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Racing Mentor

Saturday 08 July 2023

In British Grand Prix week, Motorsport UK is profiling women in our sport that drive the agenda forward.

Motorsport UK LGBTQ+ Committee member Jess Shanahan started her career as a motorsport journalist before a career change to run a race team. She quickly became aware that the landscape was difficult to navigate for many people, particularly those who lacked funding and needed support. It was the lack of clear pathways that led Jess to establish Racing Mentor in 2016, a helpful resource for anyone looking to get established in motorsport.

Racing Mentor educates racers and team owners on how to operate in motorsport, specifically how to raise funds to go racing. This is achieved through free content such as ebooks and templates as well as paid courses and coaching. Jess also regularly talks and leads training sessions at motorsport events across Europe. At the end of 2017, Jess released the book Get Paid to Race, which has since been sold all over the world and will be re-released with a revised version later this year.

Jess’ background in marketing and sales drew her away from journalism to sponsorship and she began to work closely with drivers and teams from karting and grassroots racing up to British GT and BTCC. It was from here she started the Porsche race team Turn Eight Racing. Sponsorship flowed in and other drivers began to ask how the Porsche was so heavily sponsored. Jess realised that many people were still looking to the old ways of securing sponsorship – ways that no longer work in the digital age.

Jess stepped away from the team and began to build something that gave racing drivers the tools and knowledge needed to secure sponsorship and stay on track. Through podcasts, easy-to-download resources such as pitch templates, information packs and tutorials, Racing Mentor is a one-stop platform that allows racers and teams to understand their value and pitch at the right level.

“I started Racing Mentor to support drivers as there is nothing more frustrating than seeing talented people unable to race because they lack the business skills needed to secure sponsorship,” explains Jess. “Everyone deserves a chance to race, and we give people the skills to do just that, through education, open conversation and continued learning. Over the past six years, Racing Mentor has helped racing drivers raise millions in sponsorship – it’s very rewarding to think we’ve helped people carry on with the dreams they may have otherwise thought impossible.”

Racing Mentor was recently awarded the title of Diversity & Inclusion Champion 2023 by Business Awards UK for its efforts in removing barriers to participation.

Visit Racing Mentor to learn more.