Armed with a welding torch and bolstered by a college grant, a GoFundMe account and help from some enthusiastic classmates, she entered the 2017 Grassroots Motorsports Challenge in Florida, scoring a respectable seventh-place finish and coverage in The Wall Street Journal, Autoweek and other national media.
Last year, Ms. Hackenberg earned her official Sports Car Club of America racing license. She is training as a mechanic at Arrow McLaren SP, a firm in Indianapolis that competes in the Indianapolis 500 and IndyCar Series races.
Whether their interest lies in vintage motorsports, automotive preservation and collecting, or all of the above, “more and more young women want to participate,” said Theresa Gilpatrick, former longtime executive director of the Ferrari Club of America. She urges younger women to “go for it” and added: “Get on LinkedIn, search for women in the niche you’re interested in. Reach out and don’t be bashful.”