McLaren Racing were at COP26 in Glasgow on Wednesday where they named Emma Gilmour as their first female driver who will compete in the Extreme E championship for the team when they make their debut in the series next season. Speaking about the news, McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said:
We’re proud to join His Royal Highness to announce Emma Gilmour as the first-ever female driver for McLaren Racing. Emma completes our exciting and competitive driver line-up alongside Tanner Foust for our first season of Extreme E. She’s a race winner and has proven herself this year in Extreme E alongside a vast background in competitive off-roading in multiple racing series across the globe. It’s fitting that our first female driver originates from New Zealand where our founder Bruce McLaren was from.
“Being able to announce Emma and reveal our launch livery with His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales during COP26, given his track record in sustainability and promotion of STEM education and engineering, resonates with McLaren Racing’s commitment to sustainability, diversity and gender equality which are deeply-rooted in the team’s ethos. Seeing the support from the entire McLaren family in signing up for one or more of the Count Us In pledges highlights the dedication of our fans, partners and team members to help avert the impacts of climate change. We’re looking forward to competing in Extreme E’s second season to continue to educate ourselves on this journey of discovery and use our voice to shine a light on key issues impacting the world.
As part of the announcement McLaren also revealed the livery that they will use when they make their debut.
We've kept you waiting long enough…
— NEOM McLaren XE (@McLarenXE) November 3, 2021
A native of New Zealand, Emma is known for her vast experience in rallying, rallycross, cross-country rallying and most recently competing in the inaugural season of Extreme E. In 2016 she became the first and only female to date to win a New Zealand Rally Championship event and also won the FIA Women in Motorsport and Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) crosscountry rally selection in 2015. Emma completes McLaren Extreme E’s driver line-up for 2022 alongside US driver Tanner Foust.
Speaking about her arrival at the team, Gilmour saidL
“I’m incredibly honoured to be McLaren Racing’s first female driver. Growing up in New Zealand, Bruce McLaren and McLaren Racing are seen as the pinnacles of motorsport. To be competing in Extreme E next year with McLaren is a special opportunity. The series is a fantastic platform that represents equality and addresses the key issues affecting our planet and society. I’m looking to draw on my previous experience in Extreme E alongside all my skills across rally, rallycross and cross-country rallying, that make me well-suited to the sport, to make a positive impact and inspire the next generation of female drivers and engineers. I can’t wait to get started with the team.”
Alejandro Agag, CEO, Extreme E, said:
“I am delighted to celebrate the next step in this very exciting new journey for McLaren Racing as they welcome the highly talented Emma Gilmour to their Extreme E driver line-up, and reveal a unique livery designed around important sustainability messages.
“Extreme E is a sport dedicated to using its platform to inspire and excite motorsport fans about sustainability and solutions, so I feel especially proud to see the team choosing to take shape here in Glasgow at the COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference, with the support of his Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales. It’s certainly a very positive sign of the direction the McLaren team is committing to and I wish the whole team great success.”
Emma Gilmour and veteran engineer, Leena Gade and the McLaren Extreme E car will undertake further engagements, including a secondary school visit and a discussion at Newcastle University promoting future opportunities in technology. The engagements have been organised by McLaren Racing to illustrate the diversity and inclusion purpose behind the sport as well as the significance of its McLaren Racing Engage programme which was launched in June, this year. The programme, which promotes diversity and inclusion and aims to open up opportunities in technology to all, is a strategic alliance with four expert partners (Women’s Engineering Society (WES), EqualEngineers, The Smallpiece Trust and Creative Access). Its purpose is to drive forward a series of collaborative initiatives to diversify talent in motorsport. McLaren’s Extreme E show-car will also be on display in the Green Zone at COP26 from November 8th -12th inclusive.
Shivani Rudra, Count Us In, said:
“I am delighted McLaren Racing has joined with Count Us In to inspire its millions of fans to take action on climate change. By McLaren, Extreme E and Count Us in working together we can make an even bigger difference on climate change and add up to something much bigger