Motorsport is one of the increasingly few sporting activities where women are hugely under-represented when it comes to the list of competitors. But looking behind the scenes, there are countless women actively involved in motorsports globally. They organise events, are active in race control, as team managers, mechanics, engineers, in marshalling and fulfilling a host of other important roles. The same is true for the Blancpain GT Series. In the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup alone, there are six women who inspire others. Meet the team managers of the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup:
Sarah Ahmed, Team Coordinator ROWE Racing
Education: Master of Arts – Politics and Communication
Hobbies: Snowboarding, Mountain biking
Claim to fame: I would say that dedication and enthusiasm for my hobbies and interests is what characterises me the most.
Favorite quote: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” (Martin Luther King, Jr.)
What inspired you to work in motorsports?
“Motorsport has been my biggest passion ever since my childhood. There was almost no big race I did not follow from home or at the racetrack as a spectator and obviously, I always dreamed of turning my hobby into my profession. After I finished my Masters studies I got the chance to do so and joined the Rowe Racing Team at the beginning of this year. So, this is the first season I´m finally working in motorsports living my dream and I enjoy it every day.”
Briefly describe your role and your tasks during a race weekend.
“During a race weekend, I´m first of all taking care of the communication with the organisers and officials on behalf of the team. Furthermore I´m responsible for the organisational tasks all around the team, starting with the travel planning up to the creation of the team and drivers schedule to make sure everything and everybody is in place on time. Apart from that and much more I´m handling the social media activities for our team to inform the fans about our work and the action on track.”
What was the biggest challenge you ever faced?
“Since this is the first season I´m working in motorsports, every race is still a challenge, because there is always something new around the corner. But obviously the Total 24 Hours of Spa was one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced so far. As the reigning champions from last year the pressure and expectations were high and going through the emotional ups and downs during a 24-hour race was intense.”
What was your most memorable moment?
“My most memorable moment was the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring Nordschleife this year. We were fighting for the podium all race long and with only 30 minutes to go it started raining heavily. Everybody struggled to stay on track but our driver managed it brilliantly. I will never forget the feelings after we saw the chequered flag in P2 and all the hard work paid off.”
Are there enough women working in motorsports?
“Of course not! If you look around in the paddock there are only a few women working inside the teams. But I´m sure there are many more women out there which would love to follow their passion as well and join the world of motorsports, they just need to be brave enough and give it a try.”
Female racing drivers who left a mark in the motorsports world just to name a few: Michelle Mouton, Jutta Kleinschmidt, Pat Moss, Janet Guthrie, Maria Costello, Denise McCluggage, Lyn St. James, Sabine Schmitz, Susie Wolff.
Which one is your favourite?
“I would vote for Michelle Mouton, but have great respect for Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams.”