Girls like motorsport too, you know?

Girls like motorsport too, you know.

I, for one, am growing tired of the petty little comments about being a female and liking racing.

It does not make me special, it does not make me any different to any other fan of speed.

Whilst we still may be the minority gender when it comes to motorsport, it does not require endless sexist comments and inappropriate remarks.

I’m not trying to play the victim here, I am just trying to be real.

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The horror when I opened this, from an official Formula 1 team’s Snapchat.

 

The raw speed, the aggression, the split second decisions – racing is my life. But hold up, I am a girl. I can’t like racing. I shouldn’t like racing. Racing is for men.

Why are we being shamed for our passion?

If I want to wear race gear, I will wear race gear. Like any other fan, I support teams, I like to wear and own merchandise. It is not attention seeking, it is simply expressing that I like racing. I will don on a Red Bull polo for me, and me only, to show my support. So I shall wear my merchandise proud, without replying to the comments. I don’t want to be told to take my bra off and I certainly will not go to bed with you.

It is not attention seeking, it is simply expressing that I like racing. I will don on a Red Bull polo for me, and me only, to show my support. So I shall wear my merchandise proud, without replying to the comments. I don’t want to be told to take my bra off and I certainly will not go to bed with you.

The derogatory comments are another thing. Through different publications, I’ve been named, by professional and respected journalists, everything from ‘that bitch’ to ‘hoe’ and ‘slag’. It’s not nice, not pleasant, and it is happening time and time again to females in the racing community and not just from those employed in the sport. It is an endless tiresome cycle which seems to be getting worse.

I really do struggle to apprehend the fascination and the surprise people have with ladies liking racing. It’s no different to men liking cooking. That is accepted, so why can’t this be?

It’s the 21st Century. Girls like cars. Deal with it.

Helena 🙂 xx

 

Suzi Perry: “Just be yourself”

“I tell you, I was talking about this the other day to somebody who works in television,” Suzi Perry, a motorsport broadcaster, begins. “We were discussing how different television presenting jobs are. They are literally night and day between shiny floor entertainment and autocue sport presenting.

“She works for Sky and she was saying people that work in entertainment were coming to look at how sports presenters work because it is completely different.”

Broadcasting is notoriously tough. But when you mix in live sport, where just about anything can happen, the bar gets raised even higher. You have to think and act on your feet, as well as making what you are saying appear extremely effortless. It is a juggling act and one you must perfect in order to make easy viewing.

Suzi Perry, who has worked in the profession for over 21-years, insists that you “just have to be yourself” which, of course, comes from knowing all of your facts. Granted that is no easy task in the ever-changing world of motorsport.

“I think the biggest challenge is always getting the story right,” Perry tells me. “I think in the media people are so fraught to get there first, but it is more important to get the facts straight.

“For me, the biggest challenge is getting the story right and then after that what you want to do is – in a sports area what you’re supposed to do is create entertainment – so you want to make it entertaining as well.

“In order to do that you need to be able to unlock information from whoever you’re talking to. It is finding the right way of getting the information you want in a fun and entertaining way.”

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Suzi Perry presented Formula 1 for the BBC.

 

Perry has had a long and successful career in presenting – most notable being the lead figure with BT Sport covering MotoGP and BBC1 presenting Formula 1.

“I wouldn’t say I get nervous but I get a rush of adrenaline and it’s physical. It is a shortness of breath and a slightly shaky hand sometimes.

“It is more about the anticipation of what is about to happen. I am still as excited today presenting as I was 21 years ago when I started.”

Perry acknowledges that she holds a role that many aspire to. Many young girls and boys strive to make a career out of sport presenting.

“When presenting MotoGP, really anything can happen. You cannot call anything. It is all very much about speculation and lots of ifs and buts,” she says.

“You know that you are just going to be treated to an incredible spectacle and you’re lucky enough to have a patch on your neck and you’re right there in the heart of the action. It is an extremely privileged position to be in.”

And the passion you feel is key. Perry believes so, in order to succeed in achieving your dream job. It is an intense and competitive world, but you have to love what you do.

“What you have to do is know your subject. And love your subject. If you do know and love what you are talking about, then you just have to be yourself and that’s it,” she tells me.

“I have given that advice to a few people. Natalie Quirk included, who is now presenting on BT Sport. I met her and she was 14. She came up to me and asked that question when I was in the pits doing Speedway for Sky back then.

“It is nice now how all these years later, those girls are going ‘oh yes, you! Now I am doing this, doing that and writing here.’ It is lovely to meet young girls that want to be involved in media and broadcasting.”

