Yvette Kinkade’s first track day experience was some 10 years ago and it was memorable, but not in a good way. After taking part a couple of times, it was obvious to Yvette that the track day landscape was indeed unwelcoming and very intimidating, particularly for a woman driving a V8. So Yvette thought, “You know what, I can do this way better!” And that was the start of her amazing journey.
In the last eight years, Yvette and her team at Track Day Club have delivered a modern approach to track days by shifting the industry goal posts. They have created an all-inclusive community that is easily accessible and very welcoming, encouraging more women to participate and experience high performance driving and build confidence as they discover the limits of their car.
Participants at Track Day Club events are diverse, not only in age but the cars they drive and their experience. This ‘Club’ reinforces the achievement of an equal environment in which all participants can feel comfortable and not intimidated while accessing mentorship, friendship and fun surrounded by other like-minded men and women all enjoying not only the track time but a good time. Track Day Club offers participants so much more through value adding, nurturing, providing a highly valued experience, ensuring safety and compliance and always working to deliver ongoing participation for the future. Often now, the women participants at Track Day Club events drive the biggest horse-powered cars.
Late last year I attended a Track Day Club event at Wakefield Park, near Goulburn where there were 17 women participating in cars ranging from hot hatches to a Mercedes-AMG GLC43 were taking part in the ‘Women Only’ sessions. Some of the women have purchased dedicated track cars and others track their daily drives. But the one thing that they all had in common was the smile on their faces and the joy they felt from driving on the track.
Women like Rebecca who has purchased a 2019 Hyundai i30N hatchback specifically to use on the track. When I met Rebecca she told me the i30N was still basically brand new and that this was their second only track day event together. Rebecca’s daily car is an Audi Q7 and after hanging around a race track with her partner for about seven years she saw that more women were taking to the track and so she decided to give it a go herself.
“I absolutely loved my first Track Club Day. Yvette’s warmth and energy is infectious and, with her team of driver trainers, she has created such a supportive environment where the intimidation and fear has been removed. The in-car instruction that I received from Greg Boyle and Mechelle Seyhoun was hugely valuable. I can’t wait to get back out on the track to further hone my skills,” said Rebecca.
Jessica’s interest in motorsport began like many of us when from a young age she would watch motorsport on TV with her Dad and Pop. Jessica would beg her Dad whenever she could to head down to our local go kart track until she was old enough to participate in V8 experiences and rally car days. Then about three months ago when the family purchased their Ford Focus RS Jessica truly discovered her passion for racing.
“There is nothing like the thrill and adrenaline you get from hitting corners at speeds you would never imagine on the road or clocking speeds over 200kmh on the straight. I’m excited to see where the industry goes in the future as more women get involved and I can’t wait to be part of it!” Jessica told me.
Mother and daughter, Kim and Alena, were having a serious amount of fun at the event I attended driving their Holden Monaro CV8 and Golf GTI Mk7 respectively. Alena admits to having a “serious problem” when it comes to her enjoyment of horsepower whether it’s on a racehorse or in a race car. While Kim wants older women to realise that it is never too late to chase their dreams. She never imagined that at 53, she would be living her dream, racing her Monaro and having so much fun!
Another mother and daughter pairing who were at the Track Day Club event were Karina and Elanor driving their Mazda MX5 (pictured above in feature image). Karina purchased her little “Chipmunk” – a tiny 2.5L MX5 because it was a car that would suit a complete novice for track day events.
“Being on track, mixing it with people from all different walks of life with different cars and different budgets; is a wonderful way to increase my energy. I’m now bringing my daughter to the track, where she has enjoyed a few sessions as a passenger in a variety of people’s cars (that’s another fabulous reason to stay at Track Day Club – the people are super friendly and open to share their experience); and in 2020 she going to ‘hit the track’ in her V6 Ute,” said Karina.
Karina sees that there is a “rising tide of women at all levels, in all classes and types of events”, which is because in part due to the events like this being held by Track Day Club. If you have ever thought about having a go yourself driving on the track, then get in contact with Yvette via 0438 642 622 or firstname.lastname@example.org and she will make it happen for you! The dates for the ‘Women’s Only’ Track Day Club sessions in 2020 being held at Wakefield Park are below or visit their website trackdayclub.com.au for more information.
Saturday 7th March
Saturday 16th May
Saturday 26th July
Saturday 19th September
Saturday 28th November
Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.