Seven-time Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher has today helped to launch a new scholarship to help advance the careers of women in motor sport.
The new scholarship offers a lucky young female racer the opportunity to undertake a comprehensive program designed to assist with career development in all aspects of being a top competitor in motor sport.
The scholarship will run for one year and will include a test in a car from a category further up the ladder, setting up networking opportunities, fitness coaching, sports psychology, media training and driver coaching.
Women of Australian Motor Sport was founded by CAMS in 2010 to help promote and encourage participation among women and girls in the sport.
Michael Schumacher says if more girls can be encouraged to participate in junior motor sport, the chances of successful drivers at the senior level will increase significantly.
"There is no reason why women should not be competitive in any of those fields that we have available in motor sport because physical limits - even in F1 - they're not so high that women couldn't do it," said Mr Schumacher.
"I mean if you look at the athletics I'm pretty sure there are a few women who are fitter than I am.
"The main issue, why we don't see so many, is in the early days when you start to prepare to become a racing driver, it's a very small percentage of women doing it.
"That's why in the end, developing to the final stage, there is a left over chance of very little and I think this is the principal issue."
The recipient of the scholarship will be selected by a committee consisting of Steven Richards, and Women of Australian Motor Sport committee members Leanne Tander and Sue Evans.
Nominations will be judged on previous results, commitment to a career in motor sport, presentation, and potential as a representative of Women of Australian Motor Sport.
Leanne Tander, Chairperson of Women of Australian Motor Sport, and Australia's delegate to the FIA's Women and Motor Sport Commission, says the scholarship is about giving young racers access to the tools required to be successful.
"The committee is made up of women who have had varying experiences in motor sport," said Mrs Tander.
"Myself, Sue Evans, Samantha Reid... We've all made mistakes, and have a lot of experience trying to get to the top in the sport - this scholarship is about passing on that experience, mentoring a young racer and helping to develop their career.
"We want to be able to offer the kind of guidance that would have been incredibly helpful to us as we made our way in the sport."
Nominations are welcomed from any female racer between the ages of 15 and 25 currently competing in a CAMS sanctioned event - they close on 31st May, 2012.
Visit www.wams.org.au for more details.
Caption: Michael Schumacher and up-and-coming go-kart racer Caitlin Wood at the Australian Grand Prix.