And I could not agree more…

Motoring version of Netflix launches in the UK

  • Motoring fans able to access more than 2,000 hours of premium automotive content, live and on demand
  • Racing highlights include European Le Mans series, Pirelli World Challenge, FIA Formula 3 European Championship and 24-hour Nurburgring
  • Coverage of special events including Goodwood  and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, complemented by original programming and live exclusives

Until now the news has been strictly embargoed but, finally, it can be revealed that the motoring of Netflix shall be launching in the UK and Europe as of today.

Motor Trend On Demand – as the platform is called – will house thousands of hours of motoring related content available to stream across all devices, the perfect package for any petrol head.

Millions of motorsport fans in the UK and Europe will now be able to choose and watch seemingly endless hours of live racing via their phones, tablets or desktop computers, including the 24-Hour Nurburgring, Blancpain GT series, FIA Formula 3, FIM Motorcycle Racing, Virgin Australia Supercars and the Pirelli World Challenge.

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Motor Trend On Demand

 

Motor Trend was launched in the US last year and has continued to expand unprecedentedly. As a result, it is making the jump across the ocean to the UK and beyond.

Speaking to Suzi Perry, she told me: “The motoring version of Netflix has worked really well in America. As a broadcaster, I can see that we are at a huge crossroads in terms of the way we digest content.

“You were talking about younger viewers watching motorsport and generally, they don’t switch on the TV. That has got to be catered for. Something like this streaming service is invaluable.

“I think it will be really popular in the UK and the rest of Europe as a go-to place to watch motorsport. There are thousands and thousands of hours of content and what better for a petrol head than to just be able to go to one place to see DTM whether that is live or highlights. They generate their own content as well – this is going to go really well.”

Valentino Rossi and Suzi Perry with crowd at FOS
Suzi sees herself as a petrol head, claiming Motor Trends On Demand to be ‘great’

 

The service will be available for a small fee, much like Netflix and other on-demand streaming services. Currently, it is difficult to watch motorsport all in one place. Motor Trend On Demand aims to change this going forward.

“It is really important because at the moment motorsport is all over the place in the UK and Europe,” Perry explains. “It’s on different channels and you’re paying different companies to watch. If you like watching different motorsport, then you have got to pay BT, you have got to pay Sky – at some point, it needs to be put and wrapped together in some way. In terms of streaming motorsport content, this is brilliant. This is great. I mean, why not?

“Netflix has been so hugely successful and now it is just the go-to place to watch movies, original content and that kind of thing. This will be exactly the same to people who like two wheels and four-wheel action. I can only see the market growing – this is a welcome platform for us in the UK and it couldn’t have come sooner.”

Music and motorsport: the perfect combination?

One of the world’s biggest pop stars – Justin Timberlake – is set to perform ahead of the US Grand Prix in October later this year. A crucial move to secure ticket sales for the event.

After the phenomenal success of last year’s Austin act Taylor Swift, the organisers of this season’s event have looked to go even better and greater.

Bobby Epstein, president of the Circuit of the Americas, says music artists see the weekend as a global stage and Timberlake “fits right in.”

Organisers behind the event last year signed up Swift to drive larger crowds to the big race and introduce more people to the sport, and they are hoping to do the same with Timberlake.

“Last year did what we hoped it would do, which is not only enhance an already great event but also give us the chance to expose a lot of new people to the sport,” COTA chairman Bobby Epstein tells Reuters. “And it worked. I think where we saw a big change was in the average number of tickets sold per transaction, which told me that families were buying. And so I think we’ll see that continue.”

Timberlake will play to an expected enormous crowd on 21st October, ahead of Sunday’s race. The booking comes at a critical time in Formula 1 as ticket sales of the sport appear to be struggling.

2017 has already lost the German Grand Prix after reports circulated in November last year that the race weekend would be cancelled.

There are other races where their futures’ remain uncertain too, another dent to the sport. The German race is the third event as of late to make headlines about departing the calendar, following Malaysia’s announcement that the 2018 race will be its last, while Singapore is also reportedly thinking heavily about its F1 future.

With race fees on the rise, tracks are doing their utmost to attract fans to their events.

Timberlake has a huge following, being one of the most successful solo artists of all time. His appearance will be sure to bring in a different audience to the US race.

Going forward, it seems essential for organisers to take music artists into consideration. Granted that not all events can afford such big bookings, but it is at least something to keep in mind as Formula 1 enters the next generation of the sport.

With social media more prevalent than ever, music and F1 shall make a perfect partnership for the sport to grow. Now it is vital to appeal to a wider audience. COTA have caught onto that, demonstrating how to put on a show for all.

Music and motorsport are a well-paired couple, securing the all-important ticket sales for those who are on the fence about attending.

Artists have often featured at races, although no one, arguably, has set the standard higher than the organisers of the Austin GP.

One thing remains certain, F1 and music have to keep collaborating.