The world’s most successful female competitor in motorsport history, Michèle Mouton, will lead DirtFish Rally School’s Women in Motorsport Summit in Snoqualmie, WA on Saturday, March 11.
In a stellar career, the Frenchwoman won four rounds of the World Rally Championship – four more than any other female in the series’ 50-year history. The fact that Michèle remains the only woman to have won at motorsport’s highest level is one of the reasons she’s leading the charge at DirtFish this weekend.
Having retired from driving – and driving in one of the most physically demanding and dangerous eras in motorsport – Michèle turned her attention to encouraging greater female participation. She was the founding president in the FIA’s own Women & Motor Sport Commission.
After working as guest editor on DirtFish.com through our maiden Women’s Month of March last year, Michèle is delighted to join in person for the second running of the Summit.
“I was so impressed with what Josie [Rimmer, DirtFish WiM co-ordinator] and the team achieved last year,” Mouton said. “When I was invited for this year, I knew I had to come. Like you can imagine, this is something close to my heart to bring more women in motorsport.
“I am asked so many times why we don’t have women winning in the World Rally Championship or even competing in Formula 1? For me, a big part of the reason is the level of participation – we need to encourage more young girls and more women to get involved. This is improving all of the time, but still we need more.
“And it’s not just in the driving seat. The big focus from DirtFish is to encourage women in every aspect of the sport. We need more women organizers, marshals, technicians, race directors, everything.
“I am really looking forward to Saturday. In my life I have travelled the world a lot and I love the chance to discover new places. I hear Snoqualmie and Washington is a beautiful place – I’m looking forward to finding this out and to meeting new, likeminded people.”
DirtFish Women in Motorsport Summit starts at midday with the first of two discussion panels. Michèle will be joined by six-time world championship-winning team manager Pernilla Solberg and globally recognized champion co-driver Rhianon Gelsomino. It doesn’t end there. More huge names in North America will join us at the Summit. More details to follow.
Both discussion panels will be streamed live, with participants tuning in from around the world. Details of how to join the stream will be available on DirtFish.com on Saturday.
With the panels concluded, the Summit turns to a celebration of women in motorsport. Guests will have the opportunity to experience rallying first hand by taking a thrill ride aboard one of the DirtFish Rally School Subarus.
Looking to take that experience further, they will be able to book a place on one of the All-Women classes run by the School.
Food trucks, music and entertainment are all provided by local businesswomen as DirtFish helps Snoqualmie demonstrate the perfect Pacific Northwestern welcome.
For DirtFish Women in Motorsport co-ordinator Josie Rimmer, Saturday is the culmination of months of work.
“The work really started on March 11 last year,” said Josie. “As soon as we finished the celebrations at last year’s Summit, we got together at the School and said: ‘OK, that was incredible… how can we make it better?’
“Bringing globally recognized, appreciated and loved women like Michèle and Pernilla to the Summit elevates us to another level. Having these women on the panel imparting their passion, their knowledge and their experience is truly the opportunity of a lifetime for the guests and for all of us.
“Being a truly international event is so important for us – we want to inspire the next generation of women right around the world. But, this is also an event for the Pacific Northwest and for America. Locally and nationally, we’re seeing the increase in participation. It’s fantastic.
“We introduced our All-Women classes in March last year and the response was amazing. The classes were selling out, literally in minutes. The demand was so big, we had to put on more and more classes.
“Women want in to motorsport and to rallying and that’s why we’re here. The purpose of the DirtFish Women in Motorsport Summit and all our March WiM activities is simple: to represent. We will show young women there is a place for them in the motorsport world, in so many roles. These women are strong, steadfast and making the sport better every single day.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am for this year’s Summit. Everything about it, the female-owned food trucks and local businesses, the raffle benefiting the Jessi Combs Foundation, the camaraderie and support that is always present in spaces like this. All of this is going to make Saturday a very special day.
“And don’t forget, admission is free. So, please, come and join us in person or on the live stream.”