Nicci Daly’s Formula Female initiative has hit full throttle in recent times as she entered a team for the Tillotson World Cup karting event, staged at Whiteriver Park at Collon in county Louth.
Best known as a hockey World Cup silver medalist, the Rathfarnham native is a qualified motorsport engineer and runs Formula Female which aims to increase female numbers in motorsport, not just as drivers, but as engineers and other roles too.
The event had originally been scheduled to run in Italy but, with Covid travel restrictions, the company decided to relocate the event to Ireland, giving top Irish karters the opportunity to take on some of the best international talent on home ground.
Daly has worked closely with Tillotson and uses one of their karts for her Go Girls Karting STEM workshops so this was an ideal opportunity to extend that connection.
She was recently in France with top X30 karter Alyx Coby to compete in the IAME France Ladies Cup, making her an obvious choice for this team. She was joined by schoolgirl Roisin Sweeney who has been progressing well in her Tillotson kart.
Ellen Donnelly was initially set to join them but unfortunately ran into licence issues in the week ahead of the race and had to withdraw.Speaking about the event, Daly said of entering her team: “We are passionate about achieving equality and closing the gender gap in such a male dominated field.
“To achieve this, visibility and opportunity matter.”
Two females in a grid of 36 drivers is disappointing, but the most encouraging part is how competitive they were. Alyx was the second fastest driver on the day, missing out on the fastest lap by just 7 thousandths of a second, while Roisin set her own personal best lap, smashing her previous best by almost two seconds.
“Each driver is at a very different stage of experience but the one thing they have in common is the desire to push the boundaries of what might be possible.
“Both Alyx and Roisin are great examples of powerful female role models, who highlight and endorse the fact that women are well suited for roles in male dominated fields.
“We are so proud of their performances against the top T4 drivers.
“We believe their efforts and attitude will continue to drive females forward in achieving equality!”