Female engineering students at Oulton Park posted on 30 June 2011
National Motorsport Week event promotes career opportunities in one of the UK’s most successful industries.
Three female students at Mid-Cheshire College were given an insight into careers in motorsport at Oulton Park recently. The day, which was organised as part of National Motorsport Week, aimed to challenge the perception that motorsport is a male-dominated industry whilst showcasing some of the opportunities available.
Carol Spencer, Samantha Royle and Louise Doyle spent the morning working on cars used for Oulton Park’s driving experiences, including single seaters, rally cars and BMW M3s. Supervised by Oulton Park’s female Engineering Team Leader Sophy Owen, they were rewarded in the afternoon by enjoying some of the driving experiences on offer at the Cheshire circuit, including YoungDrive! – an introductory driving course in a BMW 1 Series for 11 to 17-year-olds.
Mark Wheatley of Mid Cheshire college said, “Our course primarily looks at motorcycle maintenance, however many of the students end up working with performance cars and motorsport as the techniques are so similar.”Student Louise Doyle said, “I had a fantastic day at Oulton Park on Friday and was given a fabulous insight into the world of motorsport. The staff were friendly and made the day very relaxed, whereby we were not afraid to ask more questions.
“My personal highlights were at the beginning of the day when we had a look at the single seater race car, the rally car and then the BMW M3,” Louise continued, “and then in the afternoon I had the experience of driving round a rally circuit. I had no idea how much I had already learnt when the staff were explaining the mechanics behind the vehicles and the checks that they do to make sure the cars are safe.”
Colleague Samantha Royle was equally impressed: “The whole day was absolutely fantastic. The team at Oulton Park made us feel very welcome and took time to go into great detail with the vehicles. It became clear how similar they are to the bikes we work on and I was surprised how much I understood and learnt. Although I am an aspiring motorcycle mechanic, a career change into car racing would definitely be an option and a great experience in the future.
“The highlight for the day I have to say was the YoungDrive experience,” continued Samantha, “as I had never driven a car before and the instructor completely made the experience fun. Being introduced to this side of engineering has opened new doors for me and set me targets for the future I would not have even considered setting myself up until this experience.”