Racing Pride is an innovative movement to positively promote LGBTQ+ inclusivity within the motorsport industry and among its technological and commercial partners. Racing Pride has been developed alongside Stonewall UK and the timing of its launch comes as part of Pride month.
To date there has been no concerted effort to raise visibility for LGBTQ+ participants within motorsport, whether they be drivers, mechanics, engineers, or those in race support, official, or associated media roles. Through a network of Driver Ambassadors, commercial partners, and supporters from across the motorsport and automotive industries (drawing on allies as much as the LGBTQ+ community itself), Racing Pride intends to change this.
Driver Ambassadors for Racing Pride are: Charlie Martin (Stonewall Sports Champion and transgender driver competing in the Michelin Le Mans Cup), Sarah Moore (lesbian driver competing in the new W Series), Richard Morris (gay driver racing for Spire Sports Cars in the British RGB Sports 1000 Championship), Nick Reeve (gay driver and 2018 Clio Cup competitor).
Motorsport journalist Christopher Sharp, who is a member of the Autosport Academy, and driver Richard Morris are co-founders of Racing Pride. As well as input from Stonewall UK, it has been developed alongside a core team comprising: Jon Holmes (Sky Sports Editor and founder of Sports Media LGBT+), Thierry Courtois (Creative Designer, Mahindra Racing), Matt Bishop (W Series Communications Director, former McLaren F1 Chief Communications Officer), Oliver Warman (owner of Warman Media and founder of the Gay Racers online community), and Matt Beer (Autosport.com Editor).
The Autosport and Sky Sports websites will carry launch stories from 7am on Thursday morning. Initiation activities will continue across the weekend with coverage relating to Sarah Moore’s participation in the W Series event at Misano on Friday 7th – Saturday 8th June and with Team Parker Racing and Torque Motorsport, who are Industry Partners for Racing Pride, hosting the remaining Driver Ambassadors at the British GT event at Silverstone on Sunday 9th June as well as running with Racing Pride logos on the Team Parker Racing cars to raise further awareness. Richard Morris will then be racing at the 750 Motor Club meeting at Anglesey the following weekend, 15th-16th June. 750 Motor Club, as another of Racing Pride’s Industry Partners, will demonstrate their support by including the Racing Pride logo on its meeting programme and making stickers available for drivers to run on their cars.
Racing Pride has received early support from influential figures within motorsport, including former Formula One World Champion and Sky Sports F1 pundit Damon Hill who, while he is not an official ambassador for Racing Pride, supports its aims as an ally (quote to be found below).
Racing Pride is seeking to add further partners as it develops and is looking for commercial partners, termed ‘Ally Companies’, who believe in its values of inclusivity and are able to support Racing Pride in achieving its aims.
One of the best ways individuals can be involved at this early phase is to share and follow the Racing Pride social media accounts (@racingprideuk on Twitter and Instagram, @RacingPrideUK on Facebook) to show the support that there is for LGBTQ+ inclusivity within motorsport and, indeed, sport and society more broadly.
It’s fantastic to see Racing Pride launched to actively tackle this issue in motorsport. Having role models like Richard Morris, Christopher Sharp and Charlie Martin as part of this network can inspire young LGBT people by letting them know they are not alone and that they have a place in sport. Congratulations to Racing Pride and everyone involved for this trailblazing work in helping create a more inclusive culture in sport. Sport is one area where lesbian, gay, bi and trans people often feel unwelcome, or even excluded, not only as participants but even cheering in the crowds. It’s extremely important that we kick discrimination out of sports – and we’re keen to work with more sport organisations who want to come out for LGBT and make sport everyone’s game.
Kirsty Clarke, Director of Sport, Stonewall UK
The launch of Racing Pride is a great step towards making motorsport a more inclusive environment. Motorsport has only ever asked that people give their best, whether they’re drivers, engineers, mechanics or organisers. If people from the LGBTQ+ community in motorsport feel it’s a difficult place for them to do that, it’s incumbent upon all of us to change those conditions. That’s why I’m supporting Racing Pride and look forward to the day that they no longer have to campaign for acceptance.
Racing Pride is so exciting because it’s all about the power of the collective, it’s about what motorsport can do when we all pull together. It’s about putting in place the role-models motorsport has been lacking and actively demonstrating that motorsport is open to everyone. It's something that simply hasn't been done before in this sport and we're looking forward to working with people from across motorsport and beyond to make this a real success.
At its heart Racing Pride has been set up to help people who don’t feel able to be themselves, who feel they have to hide their true selves when they really shouldn’t. We are here to make people aware of the issue of inclusivity in motorsport but also to provide a way to help fix it.
Visibility is one of the most effective ways to inspire positive change, so I think Racing Pride is a really important step forwards, and I'm excited to be a part of it.