lam, sports car driver
- Katherine Legge – sports car and Formula E driver
- Sabre Cook – junior formula driver and engineer
- Ashley Freiberg – sports car driver and instructor
- Pippa Mann – Indy 500 veteran and sports car driver
- Ana Beatriz – IndyCar veteran and Brazilian Stock Car driver
- Jill Swanson – CEO, Fresh Air Systems Technologies
“The successes of the impressive group we’ve brought together to mentor the next generation of women in racing are proof that you don’t have to be a man to succeed in this sport, whether on or off the track,” said Chris.
Starting in the new year, they will begin writing educational pieces on the Bell Racing USA blog. Readers will be able to send in questions about careers in motorsports, reach out in search of advice, or anything else, to [email protected] and writers will answer based on their area of expertise.
“Mentorship is a critical element in helping people learn, maximize their talents and achieve success in any field, including the sport of racing,” said Kyle Kietzmann, President and COO of Bell Racing USA. “We are proud to help facilitate a mentorship program for women in motorsports and grateful to the athletes and industry experts who are so willing to share their knowledge and experience, offering advice and guidance to women as they follow their dreams and pursue a career in racing.”