Standout weekend not lost on trailblazing engineer

25 Jun
"It's important that young girls see that there's someone out there doing the job"
  • Romy Mayer one of the stars of Darwin weekend

  • Mayer engineered James Golding to maiden Supercars pole

  • Golding moved from 12th to fifth in championship

A breakout weekend in Darwin has PremiAir Nulon Racing engineer Romy Mayer hopeful of further showcasing the efforts of women on motorsport.

Mayer, the only full-time female Race Engineer on the Supercars grid, led James Golding to a career-best weekend at the betr Darwin Triple Crown.

Golding scored his maiden Supercars pole position, and finished fourth in both races to vault from 12th to fifth in the championship, sparking motivation to chase an elusive podium.

At the centre of it all was Mayer, who joined PremiAir Nulon Racing midway through 2023 following a long stint as a Data Engineer a Triple Eight.

Mayer’s efforts came a week before International Women In Engineering Day, which will be celebrated on Sunday June 23.

For Mayer, standing out and standing up in a male-dominated environment is nothing new, but said last weekend’s results could go a long way in inspiring the next generation of women in motorsport.

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“When you're a female in a male-dominated environment, you always stand out,” Mayer told Supercars.com.

“In motorsport, the pressure comes automatically anyway. But, if you want to prove it in a new team, you put a bit pressure on yourself as well.

“It's important that young girls see that there's someone out there doing the job as a female, because when I was younger, there wasn’t much insight into teams, or the pathways.

“Back when I needed to decide what I want to do after uni, or even before uni, if I could see more women working in any kind of engineering job, my decision would have been easier.

“It's cool to be able to showcase that woman can do the same job as men at the top level.”

Mayer was proud to step out of the Triple Eight shadow and prove she can apply herself to a new environment, and one that isn’t as established.

She arrived from Germany and linked up with Triple Eight in 2015. Mayer was Jamie Whincup’s Data Engineer before switching to lead Triple Eight’s Super2 and GT World Challenge Asia programmes.

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Mayer’s big break came in 2022, when — in her first race as a lead Race Engineer — she led Craig Lowndes and Declan Fraser to eighth in the Great Race, the best Bathurst result by a wildcard.

“It's a whole different situation. Triple Eight is obviously such a successful team. They have had processes built in for many years, which makes them so strong,” she explained.

“For us being a young team, it's the opposite. We are building all the processes, all the structures. And even though I've been here almost a year now, we have been through a lot of changes.

“And then Ludo came on at the beginning of the year, so we restructured a lot of things again. We’re still finding our feet, but having success already is amazing.

“It’s special for me personally as well, that I can show that I can run a car and be successful, and not only in a Triple Eight environment, but at another team.”

At the same time, while aware of her potential influence, Mayer remained focused on the job at hand, saying: “At the end of the day, I'm an engineer, I'm not really used to the spotlight or talking in front of the camera and all that.

“But now, I’m growing a little bit into it, feeling a bit more comfortable. When we got pole position, there was so much going on.

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“But as soon as the race starts, I just do my job. You're so focused on it. The pressure is the same, whether you’re starting from pole or P12 — I just want to run the race with the best outcome as possible.”

The next step is backing it up in Townsville, with Mayer excited to see the fruits of her relationship with Golding.

"As you can imagine, the whole team has like a really nice vibe to it. I love coming to work and everyone is happy, which is amazing,” she said.

“Jimmy is very talented and we know he has a lot of spirit. We have been building a base and a structure. I've only worked with him since the start of the year.

“The relationship between the driver and engineer is always developing. You need to understand the language, you need talk to each other. I need to understand what he needs with the car.

"Finally, we can really see the results of that, which is nice. Most people know he has a lot of talent and he can be fast, but it's so much more than the time sheets.

"We're now doing the homework, and preparing as best as we can. And, hopefully we'll be up there again next weekend."

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