DirtFish Women’s Summit welcomes global audience

Motorsport stars and women from across the world were in attendance for a sell-out day of learning and driving

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Some of the world’s most famous women in motorsport gathered at Seattle’s DirtFish Rally School on Thursday, delivering key messages aimed at increasing female participation at every level of motorsport.

Four-time World Rally winner and former FIA Women in Motorsport Commission president Michèle Mouton opened proceedings with a message of support. Guest editor of DirtFish through March’s Women’s Month, Michèle said: “It’s fantastic to be involved with DirtFish Women’s Month and I’m only sorry that I wasn’t able to join the Summit in person today.

“Like everybody, I’ve been really enjoying the content from DirtFish through the first 10 days of Women’s Month and to see how well the Summit went today and how many enthusiastic women we had in Seattle and watching around the world is really good news. I know Josie [Rimmer, DirtFish Women’s Month coordinator] and the team have put so much work into the event and to see this result is great.

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“Events like this are so important to bring more female participation and to give women the chance to compete and to work in motorsport. I’m sure this will be the first of many Women in Motorsport Summits at DirtFish.”

The panel of experts at the Summit comprised of rally drivers, co-drivers, team personnel, rally organizers and frontrunning Extreme E racers.

Lia Block, Lucy Block, Rhianon Gelsomino, Karen Jankowski, Donna Kitch, Sara Price, Kristen Tabor, Jan Tabor and Krissy Wells were all in the room at the Snoqualmie School with Emma Gilmour joining from New Zealand.

The Summit was an in-person sell-out in Seattle, with the panel talking to a packed audience in the school’s McRae Room. They were joined virtually by women from around the world, who tuned in to listen to and ask for the advice of the expert panel. With the talking done, the focus turned to food and fun, with local vendors delivering a late lunch under beautiful spring sunshine in the Pacific northwest.

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For those wanting more of an insight into what DirtFish and Women in Motorsport is all about, thrill rides aboard the School’s WiM-liveried Subarus were being sold in aid of the Jessi Combs Foundation.

“Firstly, I want to say a huge thank you to the panelists who joined us in Seattle and, of course, Emma [Gilmour] for starting her Friday morning with us live from New Zealand,” said Josie Rimmer.

“So much effort and so much planning has gone into Women’s Month and the Women in Motorsport Summit, but today was the realization of the goal for me. To bring these incredible women together and to have them talk to guests from around the world and right here in Seattle was… to be honest, pretty mind-blowing!

“I’m so, so proud of what we’ve done. Talking and listening to what was being asked and answered, it’s clear we’ve changed lives here today – we’ve made women understand that they can realize their dreams; they can be the next Rhianon Gelsomino or Sara Price or the next big team owner like Kristen Tabor.

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“What a month we’re having, working with the legend that is Michèle Mouton and running a show like we did today. Honestly, it’s an absolute honor.”

Chip Ganassi Racing’s XE star Sara Price added: “What Josie and the team here at DirtFish has done is just amazing. To bring this thing together and to get the message out there to women is fantastic. It’s so, so important to remember that we’re not women racers, we’re not men racers… we’re just racers. When you pull on our crash helmet, gender doesn’t matter. We’re all about the first corner.”

DirtFish’s Women’s Month content continues through March. Check out DirtFish for the latest stories and videos.

Words:DirtFish Media