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  • Writer's pictureBethany Barker

British driver breaking barriers for women in Motorsport

First Woman to Compete Full Time in the Indy NXT in 13 Years

Friday 2nd December 2022

 

Jamie Chadwick is set to be the next female driver to enter the US series, with the last full-time female driver being Pippa Mann, for Panther Racing in 2009. Chadwick’s move helps highlight just how rare it is to have a woman actively participate in motorsport.


Indy NXT is the junior open-wheel category just below IndyCar and will see the British diver join five NXT championship winners Andretti, run by Michael Andretti who states Chadwick’s “successful career speaks for itself….NXT gives Jamie the opportunity to continue her development in a new type of racing.” Chadwick will join Catie Munnings (Extreme E championship driver) in being Andretti’s second full-time female athlete and will help play a competitive role in the championship.


The 24-year-old will be returning to a mixed racing field and states this means “the talent pool is much greater so the level will naturally be higher.” Jamie expresses that “Putting myself up against some of the best drivers in the world is what I want to be doing, that’s where I want to see how I fare. Before the W Series that’s what I was doing, everything I was competing in was mixed, it’s what I grew up doing and to be back in that environment is something I am looking forward to.”


Chadwick has previously won three of the all-female W Series championships and had hoped to move into the F1 feeder series, F3, however, she wasn’t able to accumulate enough funding to progress into the series. But it is clear that she still has F1 as her goal: “Whatever the route ends up being, the ultimate goal is F1, however, that route is taken.”


The F1 series’ last female driver was in 1976 when Lella Lombardi participated in the Austrian GP in 1979 whereas IndyCar has had eight women drive in the championship since 2000. Chadwick who has, “followed the racing in the US a lot over the last few years” believes that “The key thing now is development, getting as much seat time and preparation so whatever comes the year after, Europe or the States, I am in a much better position for.” Her potential development will be shown in the 2023 series as she will drive a heavier and more powerful car for longer races than she has previously competed.


“There are a lot of opportunities in the States for many drivers and for female drivers, it seems to be a proven pathway, many female drivers have had success over there.” Chadwick will be joining Roman Grosjean’s sponsor DHL and aims to “bring more success to such a prestigious team”


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