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Wolff: Formula 1 no longer a man’s world

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Former Williams test driver Susie Wolff believes that Formula 1 is no longer a man’s world thanks to the increasing numbers of women working in the paddock and enjoying high-profile roles.

Wolff became the first woman in 22 years to take part in a grand prix weekend when she represented Williams in practice for the 2014 British Grand Prix.

Wolff took part in a further three practice sessions before announcing last month that she would be retiring from motorsport at the end of 2015.

Despite never starting a grand prix, Wolff did a great deal to aid the profile of women in F1, as have the likes of Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn and Williams deputy boss Claire Williams.

Wolff believes that the increased presence of women in F1 will help to inspire future generations of women looking to work in motorsport.

“People tell me it’s a man’s world but it’s not any more,” Wolff told MotorSportsTalk. “There are many fantastic women working not only within Formula 1 but in many other different categories.

“I think we just need to celebrate them and make sure that we use them on the platform that we have now to inspire the next generation.

“I think we need more little girls starting at a young age so that the best rise to the top, and of course we just need to maybe give a little bit more attention and exposure to women who are doing a great job.

“There are some out there who are actually in lower categories very competitive. In my career, if I look back I was given two big chances: first with Mercedes-Benz in German touring car championship and then with Williams.

“We’ve got to get these girls getting chances and I will definitely dedicate some time and energy to helping them.”

IndyCar’s Vasser-Sullivan expand into IMSA for 2019

James Sullivan and Jimmy Vasser. Photo IndyCar
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Not even one year after returning to the IndyCar ranks, Vasser-Sullivan Racing is taking AIM at the IMSA world, you might say.

While team co-owners Jimmy Vasser and James “Sulli” Sullivan will continue to partner with Dale Coyne Racing on the IndyCar side, they expanded their holdings Tuesday, announcing a partnership with AIM Autosport to campaign a new two-car Lexus-backed RC F GT3 effort in IMSA’s GT Daytona class.

The new team – named AIM Vasser-Sullivan – will replace 3GT Racing, which was part of Lexus’ sports car program launch in 2016. It will announce its two drivers in the coming weeks, the team said.

“Sulli and I are excited and looking forward to entering a new chapter in our racing careers,” Vasser said in a media release. “I have driven sports cars before, but my career was pretty much limited to the 24 Hours of Daytona, including a ‘class’ win in 1992 and second overall in 2008.

“The AIM Vasser Sullivan team, with the support of Lexus and our sponsors, has the tools to get the job done and we are looking forward to this new challenge.”

Lexus has made significant progress in its first two seasons in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition, having earned a combined two race wins, five poles and finished third in the 2018 GTD Manufacturer point standings.

Vasser and Sullivan were part of the ownership group of KVSH Racing in IndyCar from 2011 through 2016 before the organization folded.

They also owned Tony Kanaan’s 2013 Indianapolis 500-winning car.

After sitting out the 2017 season, Vasser, a former CART champion, and Sullivan rejoined forces this past February, just before the start of the 2018 IndyCar season, partnering with Coyne to form a satellite team led by driver Sebastien Bourdais, who previously drove for KVSH.

Bourdais kicked off the new team’s effort with a win in the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. He finished seventh in the overall season standings.

AIM Vasser Sullivan will have two home bases for its IMSA program: AIM’s current facility in Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada, as well as a new U.S. shop in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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