The AASA continues to foster the participation of enthusiastic female motoring enthusiasts, sanctioning an all-women’s track day to take place at Wakefield Park this Sunday, 26 July.
The track day has been organised by Australia’s only female track day operator and director – Yvette Kinkade, who runs the Track Day Club organisation.
Since starting Track Day Club in 2012, Kinkade has prided herself on providing enjoyable track day experiences for drivers of varying abilities and is particularly passionate about welcoming more women into grass-roots motorsport.
Kinkade said her motivation was fuelled through her own negative experiences.
“My first track day experience was memorable; unfortunately, not in a good way,” Kinkade said.
“After participating a couple of times, it was apparent the track day landscape was intimidating and indeed unwelcoming. As a participant, I found myself being humoured and belittled; even the car I drove became the conversation of ridicule.
“Luckily for me, it enabled the development of a purposeful mission to ensure every person can experience inclusivity within motorsport, regardless of their car or gender. And that was the start of this fantastic journey.”
Since 2013, Kinkade has run at least two women-only events each year and has also created some complementary off-track functions, such as the Educate, Inform, Inspire seminar, which featured a range of high-profile guest speakers.
Kinkade is also developing a five-part Women’s Success Program, which will be launched in 2021. The program will encourage more women on track through participation, education, mindset, mentorship and empowerment.
The women-only events have proven to be an effective entry point for women wishing to become involved in motorsport and Kinkade is proud of some drivers who have progressed from Track Day Club events to higher levels of the sport.
“One of the things that gives me satisfaction is seeing women who’ve started at Track Day Club events and are now achieving success in competitive events,” Kinkade said.
“Corrine Virag started off at Track Day Club events and is now racing full-time in the NSW Production Touring Cars Championship – she finished third in her class and 10th outright last year in her rookie season.
“We’ve also had Renee Walsh who was second in the NSW Road Racing Club Championship last year, Karina Santolin who has won the Mazda MX5 Class 1 Ladies title the last two years, Mechelle Sahyoun who has won titles in the Southern Sporting Car Club and Jacqueline Taylor who has competed at Challenge Bathurst.”
Virag, Sahyoun and Taylor will all work as driver coaches this weekend, while participants will also be in line for giveaways from Disc Brakes Australia and Bare Body Beauty Co.
Other benefits for this weekend’s entrants include technical support from DBA, Prime Race Tyres, SR Performance and Euro Kustoms and Detailed4U, along with advanced driver development and race-car hire from RaceAway Track Time and the opportunity to access aerial footage from Geodrones Australia.
Kinkade said support from the AASA has been instrumental in the success of Track Day Club events.
“Since I started Track Day Club in 2012, most of my events have been permitted by the AASA and they have always been very supportive,” she said.
“They’re constantly improving and looking at ways to make processes as easy as possible for customers. Their input has been imperative in our events being so successful.”
Ultimately, the priority for Kinkade is ensuring all the participants leave with a smile on their face.
“Women’s events are far less intimidating, more laid back, and provide a valuable sense of community, friendship, mentorship, and support with like-minded women,” she said.
“When you are in the car, it’s an opportunity to forget about everything else. Nothing else matters except you driving that car – it’s empowering and exhilarating.
“I believe there is a little enthusiast in all of us; you just need the right environment to unleash it!”
For more information on Track Day Club Women’s Track Days or to register for an upcoming event, visit the website here: http://trackdayclub.com.au/womens-track-days-events/