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International Women’s Day: Introducing Hope Wood

International Women’s Day: Introducing Hope Wood

Hope Wood is a rising star, coming up through Daytona’s ranks. Aged just 16 years old, Hope has been visiting Daytona Sandown Park since June 2021, and has raced in over 100 events. She races in a DMAX kart and has racked up 22 wins and 67 podium finishes in that time.

Her best time around Sandown Park in a DMAX is a staggering 46.35 – just .2 of a second off Formula One’s Carlos Sainz Jr‘s time recorded at Daytona’s Esher venue.

We caught up with Hope to find out her motorsport ambitions and what inspires her:

When did your passion for motorsports start?

“From a young age I was playing on our huge four lane family Scalextric circuit. When I was older I got in a kart for the first time on holiday and fell in love immediately and I’ve never looked back since. I guess it’s in my blood – my father was the Chief Instructor at the Hendon Police Driving School for 5 years and he has encouraged me from the start.”

Who’s your motorsporting hero?

“This is a tough one, there are so many Formula 1 greats such as Ayrton Senna, Jenson Button and Niki Lauda. However I would have to chose Lella Lombardi, one of two female drivers to ever qualify for Formula 1 and she is the only woman who has ever scored points in F1.”

Do you have any advice for girls interested in pursuing motorsports?

This is not just a boys’ sport, don’t be put off by some boys’ aggressive driving and behaviour towards you. Get in a kart and give it a go!”

How can to motorsport industry do better to empower female drivers?

“I think it would be nice if there were some opportunities made for girls to have their own sessions so that they could share experiences and encourage each other. Maybe some competitions for girls might attract some of the more nervous young girls who would like to get involved but see motorsport as totally male dominated. However when experienced enough get out there and take on the boys!

What are your ambitions in motorsport?

“To get as far as I can towards being a Formula 1 driver.”

Any other comments?

“Talking to other female karters, there seems to be no structured pathway, help or opportunities for girls to progress from karts into cars. Some guidance would be really useful.”

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