The V8 SuperUte Series is celebrating International Women’s Day by highlighting its efforts in breaking inclusivity barriers in Australian motorsport this year, with a record number of key roles being filled by women.
While the roles of racing driver, engineer and mechanic are common within the sport, 2023 will also see full-time key positions of Category Operations, Communications and Official Photographer being filled by experienced women to help drive the category forward ahead of an expanded grid taking to the track this year.
Sydney-based racing driver Ellexandra Best returns to the seat for Sieders Racing, while familiar faces in Krystal Doumos and Jasmin Gardener will work in various team mechanical and engineering roles.
Motorsport media veteran Filippa Guarna heads up Category Operations and Communications, with Tamara Jade Media once again appointed as official photographer for 2023.
Add to that the wider SuperUtes paddock of wives, partners and family members who contribute to team operations, logistics, admin and catering – these include Clare Woods, wife of WSM racer Craig Woods, Christine Sieders and Sylvia Coupland – category manager Luke Sieders validates the extensive ways women are helping the sport grow.
“SuperUtes has always been about inclusivity and having the best people for the job, no matter what,” said Sieders. “Our paddock is incredibly supportive and encouraging and we love nothing more than seeing anyone who’s enthusiastic about the sport come and develop their careers with us. So, if by having women in SuperUtes is inspiring more girls to take up STEM roles, learn new skills, and grow their careers, that’s a great legacy to build on.”
Guarna, who started her media career more than 20 years ago in the Supercars paddock as a journalist and television producer before moving overseas, was appointed to assist Sieders in mid-2022 after returning from the Middle East. Having run communications and television for international categories such as Global Touring Cars in South Africa, as well as operations and media for Formula 4 UAE, she is hoping that SuperUtes can set a positive example for what’s possible irrespective of gender.
“International Women’s Day isn’t about highlighting differences between men and women, but about providing inspiration and examples of success so other young girls know what is possible,” said Guarna. “When I first started in the business in the late 1990s, there were no female media operators whom I could look up to or be mentored by at all, so I’m thrilled to see so much opportunity now.
“I never dreamed to see a category have so many roles filled by competent women as we have in SuperUtes this year. Our photographer, Tamara Williams, is proof that you can turn a passion into a career if you work hard and are passionate to learn. She’s been growing her skills as part of our paddock for a few years now and is an integral part of our media team. Anything really is possible if you put your mind to it.”
The 2023 V8 SuperUte Series will commence at Barbagallo Raceway in April before heading to Sydney Motorsport Park in July for the sole SuperNight event of the season, before returning to Tailem Bend for the third round in August. The season wraps up with three back-to-back marquee events at Sandown, Bathurst and Gold Coast in late October.
Last year, ACDelco Sieders Racing Team’s Aaron Borg (#4 Colorado) was crowned series champion on the streets of the Gold Coast, while the Western Sydney Motorsport duo of Craig Woods and Ben Walsh finished second and third respectively outright. The six different round winners for 2022 included Borg, Woods, Walsh, Adam Marjoram, Ryal Harris, and David Sieders.
Tickets for all six rounds will be on sale via the official Repco Supercars Championship website here: https://www.supercars.com/2023-calendar/
2023 HALTECH V8 SUPERUTE SERIES CALENDAR
1. Perth SuperSprint, WA – April 28-30
2. Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight, NSW – July 28-30
3. OTR SuperSprint, The Bend, SA – August 18-20
4. Penrite Oil Sandown 500, Vic – September 15-17
5. Repco Bathurst 1000, NSW – October 5-8
6. Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500, Qld – October 27-29