Adds Blundell: "As a Consultant to Formula Woman I have been involved since the beginning of the project and it’s been a privilege to be part of a concept which is breaking new ground in such an exciting, high profile sport. I’m really looking forward to playing a role in the future development of Formula Woman and contributing to its undoubted success."
Formula Woman has also gained the support of Richard Burden MP, Parliamentary advisor on motorsport to the Sports Minister, who says: "The common perception of motor racing is often one of ‘boys with their toys’. Formula Woman challenges that in a very direct way. I know that the Government is very keen to see access to all sports widened to those who have a lot to contribute but who, for different reasons, feel excluded from them. By launching this competition to find the woman motor racing champion of tomorrow, Formula Woman has the potential to raise the profile of women in motorsport as a whole. That is why I welcome the Formula Woman project and I will certainly be talking further to the Minister of Sport about it."
Formula Woman will be open to any female aged 18 or over who holds a UK drivers licence and has not previously competed in motorsport. Prospective drivers will be invited to apply for a driver assessment and successful applicants will be requested to attend one of the assessment days, which will be held at a number of race circuits throughout the UK between May and July 2003. At the initial qualifying stage selected candidates will be put through tests of driving, fitness level, reactions, personality and presentational skills as Formula Woman sets out to find the all round best 16 female drivers for the Mazda RX-8 Formula Woman Championship. It is not just the best drivers who are being sought, for the Formula Woman driver needs to be able to work within a team, be professional and know how to deal with the media – all necessary ingredients in top level motorsport.
The driver selection programme will be followed by an intensive driver training course through the winter of 2003 in preparation for the 10-12 round Championship to be held at selected UK racing circuits in 2004 (subject to Motor Sport Association approval). The Mazda RX-8 race cars to be used for the Championship will be identically prepared race-tuned versions of the new road car set to be introduced into the UK in summer 2003. Full details of the Championship rules, regulations and format details will be provided as these are finalised.
Women interested in taking part in Formula Woman can register via the Formula Woman registration telephone line on 09066 360000. Calls to the registration line are charged at £1.50p per minute and will last a maximum of two minutes. Callers must be 18 or over and must be the bill payer or have the bill payer’s permission.
Charges may be more from mobile phones. 10% of all call revenues will go to the Formula Woman nominated charities. Full entry details are also available on the Formula Woman website at www.formulawoman.comPublished 10 January 2003