Australian motorsport has a rich history and women continue to play an important role in expanding the reach and impact of the Repco Supercars Championship.
March 8th is International Women’s Day that celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
From broadcasting to management and team responsibility to communication, many important roles in the women’s category are controlled.
Supercars.com has moved to celebrate some of the women who helped take the category to the next level, such as Shannen Kiely, who was named an ambassador for FIA Girls on Track on Monday.
Shannen Kelly (left) from Eribos Motorsport with Betty Klimenko
Kiely has been an integral part of Betty Klimenko’s Erebus Motorsport team for five years and will assume the position of General Manager of the team in 2021.
This year, Kelly joined the global non-profit initiative launched by former Formula 1 driver Susie Wolf.
The initiative, which was expanded to Australia in 2018, will host free events for young women throughout the year to increase interest in STEM topics.
Motorsports was something I’ve been doing almost my entire life, so it was a natural pathway for me, ”Kelly said.
“For many others, working in motorsports is not what they think of. This is why it is so important to educate our next generation of girls about the opportunities available to them.
“I have seen the amazing work the FIA girls do in the ring for many years and I am very proud to be named as one of their ambassadors.
“I hope I can inspire as many girls as possible to think outside the box and consider a career in motorsport.
“The door is open to all who wish to face the challenge, and we want greater participation of women in all fields.”
Jess Dean from Triple Eight
Kiely is part of a larger family of big-game team connections including Megan Crockford of Dick Johnson Racing, Sarah Paull of Team 18, Hayley Tyrell of Brad Jones Racing, Bek Davey of Matt Stone Racing, and Jess Dane of Triple Eight Race Engineering.
The latter recently became a major contributor From the powerful Triple Eight team, It was also key to boosting women’s participation in motorsport.
“To be completely honest, I never realized I was a stranger because I was one of the few women in the pit lane,” Dane told Supercars.com last year.
“I think this is actually a will to sport and a will for our educators that I have never felt like I was a minority in it.”
Seven’s Abbey Gelmi (L) mit Mark Beretta
The series is directed by Jesse Yates, who has directed Foxtel’s global coverage of the tournament since 2015.
Yates will be joined by Seven Network presenter Abby Gilmy, former Australian rally champion Molly Taylor, and prestigious broadcasters Charlie Robinson and Briony Ingerson. Bring supercars to television screens across Australia.
Longtime co-producer on Supercars, Ingerson said the sport will only grow with women at the top.
“It’s amazing to see how women influence supercars,” she said.
Briony Ingerson (left) Mitt Craig Lowndes
“From marketing to the camera, the team to the mechanics, women play many important roles in the pit lane.
“It is important to have a different perspective in a sport that has traditionally been dominated by men.
“This can only be useful for supercars, and I’m very proud of my role.”
The Repco Supercars Championship Field returns to Victoria from March 20-21 for the Penrite Oil Sandown SuperSprint. Tickets are on sale now.
The event will be broadcast live on Foxtel and broadcast on Kayo. Watch the full TV program here.