Women in Motorsport Advisory Commission
Commisssion members current from June 2019
Andrea Bourhill, Hawke’s Bay - Commission Chair
A long-serving member of Rally New Zealand’s organising committee, Andrea is the Rally Control Manager for all international and national events run by the RNZ team. She’s an occasional Timing Crew Post Chief for rallies and says she spends a LOT of time in the car with her partner Steve Foster driving all around the country plotting rally events, going to meetings, etc.
“I got involved thanks to my two daughters who used to be rally co-drivers and introduced me to Steve,” Andrea says. “Things just grew from there and I’ve now been involved for 14 years on the rally scene. I really enjoy being a motorsport volunteer and when colleagues ask me why I do it, I reply ‘it’s just like spending time with a second family’. I work with a great team of people! It’s early days with the commission, but I’m really looking forward to reaching out to females already in the sport to see what we can achieve for them and to enable females that aren’t yet part of our sport to see how they might join and contribute.”
Fleur Pedersen, Hawke’s Bay
Fleur started as a rally co-driver in 1997 after several years’ service crewing. Currently she codrives for long-time competitor Brian Green in a variety of cars including a Mitsubishi Mirage AP4 in the New Zealand Rally Championship and in a Ford Escort BDA RS1800 for other selected rallies. Alongside Brian, she’s rallied in numerous countries and won co-driver championships in Malaysia and New Caledonia. A school teacher when not rallying, Fleur also enjoys scuba diving. Among the women in motorsport she most admires are other rally co-drivers Fabrizia Pons and Ilka Minor.
“I actively encourage and support up and coming women drivers and co-drivers,” says Fleur. “I am looking forward to working with the commission to encourage more women into all areas of New Zealand motorsport.”
Leesa Mackley, Invercargill
Leesa says: “I have been a huge fan of motorsport for most of my life. My husband and I purchased a Pre65 Ford Anglia a couple of years ago as it was always his dream to race. I didn’t realise the impact it would have on me…. the love of racing. From working in the garage at home getting the race car ready to attending meetings and being part of his support crew, it’s something that the whole family can get behind and the entire racing environment is so welcoming, making you feel like family.”
Leesa’s goal is to start doing ClubSport events, having just purchased her own race car. “I will be doing this with my sons as they are keen to get into this as well. It is a privilege to be chosen to be part of the Women in Motorsport Commission and to be working with such a great team of women with a wealth of knowledge and experience. I would love nothing more than to get more females into motorsport in New Zealand and remember it is never too late to start.”
Emilee Wright, Auckland
Emilee brings a valuable connection to kartsport, a route that brings many competitors into motorsport. She is currently the social media content creator and photographer for several kartsport race series, and notes Betty Klimenko from Erebus Motorsport and Sarah Brown from Toyota Racing NZ among the women in motorsport who inspire her.
“I got started racing karts at six years old then decided to hang up the helmet. I’m currently completing a university degree in business and media, but still follow my passion through being involved with different karting series all over New Zealand. I am super excited about being part of the Women in Motorsport Commission as I believe this is a great opportunity to help me gain experience towards my future goals of working in the motorsport industry.”
Deborah Day, MotorSport New Zealand board liaison
Deb is a busy woman, but as she always says, if you need something doing, ask a busy person.
Deb's many roles in New Zealand motorsport include Board Member for MotorSport New Zealand, Volunteer Coordinator for The Motorsport Club, Race Control Communicator (20+ years), Clerk of Course, Sponsor, Pitcrew, Rally Team Manager, Volunteer Recruitment, Rally NZ Committee member.
Deb has fostered the idea of women supporting other women in motorsport for many years, well before the idea gained official traction with the FIA or in New Zealand.
Being so well connected across many levels of the sport, Deb is happy to answer queries about how to progress your motorsport aspirations as a competitor or a volunteer/official and can often put you in contact with others who can help you take that first or next step.
Mobile: +64 274875079
Kate Gordon-Smith, Communications Liaison
Kate has been fortunate to make a career in motorsport as a media relations consultant and as part of her role as Communications Consultant to MotorSport New Zealand, contributes to the Women in Motorsport Advisory Commission.
Kate's first role in a motorsport team was when her manager at Ford New Zealand asked then Prime Minister David Lange if he'd like to go motor racing. Mr Lange did and Kate spent a summer touring the country with Ford and the Prime Minister! Many more summers of motorsport followed as the media manager for the NZV8 Championship and several teams. She's worked for Rally New Zealand in a variety of media roles, including three WRC events as the media manager. Kate's rally connections continue today as Hayden Paddon's New Zealand media manager.
Kate contributes to Women in Motorsport NZ with communications strategy and content such as website articles, media releases and social media posts. She's also a whizz with email newsletters and databases, and is the person behind these communications on behalf of the Commission.
She is also happy to assist aspiring competitors with ideas on how to generate publicity or manage their social media profiles.
Mobile: +64 21587227
Former commission members
The Women in Motorsport Advisory Commission thanks Wendy Metcalfe and Petra 'Peach' Ardagh for their valued contributions to the commission in its formative year. Both Wendy and Peach are passionate about motorsport and showing women how they can get involved in motorsport.
Following the formative year, the commission members are now reduced to four, as per MotorSport NZ's constitution for advisory commissions.