Into Speed initiative welcomes more women into hillclimbing

Tuesday 30 April 2024

Saturday, 6 April was the first event in the Into Speed programme, a new initiative launched by the British Women Racing Drivers’ Club (BWRDC) to try motorsport for the first time, held at Harewood Hillclimb. 

Into Speed centres around the hillclimbing discipline, during which drivers compete against the clock in their very own road car. Motorsport UK is supporting the programme as part of its ongoing commitment to increase female participation throughout the sport. 

The 15 attendees were introduced to first stages of sitting in a car, timing and safety, walking the track and driving the hillclimb course under the guidance of an instructor. The pathway aims to give a clear, friendly and cumulative introduction for women of all ages. 

A second day is scheduled for 21 May at Curborough Sprint Course where participants can start to dial into their driving style with one-to-one tuition from BWRDC competitors and other expert driving tutors. 

The final stage will be the chance to enter an event with the full support of a BWRDC mentor. Throughout the process participants will also be introduced to the different roles available throughout motorsport, including stewards, engineers, media and marshals. 

The events will take place at Shelsley Walsh (Worcestershire) on 4 May, Prescott Hill (Gloucestershire) on 8 June and Harewood Hill (Yorkshire) on 3 August. The BWRDC will likewise guide women through the acquisition of a racing licence, with the support of Motorsport UK. 

A representative fee will be payable for each day to cover the entry fees. Participants must be willing to use their own road car for the driving tuition days and any competitive events. 

Caroline Ryder, BWRDC Vice Chair, member of the Motorsport UK Women in Motorsport Committee and a hillclimb veteran herself, commented: “Today was born out of a recognition that anyone can get into hillclimbing and get started in the sport, in particular from the BWRDC’s perspective we want to get more women just to have a go and see how they get on. Today was the first step of that, and a chance to have a go – if you’ve ever felt like it, it’s great fun!” 

Jessica Runicles, Head of Sustainability for Motorsport UK, added: “Initiatives like Into Speed are female run events that support women to just have a go in motorsport, get out there, see if they like it in a very safe, friendly environment, before getting involved in the wider sport. Harewood Hill was the first in our series of women-only hillclimbing events, and we hope that more aspiring female drivers will join us and our motorsport community.” 

More information can be found here and don’t miss the action from the day’s event on Motorsport UK TV.