Female initiative Dare To Be Different made its official FIA World Rallycross debut on Friday (25th May) when 100 schoolgirls descended on legendary Silverstone circuit for the first-ever D2BD at a ‘Speedmachine’ event.
The girls, all from local schools and aged between 8 and 11 years, were invited for a close-up and personal insight into the exhilarating world of motorsport as a ‘taster’ for what a career in this vibrant industry could be like.
This unique D2BD event was the perfect combination of hands-on activities and spectator experience, encompassing;
- A real-life Pit-Stop Challenge where the girls worked in teams to change a wheel against the clock in the iconic Silverstone pits, followed by a chance to feel real speed in the Playseat simulators.
- Media interview tutorials with Sky F1 personalities
- A guided tour of a Force India Formula 1 car.
- An entertaining, educational and team-building exercise to construct a hovercraft, assisted by National flagship programme STEMnet (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network)..
- A reaction-time test with the Pirelli Batak Board.
- A lesson in life-saving resuscitation techniques and vital aspects regarding health and safety.
As well, the F1 In Schools Programme – f1inschools.co.uk – was there to showcase its inspirational learning resources.
Friday was made even more special by the surprise visit of World Rallycross star Johan Kristoffersson, who spoke to the awe-struck young audience about his racing career and what it takes to become a World Champion.
The Swedish racing superstar said, “It was great to speak to the Dare To Be Different girls and to answer their questions. I think in motor racing, everything is about being a team – no-one can be a World Champion by themselves, we all work together to make it happen – mechanics, engineers, designers are all part of the success. If you are a girl or a boy, it’s not important, it’s all about passion and hard work.”
Dare To Be Different founder Susie Wolff says “Friday marked yet another first for D2BD – and it’s always great to be able to showcase at a global Championship event.
Susie continues, ” I am delighted with the progress that D2BD has made in what is only our third year. With the invaluable FIA support taking us forward, we have already been able to make great strides in new territories such as Germany and Australia and my hope is that this will continue – ultimately the goal is to have representation in as many parts of the world as possible.”