The admiration was obvious. The applause was deafening. The emotion… for some it was hard to contain.
DirtFish’s second ever Women in Motorsport Summit didn’t deliver on its promises. It exceeded them.
For the hundreds of women who attended, and the hundreds more who watched via the live stream back home, it was a day they’ll never forget – and simply couldn’t miss. People flew from all over the world just to be there.
The live panel was the centerpiece of the event, and gave star panelists Michèle Mouton, Pernilla Solberg, Rhianon Gelsomino, Heather Holler, Leanne Junnila and Michelle Miller the chance to share their stories, pass on their wisdom and offer their words of encouragement.
Standing in the tent as they each addressed the audience, you could’ve heard a pin drop. Everybody wanted to listen, everybody wanted to learn.
But the magic didn’t stop there. As the all-female band started playing, the female business owners opened their stalls and the lucky few hit the Rally School course for the thrill-ride of a lifetime (and the even luckier scooped a prize from the raffle!), everywhere the conversations started.
Each and every panelist was swarmed by those in the audience who wanted to know more. Connections were made and dreams were built. Suddenly, the representation of the dream was sitting right in front of them.
This is what the Women in Motorsport Summit, and all the work DirtFish is doing through its WiM initiative, is all about.
Making a difference.
Women in Motorsport coordinator Josie Rimmer was lost for words at the end of the day.
“Nothing has settled in yet, my brain is still shocked and overwhelmed, but how am I feeling about the day? I feel honored,” she said.
“We had a tent full of 300 people who were hanging on every word of these panelists, and who were asking brilliant questions.
“The energy was absolutely infectious. I can’t begin to describe it. I’m so so very grateful for this space.
“Thank you to the DirtFish family for believing in this and putting it on, and to the panelists for making it as magical as it was.
“One for the books, for sure.”
Mouton, who flew over from France especially for the event, was blown away by what she saw.
“I think we need this kind of Summit more often in more countries – it’s a perfect way to meet people who have been involved in motorsport and who need to maybe see more people who have been having success in this sport,” Mouton said.
“It’s this interactivity and action you share with the audience that’s proving, or helping, everyone to see we have more women in motorsport.
“And today to see more than 300 people here was incredible, and I think what Josie did is just amazing. It’s more than I expected, really.
“It was emotional,” she added.
“In America of course people are friendly, it was just the perfect way to do this. Very often you talk, you do interviews but here you have the people in front of you, it’s a different approach.
“It has more value for people and for us. I realize that I have been inspiring people, and when you do that you don’t think about it. You think of it afterwards because they are sharing it with you – it’s emotional.
“Of course I will come back.”
Absolutely nobody walked away from Saturday’s event not feeling inspired by the powerful women that stood before them.
March 11 2023 is a date we’ll remember for a very, very long time.
It certainly won’t be the last time you see the top women in motorsport at DirtFish’s doors.