Former Sheffield student and beauty queen switches runway for racetrack as she gears up for Formula Woman competition
A Sheffield University alumni and model is making the leap into motorsport by taking part in a nationwide competition to find the next female racing driver.
Rachel Cadman from Dronfield is gearing up to embark on a journey of a lifetime as she enters Formula Woman.
Formula Woman was a televised race series that launched in the UK way back in 2003/04, with the intention of getting more female drivers into a male-dominated sport, but it came to an end in 2007.
However, after a 16-year hiatus, the competition and TV show will make a return and will compile a series of track days, races, assessments, theory days, physical challenges and simulator days.
The winners will be awarded their prize of a drive in two McLaren GT4 race cars in the UK GT Cup championship during 2022, In partnership with the Mclaren Customer Racing team.
Rachel Cadman said: “This opportunity came into my lap to do this formula woman competition, and I thought you know what, I think I'll do it.
“I've got some friends that rally and things, and when I go and watch them, there aren’t that many females. There is of course, a lot of famous ladies like Katie Munnings, who's sponsored by Red Bull, but it's still not a fifty-fifty kind of split like I think it should be.
“When you go to watch these events, it's still very much male-dominated, so I thought you only live once; why not join in.
“I did a blind drive, so it's for the guide dog charity, and you have to drive as fast as you can with an instructor, blindfolded around various tracks. So you can imagine how scary that was, and that got me hooked on this kind of car thing, and recently I’ve become more and more interested in cars.”
The marketing manager began her modelling career at an early age after taking inspiration from her mum, who was a model at the time.
Rachel has since gone on to win the Miss Nottingham pageantry competition and has competed in major competitions, including Miss Earth England.
She is now putting her mind to the challenge of becoming the winner of a UK search to find a female racing driver in the Formula Woman competition.
She said: “I never thought I'd win Miss Nottingham, but I did, so I think as long as I put my mind to it, I’ll do well. I'd like to think I'm a good driver, my dad might disagree, but I think I've got the determination and skills, hopefully, to keep going.
“I'm raring to go, and I've done some training at the gym because you've got to be physically strong as well.
“It's going to be nerve-racking, but you've got to be in it to win it. It's a once in a lifetime experience; even if I don't get past the first assessment day, I can still say that I tried.”
Speaking about the thought of winning and the opportunity to drive the Mclaren GT4, Rachel said: “It would be an incredible experience, it would be a once in a lifetime opportunity, and it would maybe boost my career, and I might actually go into more motorsport full time.”