Dare To Be Different races north of the border to Knockhill
Scottish schoolgirls inspired by pioneering initiative
D2BD founder Susie Wolff back on home soil
Karting, media skills, fitness and nutrition among activities
Dare To Be Different sped north of the border to Knockhill, Scotland today (25 August), as Susie Wolff returned to her homeland to encourage 100 local schoolgirls to consider a future career in motor sport.
Founded by former Formula 1 driver Wolff and the Motor Sports Association (MSA), Dare To Be Different is a high-profile programme designed to inspire, connect and celebrate women in every aspect of motor sport.
The initiative has gained significant traction and momentum since its launch at the beginning of this year, and Knockhill – Scotland’s premier motor racing venue – marked the fourth of five headline events aimed at offering 8-12-year-olds a rare insight into every element of the sport from driving and engineering to fitness, nutrition and media skills.
Indeed, the day marked something of an emotional homecoming for Wolff, who used to watch her father race road bikes at the popular Fife circuit. The Scot first set foot inside a kart there at the age of eight – the initial step on a journey that would ultimately lead her to becoming the first woman to drive a current F1 car at a grand prix weekend in more than 20 years at Silverstone in 2014. It was extra special for Susie as her primary school, Park School, was one of those in attendance.
“It was really special for me to be back at Knockhill,” Wolff reflected. “It’s where my own career began, and hopefully today we have helped to inspire a few more girls to pursue a similar path – some of them from my own school! This is a hugely exciting, challenging and rewarding sport and the bottom line is that there are myriad opportunities to get involved at all levels.
“Whilst the drivers are the public faces of the sport, in a situation where fractions of a second make all the difference, there are countless unsung heroes working feverishly behind-the-scenes to make sure everything runs like clockwork. These range from mechanics and engineers to designers, aerodynamicists, co-ordinators, technicians, strategists, press officers and even physios and meteorologists – and that’s to name only a few of the various roles involved!
One hundred girls from ten local schools lapped up the experience, taking to the track in a fleet of Knockhill’s Sodi LR5s 120cc karts for some high-octane action – with a Williams F1 car proudly on display for fascinating technical tours.
They also received interviewing advice from motor sport media professional Louise Goodman and a Sky Sports F1 television crew in addition to diet and fitness workshops, whilst national flagship programme STEMNET (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network) was again present to assist with a fun and educational hovercraft-building exercise.
After each event, there will be a prize for the girl who most effectively communicates and spreads the Dare To Be Different message to her fellow students upon returning to school.
One event remains on the 2016 Dare To Be Different calendar:
15 September, Daytona Manchester, Manchester