WIMCanada director proudly joins motorsport panel
We are so proud to celebrate the resounding success of the DirtFish Women in Motorsport Summit - at which WIMCanada was proud to be represented by our director Leanne Junnila! Leanne was joined by a panel of serious motorsport royalty, including the incomparable Michèlle Mouton - taking the stage to lead the charge this weekend. The event was filled with starstruck fans, motorsport enthusiasts, and women from around the world all invested in the future of female participation in motorsport.
With the event attended by hundreds in person, and livestreamed to thousands of DirtFish youtube subscribers, there's no other way to say it - the Women in Motorsport summit was a powerful event. This social hub brought together so many important faces from the female motorsport scene, and fostered a renewed interest in motorsport for many women in the audience.
DirtFish rally school | A perfect setting for the Women in Motorsport summit
For the uninitiated, you may be wondering about DirtFish rally school - and we can't blame you - they set the stage for this amazing event in such a unique way, with a stellar team of personnel and a facility that draws onlookers like a magnet to the thrill of racing. Established in 2010, DirtFish is a rally driving school that caters to both individuals and groups, making the excitement and raw energy of rally driving more accessible than ever. Whether you're interested in a more tail-happy rear-wheel-drive Subaru BRZ, or an all-wheel-drive beast like the Subaru WRX STI, DirtFish has programs that build confidence, car control and technique like no other driving school.
One of the stellar panelists at the Women in Motorsport summit, Michelle Miller, is a senior rally instructor at DirtFish and had this to share: "Teaching feeds my soul in a way that nothing else really does, and it's incredibly rewarding to take someone - particularly someone who's never had a car sideways before, and be part of that moment with them ... it's absolutely wonderful." As one of the most exhilarating, experiential learning outlets for young women to get involved in rally and motorsport, it's clear that DirtFish is making huge strides for the motorsport community and changing lives in the process.
Star-studded panel joined by WIMCanada director Leanne Junnila
Among the panel of amazing female motorsport representatives at this event was our very own WIMCanada director Leanne Junnila! Leanne was featured in both the livestreamed event and a separate DirtFish post-event podcast, in which she shared some key insights about her history in motorsport, the female side of the industry, and what it takes to get more women involved in motorsport. Delving into her journey to motorsport success and becoming an FIA representative, she shared stories of humble beginnings in autocross, moving to rally co-driving, and the organic path that brought her to where she is today. "It's about trying to show people where those pathways are ... when you start at your local club, it's really just about connecting women with other women who have those roles - to bridge those gaps as you want to move up in the sport. - It's about building that global community, and linking us up with eachother."
Getting involved in motorsport | Connecting with the community
If there was one central theme to the Women in Motorsport summit, it was the recognition and representation of strong women in the industry, as well as fostering a growing female community in the sport. As shared by Josie Rimmer, organizer and host of the summit: "Regardless of gender - if you work hard, you should be there. The space needs you ... We owe it to ourselves to believe that we can do this stuff." Putting action behind their sentiments, many of the speakers at the summit offered great opportunities for women to get involved in motorsport, from contacting local clubs, to building and leveraging a network in the space, to proactive participation and self-advocacy. The legendary Michèlle Mouton continued the positivity in looking forward on the future of female participation in motorsport, saying "I can see today that women get more support - and it's the only way ... I can see the change on that, more women are accepted today."
Be sure to check out the DirtFish website for more amazing content and coverage from the Women in Motorsport summit - and don't forget to subscribe to the WIMCanada newsletter to stay connected with us and keep up to date on events and opportunities to be involved in motorsport!