New season, new frontiers for Porsche Club Motorsport Boxster Cup

Thursday 30 March 2023

This weekend, as the national racing scene gets underway, there will be some additions to the paddock, and none more distinctive – or historic – than the new driving trio competing for SW Engineering in the Porsche Club GB Woods Foodservice Boxster Club Championship.

SW Engineering will field three female rookie drivers; Jess Wilkinson, Sarah Wood and Zoe Kyle-Henney. The line-up marks the first all-female entry to compete in the championship, which kicks off at Donington Park on 1st April.

Sarah, a barrister by day, has followed the sport for years but was encouraged to give track racing a go by her father and partner. Jess, who works in international business, moved from western Canada to the UK in 2019. She embraced racing after experiencing the thrill of a track day, while biomedical science graduate Zoe has built on her family’s long links with the sport: father Peter has competed in Porsche Carrera Cup GB while brother Matt made his racing debut in 2019. Competing with the very same SW Engineering, he won his class and the Porsche Club Championship overall in 2021 and was instrumental in SW Engineering securing the Teams Championship.

Together with SW Engineering co-founder Ellie Bartley and Mandy Sear, Porsche Championship Coordinator, they are growing proof that motorsport is open to anyone who has a real passion for the sport, regardless of gender or background.

“There are so many opportunities available to women in motorsport, both on the technical and marketing side as well as on track,” Sarah comments. “I think it’s important to try and convey the message to young women that this is no longer just about the men having all the fun, and the best way to do that is to be involved.”

“Motorsport has several barriers to entry; gender shouldn’t be one of them,” Jess adds. “Everyone in the sport should want to empower girls and women with the confidence to have a go, as it expands the market and creates opportunities for everyone in the sport.”

Mostly, however, it’s about having fun, as Zoe adds: “I see no gender barriers. Everyone has been very welcoming in the paddock and are very keen to see me succeed in motorsport. Let’s get out there and have fun!”

After the first round at Donington, the team moves to Brands Hatch, which will be special again for a number of reasons. The team is based in Sussex, close to the Kent track, and Sarah has a close connection with Motorsport Vision owner Jonathan Palmer.

“Sarah came to see me seeking a bit of advice about how to pursue the idea of going racing, and to her great credit she’s picked up the ball and run with it. I have no doubt in my mind that Sarah and the team will be terrific ambassadors and role models for others wanting to get on the starting grid at circuits like Brands Hatch and Donington Park,” Jonathan said.

“I look forward to seeing them compete, and I would encourage anyone who’s thinking about giving it a go to get out there and embrace the opportunity, regardless of worrying about how good they might be.

“There are many opportunities out there for women to go out racing and this is evident by Sarah’s story. The Porsche Boxster Cup is a great championship in which to develop racing skills and confidence plus, most importantly, have a lot of fun! Of course the whole motorsport paddock is accessible to all, whether that’s as a driver, engineer or any other role. It’s important we highlight the success stories and the ways for women to get into the sport across all disciplines.”

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More information on female participation in the sport can be found here.