Mark Winterbottom supports V8 Supercars search for female drivers

V8 Supercars champion Mark Winterbottom has backed the series' push to fund a full-time female driver, especially if it can attract someone of Formula E racer Simona de Silvestro's calibre

Mark Winterbottom supports V8 Supercars search for female drivers

The Swiss driver and local Renee Gracie became the first females to start the series' Bathurst 1000 since 2009 last year.

That wave of publicity has prompted a renewed V8 Supercars push to have a female on the grid full-time, and the series is believed to have secured approximately AU$1 million (£490,000) in sponsorship to help any team put together an entry, almost certainly for 2017 at the earliest.

Melinda Price and Kerryn Brewer alternated events in the last regular female entry, a Larry Perkins-run Commodore, across 1997 and '98.

"I think it's good for the sport if they can find the right girl to come in and race," Winterbottom told Autosport.

"Simona at Bathurst was very, very good. I think if she had a full season, she would be very good.

"Her times for the first time being at Bathurst - first time in that car, with limited running - were really, really quick.

"I think it would be cool for the series to get someone in, and they need to be good and competitive and I think she would be, because she was really impressive.

"It would be interesting and I think the sport needs it, because our following is almost 50-50, male to female.

"Globally, you have Danica [Patrick] over in NASCAR, Simona in Formula E - they're good enough, you've just got to find the right girl that is the right fit to come into the category to do it."

While de Silvestro and Gracie were classified 21st at Bathurst, 40 laps down after Gracie tagged a wall, de Silvestro impressed onlookers with her approach, in a Ford Falcon run by Winterbottom's Prodrive outfit.

"Simona was in there asking, 'why is my car understeering?', 'what do I do here?', asking about brake pressures, she wanted to race," Winterbottom added.

"With more laps she would be very good."

Gracie and Chelsea Angelo will both race in the second-tier Dunlop Series this year, and 2017 would appear the earliest opportunity for a female to enter V8 Supercars full-time, with the '16 grid all-but set.

shares
comments
Alexandre Premat gets Triple Eight/Red Bull V8 Supercars chance

Previous article

Alexandre Premat gets Triple Eight/Red Bull V8 Supercars chance

Next article

Craig Lowndes returns from injury in V8 Supercars testing

Craig Lowndes returns from injury in V8 Supercars testing
Load comments
How taming his temper shaped Supercars' slow-burn star Plus

How taming his temper shaped Supercars' slow-burn star

His decision to leave Brad Jones Racing was the biggest shock of the Australian Supercars silly season so far. But for Nick Percat, it comes as the culmination of a personal journey that has made him into one of the most rounded drivers in the series, now in search of a seat that can make him a champion

Supercars
Sep 16, 2021
Why replacing Supercars' GOAT with a teenager is worth the risk for T8 Plus

Why replacing Supercars' GOAT with a teenager is worth the risk for T8

On the face of it, picking an 18-year-old rookie to replace arguably the greatest Supercars driver of all time is a risky move. But as Jamie Whincup takes up a team principal role and hands his car to Broc Feeney, it's one that he is confident will be rewarded in the fullness of time - time which wasn't afforded to Whincup in his early days

Supercars
Aug 31, 2021
How Randle went from fighting cancer to battling for Supercars contention Plus

How Randle went from fighting cancer to battling for Supercars contention

After his fledgling career was paused by a battle with testicular cancer, Thomas Randle then had to wrestle with finding a drive in Supercars after he got the all-clear. It's been a long road for the Melbourne native but, after two lengthy battles, he's finally got a full-time drive to look forward to

Supercars
Jun 25, 2021
How crisis talks over Supercars’ Gen3 future could leave it without a paddle Plus

How crisis talks over Supercars’ Gen3 future could leave it without a paddle

With Supercars’ Gen3 era on the horizon, a shift is set to take place – in more ways than one – but, as has become clear in recent weeks, the plan to bin the stick and use paddles with electronic assisted shift has been met with fierce opposition

Supercars
May 23, 2021
Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske? Plus

Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske?

OPINION: Roger Penske's operation helped lift Dick Johnson's faltering Ford team back to the top of Australian tin-tops. But, despite The Captain's departure, along with star driver Scott McLaughlin, there's no reason to expect an imminent decline from DJR

Supercars
Feb 26, 2021
Why Whincup's next move is no calculated gamble Plus

Why Whincup's next move is no calculated gamble

Supercars' most successful team of the past 15 years is set for a radical shakeup next year when Jamie Whincup retires from driving and takes over the reins at Triple Eight. But the team's outgoing boss Roland Dane has full faith that he'll be up to the task

Supercars
Feb 5, 2021
The top 10 Supercars drivers of 2020 Plus

The top 10 Supercars drivers of 2020

In a year of few constants, the Australian Supercars championship could be relied upon for its usual blend of rough and tumble racing with a V8 soundtrack. But who were its top performers in 2020?

Supercars
Dec 27, 2020
The 'lifetime deal' that broke down in double quick time Plus

The 'lifetime deal' that broke down in double quick time

Last year, David Reynolds signed a decade-long deal with Erebus, seemingly pledging his long-term Supercars future to the team. One year on, "Decade Dave's" contract has been reduced to tatters, with an undercurrent of discontent having brewed in 2020

Supercars
Dec 18, 2020