Meet Jennifer Mullan, an Irish racer who drives an RF89 Van Diemen. The car is maintained by her partner Paul, and run under the Ecurie Australie banner. She has loved motorsport from an early age, and initially participated in the community as a track and rally marshal. When the opportunity to participate in an initiative by David Sheane's outfit Sheane Cars, she jumped at the chance, and has been racing ever since. Check out her bio here!
BS And the finance side happened for you? Was it hard work getting sponsors, or do you have another way to support your habit?
JM Initially financing my racing was extremely difficult. I had no sponsors so I was only able to do one or two races a year when I had saved up enough money myself. In 2012 I got invited to participate in Dublin's Bavaria F1 city race and this enabled me to form a partnership with goldenpages.ie. Ever since they have greatly assisted me and made it possible for me to compete in my first full season during 2013. It's not easy getting sponsorship but it is achievable with a bit of hard work and creativity. Since 2014 I have also formed a great partnership with Ecurie Australie, a family run Australian racing team who are now also assisting me greatly with getting on track both here and in Oz!
BS It's really fantastic that you've worked up a good base of support! Do you think you would have got into racing earlier (or maybe found it easier to get sponsorship) if there were more women racing locally?
JM I don't think more women racing would have really changed anything for me as growing up i played soccer so I wasn't put off by male dominated sports. Perhaps more awareness of women in motorsport might have helped with sponsorship as it is one of the very few sports that both men and women compete against each other on a level playing field. I would hope that by more women racing and being in the public eye now that it might however encourage some of the younger girls to get involved with some good support behind them.
BS Would more awareness of women in motorsport have alleviated some of the other challenges you've experienced? What have you found to be the greatest difficulties?
JM To be honest I haven't really come across an difficulties caused by being female! Most guys I have raced against show me the same respect as they would show the other guys. When our helmets are on we are all equal. If anything being a woman has helped grab people's attention as when you do well people are surprised when they see a girl climb out of the car! I'm pretty sure that if I hadn't been female I may not have had the same level of opportunity in recent times.
BS That's lovely to hear! What are some of the things you love about the industry?
JM I love the comradery that there is within the racing paddock. I have met some of the most amazing people that had I not been involved in motorsport, I never would have go to know. I love the fact that there are no allowances made for being female, everyone is treated equally. Being involved in motorsport has also given me the chance to see parts of the world I never would have dreamed of.
BS Who's been the most supportive of your career thus far?
JM Without a doubt my Fiancée Paul, he puts in Trojan work to get me on track. His latest effort being rebuilding our newly acquired Formula Ford for me this year. I have also had endless support from my family and in the last few years the Davison family in Australia!
BS Paul sounds like a keeper! What advice would you give to girls or young women wanting to get into motorsport?
JM Yes, we won't be letting Paul go anywhere!
The only real advice I can give to other girls wanting to get involved is, DO IT. I am a firm believer that if you want something enough and you are prepared to work hard then they sky is the limit. Don't be that person standing on the sideline thinking racing is for other people with loads of money etc. Yes it isn't a cheap sport but i hope I have shown other people that if you work hard then opportunities will come regardless of your financial background.