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The two of us are always trying to recruit and support women in autocross. Rachel is Chief of Novices in her region and Heidi has taken on that supporting role in mine, both active in our clubs and both eagerly offering ride alongs, course walks, and sometimes even our cars.

Rachel has been making a count of the women in Open for National events and we make sure we message to touch base, and if we are going to the same event we both introduce ourselves in grid and wish them luck. This year we decided to do something different. In addition to expanding the number of women willing to do that, something extra. We both struggled with the ideology.  We don't want to single women out, it goes against everything we believe in, but sometimes you have to take a little bite of the apple to jar things forward. When in Rome, right? Mazda has already led the charge in 2018, offering contingencies specifically to women in Open and there were Ladies Class only contingencies as well as the strong pull of the regular ones there too. We wanted in our small way to balance that out. We believe in this so much that we were willing to put our own resources into it.

Our ideas flowed, intermingled and the next thing you know Rachel purchased a vinyl cutter. We came up with something that included men as well as women both in open and ladies classes, a unifying statement… Driving Forward Together. We purchased supplies and she cut some free sets of vinyl  for cars. She cut more vinyl, and more. She said, hmm you know I can buy heat transfer vinyl too... we quickly decided to offer a contingency to support women in Open.

So here we have our new official contingency, a core group of women organizers, and unbelievable racing community support. We hope if you are a woman running Open this season that you register with us at

( and that men and women, together, help support these efforts through the free vinyl or a t-shirt purchase...or both :)


-Heidi K. Ellison

-Rachel Baker





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