The owner of the Erebus Motorsport Supercars outfit, Betty Klimenko has joined the Dare To Be Different initiative led by former Williams Formula 1 test driver Susie Wolff.
Established by Wolff and the UK’s Motor Sports Association in early 2016, Dare To Be Different aims to inspire and increase female involvement in all aspects of motorsport.
Wolff’s driving career included F1 practice session runs with Williams at four grands prix across 2014 and ’15, and seven seasons in the DTM with Mercedes.
CAMS has followed suit locally, with an arm launched during the Australian Grand Prix weekend.
Klimenko joins a list of global ambassadors featuring Williams F1 deputy team principal Claire Williams, racers such as Australian Rally Champion Molly Taylor and a host of leading pitlane figures.
“It is a pleasure to be part of Dare To Be Different,” Klimenko said.
“So many people ask what it is like to be a woman in motorsport, and I don’t see myself differently to any male.
“I was the first female team owner to enter the sport off my own bat, the first one to win Bathurst; just because I’m the first doesn’t mean I should be the last.
“I think it’s important young girls understand they can make an impact in a male dominated industry.
“People are defined by their ability to do the job not what sex they are."
Klimenko entered Supercars in 2013 following the purchase of Stone Brothers Racing, with Erebus winning the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 last year with David Reynolds and Luke Youlden.
After two events in the 2018 season, Reynolds is second in the standings having won the final race of the Coates Hire Supercars Melbourne 400 on Sunday, and Anton De Pasquale the leading rookie in 17th.
Williams, Taylor, Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff, F1’s Chase Carey and Ross Brawn, CAMS president Andrew Papadopoulos and the Australian Grand Prix Corporation’s John Harnden and Andrew Westacott attended the launch of the Australian arm of D2BD at Albert Park.
“CAMS has worked closely with Susie Wolff, the founder of this iconic initiative, to adapt their successful model for the Australian market,” Papadopoulos said.
“We are proud to be taking on responsibility for implementing such an important project across Australia, which will encourage young girls to consider careers in STEM industries, using motorsport as a tool to reach their dreams.
“We’ve already had a lot of interest from a number of schools as well as women involved in motorsport across a range of disciplines, including Supercars, who are keen to share their experiences having worked in the industry.
“We know women are underrepresented when it comes to participation and involvement in motor sport in Australia and this program will help ensure we start to get more females into the mix, whether as drivers, mechanics, engineers or administrators.”