Kiwi among first women to take control of pit lane
Two female mechanics are set to make Supercars history by taking control of pit lane for Erebus Motorsport driver Aaren Russell.
Frances Buckley has been promoted as Russell’s No.1 mechanic with Bonnie Beard announced on Thursday as her assistant starting from the next race of the series in Darwin in mid-June. It’s the first time in Supercars history that a team’s top two mechanics are women.
The key staff changes continue the strong contribution of females at Erebus.
Betty Klimenko became the first woman to own a team when Erebus entered the V8 category in 2013 while Janelle Navarro was the sport’s first female mechanic when she was appointed the following year. “We have two wonderful people filling these roles,” Klimenko said.
“The fact they are both women is a coincidence.”
The 33-year-old Buckley has worked for several other V8 outfits and joined Erebus as No.2 mechanic earlier this year. The Kiwi told AAP she started in mechanics as a trade apprentice and found it difficult to find a job.
“No one wanted to take me on,” she said.
“When I first started doing motorsport you get funny looks, but now if I don’t turn up to a race meeting they wonder where I am.”
Beard has worked on utes and GT cars for the past 18 months and the 19-year-old is excited to transition to V8s.
“The intensity and closeness of the racing and quick turnaround in between sessions is something I can’t wait for,” she said.
“I’m up for the challenge that’s for sure.”
Erebus’ previous No.1 mechanic, Dennis Huijser, has moved into the role of crew chief.