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Accelerating change: ‘Women Behind the Wheel’ drive into Penticton Speedway

The track hosts the Women Behind the Wheel Racing Event on Sunday, Aug. 20
The Western News’ Tracey Anderson racing in her No. 77 Hornet car at the Penticton Speedway in 2023. (Nathan Penner photo)

Not only will cars be racing around the Penticton Speedway this weekend, but barriers will be broken down, too.

The track hosts the Women Behind the Wheel Racing Event on Sunday, Aug. 20.

“The women in our racing community are truly trailblazers,” said Ingo Seibert, co-owner of Penticton Speedway.

“They are pushing boundaries and challenging norms in an arena that has traditionally been male-dominated.

“As a racing community, we recognize the importance of creating a more inclusive and diverse environment.”

Along with seasoned racers and those taking their first steps on the track, the event will have panel discussions, Q&A sessions, hands-on driving experiences, and networking opportunities from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

“Our goal is to empower and inspire, and we can’t wait to see these talented women take the wheel and make their mark,” Seibert added.

Among those set to be featured at the event is the Western News’ Tracey Anderson, who recently discovered her passion for the sport after attending a similar networking event in the spring.

Since then, Anderson has appeared in multiple regular-season races driving her No. 77 Hornet car.

“Exhilarating,” she said when asked to describe the feeling of racing around the iconic local track.

“It’s amazing, so in the moment and it happens so fast.”

Anderson says she looks forward to seeing some fresh faces come out to the track for the women-themed event Sunday morning.

Between 10 and 15 women are expected to get behind the wheel and participate.

Anderson says the Penticton Speedway, has been supportive of her newfound love for racing all summer long.

“They’ve created this environment, especially for women, where it’s comfortable and like one big family,” she said. “To have people teaching me, mentoring me and guiding me has been incredible.”

This weekend’s Women Behind the Wheel Racing event follows the Avion RS1 Series on Saturday, Aug. 19, which features more than 25 identically built and prepared vehicles going head-to-head. Elisa Alexis, who made her debut in the series in 2020, will be among those to race on Saturday night before the special event on Sunday.

“The opportunity to connect with new racers, especially women, is something I jumped at the chance to do,” Alexis said.

“We have many drivers in the RS1 series but would love to see more at all levels. Having an event like this can take the gatekeeping of racing away and really show new drivers they can do it.”

Hailey Prokop, from the popular hit-to-pass series, will also be in attendance to get behind the wheel and answer fan questions.

READ MORE: Penticton Speedway pays ‘tribute to greatness,’ honours Okanagan racing icon


About the Author: Logan Lockhart

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