This past Saturday, Fastimes Indoor Karting Center hosted the JMV Grand Prix for Cancer. This event is a fundraiser benefiting Stand Up To Cancer
and in honor of the memory of Roger Wethington
. Fans were given a chance to race against IndyCar drivers.
One organization that had representatives attending the event was Glass Hammer Racing (GHR). GHR was founded by Greg Gaich. The mission, according to the GHR website, is to develop and conduct introductory racing experiences geared towards young women, to expose young women to role models in all areas of motorsports, and support the advancement of young women in motorsports careers through scholarships and sponsorships.
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IndyCar driver, Pippa Mann has been teamed with GHR as a mentor and role model for the past year and a half. During the event, I was able to sit down with Pippa and ask her questions about GHR.
When asked what her role with GHR encompasses she stated she helps young women get started in all aspects of racing and is a mentor to them. She explained that she spends many hours making connections with them via Twitter and emails. An example occurred this past May. She met a young woman with future aspirations of becoming a professional photographer. Pippa helped her secure a photo credential to take photographs during the month of May at Indy.
Right now GHR is still a small organization but one of the goals is to get young women involved from STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields into various aspects of racing. When asked about the year ahead for GHR, she presented three areas of focus. First, target groups like the girl scouts to encourage young women to get involved in their introductory racing program, GHR Experience. Second, recruit other companies to become involved, invest in, and sponsor GHR drivers. Third, determine what drivers will be involved for the year and match the resources available so participants don't outweigh the resources available. Pippa shared, "I enjoy giving back and am not involved with GHR for monetary gain."
Looks like the GHR drivers are off to a strong start. Callie Wolsiffer, a micro sprint driver who is sponsored by GHR, showed she knows how to hustle a kart around the track posting an impressive lap time of 22.978 seconds. Her time was faster than IndyCar drivers Conor Daly, AJ Foyt IV, and even Pippa.
If you are interested in learning more about GHR, go to www.beatbyagirl.org
. They are doing great things to get young women interested and supported in the racing industry.